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An engrossing depiction of life in the NWT in the early 1900's
"Mrs. Mike" is a better than average early Hollywood depiction of life in Canada's far north. Life in the North-West Territories in the early 1900's had moments of great beauty but was for the most part, harsh and cruel. The film captured the essence of this without resorting to standard stereotypes. There isn't a single manhunt of the "a Mountie always gets his man" variety in the whole plot. Most of the characters managed to portray depth and an insight into their difficult lives.
Evelyn Keyes shines as the Boston-born wife of a Mountie in Canada's remote North-West Territories. While trying to live as a loving, dedicated wife, she struggles with the lack of comforts and the dangers in a frontier existence, and ultimately, her own self-doubts.
Dick Powell's manner would suit him more easily in the big city, but he passes as a stoic never-say-die Mountie. He provides a stable base in the film, and is the narrator of the story, but his performance has to take second place to Miss Keyes as "Mrs. Mike".
By present day standards, the native characters are not politically correct with their broken English and simplistic presentations. For 1940's Hollywood, they are given a bit more opportunity to show some humor and dignity, and that they are human beings as well. The gentle performance by Ro Mere Darling as Mrs. Henderson, the native wife of Trader Henderson, attempts to break through the pre-conceived ideas of most of the movie audience, both in the 1940's and sadly, of many today.
This movie is definitely worth watching for simple good entertainment, and a glimpse at a lost way of life.
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