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 <email@example.com>
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. It was first telecast in San Francisco Wednesday 7 January 1959 on KPIX (Channel 5), followed by Seattle 16 January 1959 on KIRO (Channel 7), by Minneapolis 29 January1959 on WTCN (Channel 11), by Philadelphia Saturday 14 February 1959 on WCAU (Channel 10), and by New York City Saturday 7 March 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). In Milwaukee it first aired 4 April 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), in Asheville 20 April 1959 on WLOS (Channel 13), in Omaha i20 August 1959 on KETV (Channel 7), and in Toledo 23 October 1959 on WTOL (Channel 11), the following year, it aired in St. Louis 11 September 1960 on KMOX (Channel 4), in Chicago 4 November 1960 on WBBM (Channel 2), and, finally, in Los Angeles 12 May 1961 on KNXT (Channel 2). It was released on DVD 22 December 2009 as part of the Universal Vault Series. 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 »
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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