The owner of a salmon cannery in Alaska hires a man who had formerly been his partner, and comes to regret it.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Kelly
Nicky Jackson
Jim Kimmerly
Verne Williams
Richard Shannon ...
Tom Erickson
Ralph Dumke ...
Dad Jackson
Ross Bagdasarian ...
Joe, Jim's crewman
Fay Roope ...
Captain Walt Davis
Greco - French crewman
Jim Hayward ...
The Knifer
The Silversmith
Anthony Numkena ...
Andy - Indian Boy
Richard Kipling ...
The Croupier


Robert Ryan and Brian Keith, vastly under-rated actors, take a B-potboiler and make it appear to actually be something more. Matt Baker, a ne'er-do-well adventurer, gets out of jail and skips/sails away on his boat without paying for the storage and repairs. Back in his hometown, he is hired by his old friend Jim Kimmerly, head of the Salmon fishermen who have formed a canning cooperative, and are battling against an organized gang that rob the fishing traps regularly. Matt gets into a jam and needs money, so he joins the raiders, although his friend Jim, unaware of his duplicity, keeps covering for him among the other fishermen. The two men are also vying for the favors of Nicky. Written by Les Adams <>

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Release Date:

27 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Weißer Tod in Alaska  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of Spawn of the North (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

He-Man Action
12 March 2016 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Salmon fishermen in Alaska vie for dominance using both fair means and foul. Rivalry intensifies as two of the leaders compete for the same girl.

Well-mounted Paramount production. No locations are cited by IMDb, suggesting the Alaskan background resulted from a studio tank, stock shots, and process photography. If so, the effect is very well done. I guess you could call this a "he-man" picture —it's Ryan at his rangiest, Keith at his brawniest, with plenty of action in the last half. But look how they've dolled-up Sterling. Her Nicky is very respectable looking, and a distance from Sterling's usual cheap, sassy blonde. Naturally the boys fight over her, which is not surprising since I think she's the only woman appearing on screen.

Unfortunately, Ryan sacrifices his unique talent for tortured sensitivity to the needs of an action picture. Frankly, his is a "wobbly compass" role a hundred less talented actors could have done. Too bad too that real-life eccentric Timothy Carey (Wycoff) had yet to show his riveting brand of menace on screen. That would emerge in Kubrick's 1956 classic The Killing. Also, can't help noticing blacklisted screenwriter Dan Mainwaring (Invasion of the Body Snatchers {1956}) had a hand here. I expect the notion of a collectively owned cooperative as a solution to cut-throat competition was his idea.

All in all, it's an entertaining film, mainly for guys. But I have to admit that even as a big salmon eater, I was disturbed by stock footage of masses of salmon struggling to stay alive inside the massive nets. I guess that says something about the adage of it being better not to know where your food comes from.

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