MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,148 this week

North to Alaska (1960)

 -  Comedy | Western  -  7 November 1960 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 4,130 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 21 critic

Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 5 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 29 Dec 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 30 Apr 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "North to Alaska" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: North to Alaska (1960)

North to Alaska (1960) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of North to Alaska.

User Polls

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

McLintock! (1963)
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

George Washington McLintock, "GW" to friends and foes alike, is a cattle baron and the richest man in the territory. He anxiously awaits the return of his daughter Becky who has been away ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Townsend Harris is sent by President Pierce to Japan to serve as the first U.S. Consul-General to that country. Harris discovers enormous hostility to foreigners, as well as the love of a ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: John Wayne, Eiko Ando, Sam Jaffe
Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
Big Jake (1971)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The McCandles ranch is run over by a gang of cutthroats led by the evil John Fain. They kidnap little Jacob McCandles and hold him for a million dollar ransom. There is only one man who is ... See full summary »

Directors: George Sherman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

American ne'er-do-well Joe January is hired to take Paul Bonnard on an expedition into the desert in search of treasure.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ranch owner Katie Elder's four sons determine to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer
Adventure | War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply centre. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John Wayne plays young Matt Matthews not Masters.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Betty Field, Harry Carey
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter attempt to break up a ring of Communist Party troublemakers in Hawaii (ignoring somewhat, as do their ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
The Sea Chase (1955)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

As World War II begins, German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany through a gantlet of Allied warships.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar
Tycoon (1947)
Romance | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Engineer Johnny Munroe is enlisted to build a railroad tunnel through a mountain to reach mines. His task is complicated, and his ethics are compromised, when he falls in love with his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Wayne, Laraine Day, Cedric Hardwicke
Blood Alley (1955)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A merchant marine captain, rescued from the Chinese Communists by local villagers, is "shanghaied" into transporting the whole village to Hong Kong on an ancient paddle steamer.

Directors: William A. Wellman, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Paul Fix
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
George Pratt
...
Frankie Canon
...
Billy Pratt
...
Angel
Mickey Shaughnessy ...
Peter Boggs
...
Lars Nordquist
Joe Sawyer ...
Land Commissioner
...
Lena Nordquist
...
Logger Judge
...
Breezy
Edit

Storyline

Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after trying to get George and Angel together, finally romances Angel, who, in the meantime, is busy fighting off the advances of George's younger brother, Billy. Frankie is a con man trying to steal the partner's gold claim. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In all the 50 states you won't find a fun-filled adventure like it! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Go North  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Years after the production was first shown in public, the producers of the film admitted that, in the scene where Capucine is trying to laugh, she was actually tickled on her feet and that her laughs and pleas for mercy were entirely genuine. See more »

Goofs

During the sequence when Sam and George are helping to defend the claim, you can see Mt. Whitney in the background which is in California. See more »

Quotes

Sam McCord: George, a wonderful thing about Alaska is that matrimony hasn't hit up here yet. Let's keep it a free country!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Shoot It in Lone Pine! (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bringing in the Sheaves
(uncredited)
Music by George A. Minor
Played by the Salvation Army Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wayne in easy going mood, still good entertainment
22 July 2003 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Hathaway's genial directing style, with its frequently rich mise-en-scene, seemed to suit Wayne's later career, and some of the films which resulted remain firm favourites today. Before the overrated True Grit (1969) and the underrated Sons of Katie Elder (1965) came this typically rumbustious piece. Wayne's first real foray into self-mocking comedy, North to Alaska is not as broad humoured as McLagen's McLintock! (1963) but still suffers from a degree of sexism which some modern viewers may find annoying, others just ironic. It is redeemed by being a very good natured film with a strong set of performances by the central cast, as well as some handsome production values.

It's interesting that the film opens as the all-important ‘strike', at least in a conventional sense, has already happened. Despite the future depredations of Frankie Canon (a well-cast Ernie Kovacs), Sam (Wayne) and George (Granger) will continue to enjoy their new-found wealth. Sam in particular seems to be perpetually well heeled, with a thick wad of the folding stuff always to hand. These two prospectors are now concerned with a second, more pressing ‘mother lode' - this time of the heart. The film is less about rich seams of ore than the veins of romance, with Sam, George and Billy (Fabian) each doing their own emotional ‘prospecting'. When Sam heads South to recover George's fiance, it turns out that he is being just as adventurous as leading a pack

