7.1/10
2,676
43 user 15 critic

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
...
Humphrey Towne
...
Lord Amherst
...
Sergeant McNott
...
Jennie Coit
...
Lieutenant Avery
...
Lieutenant Crofton
...
Jesse Beacham
...
Webster
...
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:

Half Men - Half Demons . . . Warriors Such As The World Has Never Known . . . They Lived With Death and Danger For The Women Who Hungered For Their Love ! 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The subtitle "Book One: Rogers' Rangers" shows that MGM and King Vidor intended to complete the story in a second film which was never made due to lengthy production obstacles which plagued this film. This explains why the characters never actually make it to the Northwest Passage. See more »

Goofs

During the attack on St. Francis, some of the bayonets on the Ranger's rifles can be seen wobbling, indicating they are made of rubber. 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

Referenced in I Love You Again (1940) 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

 
Why a sequel was never made
3 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you read the following thread of comments you will find much speculation as to why a sequel was not made of the movie, Northwest Passage. It's a great book, historically quite accurate so much so that the first edition actually includes Rogers' Orders to attack the Abanaki village on the St. Francois (Saint Francis) river. The sequel would have been an acting tour-de-force for Spencer Tracy as it would have chronicled the deterioration of a great man, mostly through his constantly being distracted from organizing an expedition to discover the fabled Northwest Passage.

Why no sequel was made is explained by Spencer Tracy in his memoirs. He spends a few paragraphs relating how difficult a shoot it was, on location in northeastern Washington State. Tracy spent days and days partially submerged in half freezing water; battling insects and discomfort reminiscent of Rogers own trek before and after the sack of St. Francis. The director, King Vidor, was a harsh task master. That is obvious from the tremendous movie that resulted of the hard labor conditions of its making. However, during the production Tracy came to loath Vidor and swore he would never work with that director again. And, he never did. Hence, no Northwest Passage Part II was ever made.


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