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Hudson's Bay (1941)

6.7
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Highly fictionalized early history of Canada. Trapper/explorer Radisson imagines an empire around Hudson's Bay. He befriends the Indians, fights the French, and convinces King Charles II to sponsor an expedition of conquest.

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Title: Hudson's Bay (1941)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pierre Esprit Radisson
...
Barbara Hall
Laird Cregar ...
John Sutton ...
Lord Edward Crewe
Virginia Field ...
...
...
Morton Lowry ...
Gerald Hall
Robert Greig ...
Sir Robert
Chief Thundercloud ...
Frederick Worlock ...
English Governor
Florence Bates ...
Duchess (scenes deleted)
Montagu Love ...
Governor D'Argenson
...
Mayor
...
Edit

Storyline

Highly fictionalized early history of Canada. Trapper/explorer Radisson imagines an empire around Hudson's Bay. He befriends the Indians, fights the French, and convinces King Charles II to sponsor an expedition of conquest.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | History

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hudson's Bay Company  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Book Revue (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Canadian Classic
23 July 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After Paul Muni left Warner Brothers by mutual consent he was at liberty and took this one picture deal with 20th Century Fox. After playing such varied people as Louis Pasteur, Benito Juarez, and Emile Zola it was thought another biographical film was just the thing for him at Fox.

In Cecil B. DeMille's autobiography he mentions that at one time he was considering a Hudson's Bay type story as a project at Paramount. When he heard Darryl F. Zanuck was doing one at Fox he abandoned his film and instead did Union Pacific. It might have been interesting how DeMille would have done the story of the founding of the Hudson's Bay Fur Company.

Muni as he usually did played the role of Pierre-Espirit Radisson with gusto and bravado and he was probably a whole lot like Radisson really was in life. He's a curious figure in Canadian history, he was certainly the ideal that the French Habitants have as the men who pioneered and settled Canada. But he was also a rogue who dealt back and forth with the English and French as it suited him.

In this film he and partner Laird Cregar have been cheated out of their furs by the governor of New France, Montague Love. Not taking this lying down, Muni, Cregar, and their new partner Englishman John Sutton who has been exiled to the New World by the king, go back to the old country with a proposition about a vast new colony based at the end of Hudson's Bay. After all it was an Englishman named Henry Hudson who discovered the bay and was left to die there by mutineers.

Vincent Price who is Charles II is interested if he's brought proof of the riches. Sutton reunites with Gene Tierney and she persuades him to bring her brother along who is played by Morton Lowry and is a representative example of a Restoration fop. That causes trouble all around.

A lot of the criticism that Paul Muni is subjected to today is that he does ham it up on occasion. He certainly does so here, but if he didn't we'd have been left with one ponderous and dull film. Certainly if DeMille instead of Irving Pichel directed Hudson's Bay it would have moved as all DeMille films did. Whatever life Hudson's Bay has is what Muni breathed into it. I should also add that he and sidekick Laird Cregar are a delightful pair of rogues.

Hudson's Bay is a must for Paul Muni fans, I'm not sure how others will take to Hudson's Bay.


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