Hathaway was brought into the project after Richard Fleischer's departure, and the finished result shows an interesting balance between the veteran's predictably sure touch as well as the improvisational nature of some of the filming. Wayne apparently thought of the film as being little more than a contractual affair, and the great success of the finished product was presumably a surprise. While some modern viewers may balk at the comedic sound effects added during the two big fight scenes, more reminiscent of Tom and Jerry than a Western, arguably Wayne's great ‘jealousy scene' is one of the greatest sustained moments of comedy in the actor's career. It seems likely that Hathaway recognised this during filming, as he dwells upon this enjoyable moment (George pretending to make out with Angel in the Honeymoon Hut while Sam fumes across the water) as long as possible, giving the scene amplification and timing which would have been impossible to write into a script.

Being respectively indifferent, enthusiastic, and besotted, in their own ways Sam, George and Billy each represent varying attitudes to women and romance. It's their continuing education in such matters that's at the heart of the film, and provides the principal interest. Far more so than the claim-jumping plot which, while it provides some dramatic excitement and degree of suspense, is actually of little consequence. (It provides an useful parallel, though, when George assumes that Sam has usurped his ‘claim' on his newly arrived fiance's affections.). Sam's change of heart is fittingly the most momentous - moving from the cynical "(The) wonderful thing about Alaska is that matrimony hasn't hit up here yet." to the grudging public announcement "I love you!" to Angel, and the wedding bells that surely follow. Billy's romantic naivite also undergoes a transformation of sorts, as he experiences his first strong crush then gentle, inevitable rejection. By the end he has to reconcile the ‘loss' of Angel with Sam's obvious happiness. George's radical transformation of outlook (despite his slightly underwritten role), in which he journeys from starry-eyed fiance, via outraged suitor to gleeful romantic conspirator, while demanded by the story, is far fetched in dramatic terms. Would a man really be that fickle, and then that forgiving, in such a short length of time?. One wishes that the script had allowed us to see more of his earlier anguish, perhaps while Sam was absent fetching his longed-for fiance home.

North to Alaska is divided into two halves, covering respectively Sam's sojurn down south, then his return to Nome, Angel in tow. The broad comedy of romantic embarrassment so characteristic of the film is contained in the second half. That this is the most enjoyable part is no coincidence. Removed from his eager beaver partner, and with an absence of any cutting-back to Alaska during these scenes, while Wayne and Cappucine work well as an acting couple, their characters Sam and Angel need more context than they get to be effective dramatically. Angel's initial rejection at the social by the lake, then her response, does suggest the self possession of her character, which acquires a calm strength of its own. Its an explicit dignity, rarely accorded the Western whore, (a memorable example, albeit posthumous, exists in Ford's The Sun Shines Bright (1953)), although there are bad girls enough in the genre who try to make good.

As the love-puppyish Billy supporting the Duke, Fabian instantly recalls Ricky Nelson in Rio Bravo (1959) as ‘Colorado'. An obvious sop to the emerging younger audience, such a character can sit uneasily with the elder statesmen in a genre where a man's world, for the time being anyway, was that of mature men. Recognising this in Rio Bravo, Chance (Wayne) goes out of his way to praise and assimilate the youth into his world. A year on, as North to Alaska proceeds, Billy is less assured as a character, thus easily dismissed by an overriding Wayne/Sam. The youngster is clearly out of his depth in the love-making contest - just as (one is tempted to add) Fabian the actor is sandwiched unsatisfactorily on screen, between a larger than life Wayne and the experienced Stewart Granger. Extracting what pathos there is from his one note character, especially in the long cabin dining scene with Angel, he manages a final, if understated reconciliation with the idea that Sam is the victor in love.

Its apt that Hathaway's ‘Alaska' was actually much closer to Hollywood (being filmed at Point Mugu, California). Ultimately it is a warm-hearted, forgiving film which just happens to be set in a cold place. Perhaps the humanity of a rare Western with few or no deaths on screen is what sustains its popularity. Or it could be because a genial Wayne was allowed to relax into a role so successfully. Either way, it is still revived frequently on TV and has just received a DVD release.


17 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Capucine cashmccall321
Sunlight in Alaska gotsoccer
Now showing on Encore Westerns Channel vickic531
Big white dog on North to Alaska? Mhiker
Nice 50's Pompadour there Fabian! parillamilt
North To Alaska nelsonagis
Discuss North to Alaska (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?