IMDb > Frontier Rangers (1959)

Frontier Rangers (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
1959 (USA) See more »
Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers hunt a French and Indian War spy. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Hatchet job made from old studio property See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)

Keith Larsen ... Major Robert Rogers (archive footage)

Buddy Ebsen ... Sergeant Hunk Marriner (archive footage)

Don Burnett ... Ensign Langdon Towne (archive footage)
Lisa Gaye ... Natula (archive footage)

Philip Tonge ... General Amherst (archive footage)

Larry Chance ... Black Wolf (archive footage)

Angie Dickinson ... Rose Carver (archive footage)

Pat Hogan ... Rivas (archive footage)

Lisa Davis ... Elizabeth Brannen (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Claude Akins ... Caleb Brandt (archive footage) (uncredited)
Jim Hayward ... Jonas, wounded settler (uncredited) (archive footage)

Charles Horvath ... Jake, Klagg Henchman (uncredited) (archive footage)

Emile Meyer ... Ben Klagg, Inn owner (uncredited) (archive footage)

Dale Van Sickel ... George, Klagg Henchman (uncredited) (archive footage)
Rebecca Welles ... Maureen Carver (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Williams ... Jed Parrott, Prisoner (uncredited) (archive footage)

Directed by
Jacques Tourneur 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gerald Drayson Adams  writer
Kenneth Roberts  novel

Produced by
Adrian Samish .... producer
Original Music by
Raoul Kraushaar 
Dave Kahn (uncredited)
Cinematography by
William W. Spencer 
Harold E. Wellman 
Film Editing by
Ira Heymann 
Frank Santillo 

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Sweden:83 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

From the "Northwest Passage" TV series.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: At the very beginning, as the native Americans run out of the woods, the safari pith helmet worn by one of the camera crew is visible at the lower right of the screen.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited from "Northwest Passage" (1958)See more »
Nothwest Passage BridgeSee more »


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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Hatchet job made from old studio property, 19 November 2005
Author: max von meyerling from New York

The lack of 'scope (in more ways than one) betrays the TV origins of this film. Though mainly shot in a studio or on the back lot, brief sequences shot on location recall the classic version of LAST OF THE MOHEGANS (1920) by Jacques Tourneur's father Maurice. Though its from the same source novel as the attenuated 1940 epic, the euphonious NORTHWEST PASSAGE starring Spencer Tracy, it bares more resemblance to the High Tide of the TV western's tsunami of the late 50s and early 60s. They were photographed on sound stages with mercilessly bright overhead lighting, the lead actor (Kieth Larson) is the type of chiseled profile hunk that men who control such things think women will fancy (no stupid, not Gardner McKay but Dustin Hoffman. Are you crazy?) but only appeal to pre-teen boys. His sidekick is Buddy Ebson, late of playing the sidekick to Fess Parker's Davy Crockett in a series of sensationally popular TV movies for Disney. This represented a major re-branding of Ebson's career from being a song and dance man. His career would shortly enter a new phase as Jed Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies. As they say, sometimes good casting can overcome mediocre writing. But not here.

Tourneur is operating at a different level than his true features. One cameraman he worked with complimented once him as a true artist because he made a new set-up for every shot. Not so here. Of course being re-edited from a TV series, the structure is highly episodic, with each new setting a completely different set of supporting actors appear, never to re-appear. There is one location, where the canoe would be beached in scene after scene after scene, which was merely a set on the back lot beside the studio tank which would have to be redressed to pass it off as yet another place, sometimes quite remarkably well done.

Northwest Passage is not among my favorite pictures but place it side by side with Frontier Rangers and its an object lesson in not only the aesthetic results of severely constraining the budget, but the very one dimensional output of a film due to the limited and constricted imaginations of those who planned to make this stuff in the first place. All very professional so it doesn't resemble a movie which is bad because of incompetence. Here the badness is inherent just because of meanness, cynicism and expediency. It calls to mind Sam Goldwyn's warning to the film industry when TV first arrived- Who's gonna want to go out to a theater and pay to see a bad movie when they can stay home and see a bad movie for free. This is a bad movie.

And oh, this film has the second worst song to appear in any film made in the twentieth century. The theme song is over-the-top terrible made even more remarkable in that it is a product of the first rate, hall of fame even, song writing team of Dietz and Schwartz. It is excrementally bad and for fans of the extreme its a must-not-miss. "Make way for Rangers/Tomahawk, tomahawk here we come". (The dreadful background music was by the incredibly prolific hack Raoul Kraushaar).

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