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Northwest Passage (1940)

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

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Elizabeth Browne
...
'Cap' Huff
Louis Hector ...
Reverend Browne
Robert Barrat ...
Humphrey Towne
Lumsden Hare ...
Lord Amherst
Donald MacBride ...
Sergeant McNott
...
Jennie Coit
Douglas Walton ...
Lieutenant Avery
Addison Richards ...
Lieutenant 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

Taglines:

MIGHTY DRAMA OF THE SAVAGE FRONTIER! (original print ad - all caps) 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

Production Co:

 »
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

According to historical accounts, 204 Roger's Rangers left for St. Francis and 100 survived to return home. See more »

Goofs

In the speech that Rogers gives to his men to explain where they are going, near the beginning of the film; he is holding a staff that is above his head by almost two feet. When the scene changes to a close up the staff is now held differently and is well below the height of his shoulders. 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

Featured in Challenge the Wilderness (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Hills and Far Away
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard as a theme at the start, and sung by the Rangers as they march off at the end.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bloody and spectacular raid by Rogers' Rangers against Indians in hostile territory
19 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

Exciting picture with open-air spectacular scenes starts depicting in a foreword : ¨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 on Potmouth New Hampshire in 1759...¨ This Technicolor MGM classical describing the troop of Rogers' Rangers battling the hostile Indians and wilderness. The historical novel Northwest Passage (1937), by American author Kenneth Roberts, portrayed the events of Rogers' Rangers' raid on the Abenaki town of St. Francis. The first half of the novel was adapted in this film by Talbot Jennings and Laurence Stallings , being lavishly produced and uncomprimisingly directed by King Vidor . It actually intents to be the first of a two-part epic but the second half was never realized and the Northwest passage itself is never seen. The picture is packed with spectacular battles, heroism , heartbreaking scenes and blood-letting deeds . The main cast ans secondary support give good performances with special mention to Spencer Tracy , Walter Brennan and Robert Young. It contains marvelously photographed in glimmer Technicolor by Henry Jaffa and adequate musical score by Herbert Stothart. This is a winner for Spencer Tracy fans.

The story is based on real events , these are the following : During 1759, the Rangers were involved in one of their most famous operations: they were ordered to destroy the Abenaki settlement of Saint-Francis in Quebec. It has been the base for raids and attacks of British settlements. Rogers led a force of 200 rangers from Crown Point deep into French territory. Following the October 3, 1759 attack and successful destruction of Saint-Francis, Rogers' force ran out of food during their retreat through the wilderness of northern Vermont. Once the Rangers reached a safe location along the Connecticut River at the abandoned Fort Wentworth, Rogers left them encamped. He returned a few days later with food, and relief forces from Fort at Number 4 now Charlestown, New Hampshire, the nearest English town.In the raid on Saint-Francis, Rogers claimed 200 enemies were killed, leaving 20 women and children to be taken prisoner, of whom he took five children prisoner and let the rest go . The French recorded that only 30 were killed, including 20 women and children. According to Francis Parkman Ranger casualties in the attack were 1 killed and 6 wounded; however in the retreat, 5 were captured from one band of Rangers and nearly all in another party of about 20 Rangers were killed or captured. One source alleges that of about 204 Rangers, allies and observers, only about 100 returned.


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