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Northwest Passage (1940)
"'Northwest Passage' (Book I -- Rogers' Rangers)" (original title)

Passed  -  Adventure | Drama | History  -  23 February 1940 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,185 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 13 critic

Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 13 more credits »
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Title: Northwest Passage (1940)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Langdon Towne
...
...
Elizabeth Browne
...
'Cap' Huff
Louis Hector ...
Rev. Browne
Robert Barrat ...
Humphrey Towne
Lumsden Hare ...
Lord Amherst
Donald MacBride ...
Sgt. McNott
...
Jennie Coit
Douglas Walton ...
Lt. Avery
Addison Richards ...
Lt. Crofton
Hugh Sothern ...
Jesse Beacham
...
Webster
Montagu Love ...
Wiseman Clagett
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Storyline

Based on the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name, this film tells the story of two friends who join Rogers' Rangers, as the legendary elite force engages the enemy during the French and Indian War. The film focuses on their famous raid at Fort St. Francis and their marches before and after the battle. Written by Dale Roloff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ranger | fort | soldier | military | village | See more »

Taglines:

The Big Picture that was made in our own Pacific Northwest See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Northwest Passage  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,677,762 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The most demanding scene for the actors involved the filming of the "human chain" employed by the Rangers to cross a treacherous river. The actors themselves had to do the shots without the benefit of stunt doubles. The sequence was begun at Payette Lake in Idaho but had to be completed in the studio tank because the lake was far too dangerous. For Spencer Tracy, who once complained that the physical labors required of actors "wouldn't tax an embryo," it was his most difficult shoot to that point, surpassing even the taxing ocean scenes of his Oscar-winning Captains Courageous (1937). See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Langdon Towne and "Cap" Huff talk to "Hunk" Marriner, who is in stocks; at one point the sound of an airplane engine overhead is clearly audible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: This is a story of our early America... of the century of conflict with the French and Indians... when necessity made simple men, unknown to history, into giants in daring and endurance. It begins in Portsmouth New Hampshire, in 1759...
See more »

Connections

Remade as Fury River (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(1780?) (uncredited)
Music by R. Melish
Lyrics by Ben Jonson (in poem To Celia) (1616)
Sung a cappella by Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Rogers And His Jolly Green Rangers.
17 August 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Northwest Passage is directed by King Vidor and adapted to screenplay by Laurence Stallings and Talbot Jennings from the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name. It stars Spencer Tracy, Robert Young and Walter Brennan. Music is by Herbert Stothart and cinematography by William V. Skall and Sidney Wagner.

"This is a story of our early America….of the century of conflict with French and Indians….when necessity made simple men, unknown to history, into giants in daring and endurance. It begins in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in 1759…."

Hurrah! What with the film having a reputation as one of the greatest adventure films of all time, that opening salvo for Vidor's movie doubly whets the appetite.What follows is more a case of a visually great picture, dotted with action, that is more about actual heroes than heroic deeds. Certainly the first hour of the picture leans more towards the slow burn than anything raising the pulse. However, characters are well drawn by Vidor and his team, with quality performances to match from the leads, and when the action dose come, such as the excellent battle at the Abenaki village, they more than pay back the patience of the viewer. We need to be forgiving for the overtly racist fervour that permeates the plot, so instead just rejoice in men triumphing over many obstacles, both of the mind and the body. 7/10


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Northwest Passage, Starring Spencer Tracy, 1940 Rhythmjohn
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