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Spawn of the North (1938)

 -  Action | Romance  -  26 August 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

Friends since childhood, two men are on opposite sides in a salmon fishing conflict.


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Title: Spawn of the North (1938)

Spawn of the North (1938) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Complete credited cast:
Tyler Dawson
Jim Kimmerlee
Nicky Duval
Red Skain
Windy Turlon
Louise Platt ...
Dian 'Di' Turlon
Lynne Overman ...
'Jack' Jackson
Fuzzy Knight ...
Lefty Jones
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Duncan Renaldo ...
John Wray ...
Dr. Sparks
Michio Ito ...
Indian Dancer
Stanley Andrews ...
Richard Ung ...


Two Alaskan salmon fishermen, Tyler Dawson (skipper of the "Who Cares") and Jim Kimmerlee of the "Old Reliable," are lifelong pals. Their romantic rivalry over young Dian ends amicably. But a more serious rift, with violent consequences, arises when Tyler befriends Russian fish pirates while Jim finds himself aligned with local vigilantes. Notable glacier scenery. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

salmon | pirate | russian | fishing | glacier | See more »


Action | Romance





Release Date:

26 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spawn of the North  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


During his birthday party, Henry Fonda's left elbow moves from on the table to below the table back on to the table in consecutive cuts. See more »


Tyler Dawson: Take that yellow-bellied, stinking fish-head out of here.
See more »


Remade as Alaska Seas (1954) See more »


I Like Mountain Music
Music by Burton Lane
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Sung as "I Like Hump-Backed Salmon", based on Alaskan folk song
Sung by cast and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

One for the money says Henry Fonda
28 April 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I've always looked on this film as a perfect blend of obvious location shooting for background very well integrated with the plot of the story which was done on the Paramount back-lot. The best part of the film is the footage of Alaska, of the Inuit, and even of the salmon going upstream to their demise.

Looking at Henry Fonda and George Raft however is quite a contrast between a great actor and a personality. Raft's gangster persona is not quite right for this tale of best friends ending up on opposite sides of the law. Still he gives it his best shot and the results are more than adequate.

However the best acted performance in this film without a doubt goes to Akim Tamiroff as the Russian fish pirate Red Skane. Skane is a swaggering thug and Tamiroff is perfect.

Many years ago I saw Henry Fonda and he said he divided his films in two categories, those he did for art's sake and those he did for the money. Spawn of the North was one for the money, but still he was proud of it as entertainment. His Jim Kimmerlee does not belong in the category of his great parts like Mister Roberts or Oxbow Incident, but it still is a good piece of work. Fonda does the best he can with a part that doesn't call for him to do much, but be noble.

Back in the 1930s location shooting was an expensive proposition and here Paramount did a superb job at masking the studio origins of the film. Looking at those shots with the fisherman against the backdrop of the glaciers and icebergs you really do think you're in Alaska. Great special effects here, especially in the climax which involves boats being crushed by icebergs.

Nice entertainment and Dorothy Lamour does NOT wear a sarong.

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