7.4/10
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70 user 40 critic

Emperor of the North (1973)

Emperor of the North Pole (original title)
In 1933, during the Depression, Shack the brutal conductor of the number 19 train has a personal vendetta against the best train hopping hobo tramp in the Northwest, A No. 1.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Cracker
...
Hogger
...
Policeman
...
Coaly
...
Yardman's Helper
...
Yardlet
...
Gray Cat (as Elisha Cook)
Joe Di Reda ...
Dinger (as Joe di Reda)
Liam Dunn ...
Smile
Diane Dye ...
Girl in Water
...
Conductor
Jim Goodwin ...
Fakir (as James Goodwin)
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Storyline

It is during the great depression in the US, and the land is full of people who are now homeless. Those people, commonly called "hobos", are truly hated by Shack (Borgnine), a sadistical railway conductor who swore that no hobo will ride his train for free. Well, no-one but "A" Number One (Lee Marvin), who is ready to put his life at stake to become a local legend - as the first person who survived the trip on Shack's notorious train. Written by Brian Peterson calyooper@email.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only way to win is to stay alive. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Emperor of the North  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,705,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to a joke among hobos during the Great Depression that the world's best hobo was Emperor of the North Pole, a way of poking fun at their own desperate situation since somebody ruling over the North Pole would be ruling over a wasteland. See more »

Goofs

After A-No.1 trips the brakes on the train near the end of the film, Shack tries to get it going again by pushing forward the Johnson Bar and pulling back the throttle. Immediately after he does this, he grabs the Hogger and throws him into his seat, telling him to get the train going. The Hogger pushes forward the Johnson Bar and pulls back on the throttle again, them having magically returned to their previous positions. See more »

Quotes

Coaly: Hey Captain!
Shack: God Dammit!
Coaly: Boy, he's gonna be a mean son of a bitch now!
Hogger: What was he before?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Paranoid Park (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man and a Train
Lyrics by Hal David
Music by Frank De Vol
Sung by Marty Robbins
See more »

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User Reviews

This is a man's movie: ugly, violent, and pessimistic...it's great!
21 October 2004 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This movie scared the hell out of me when I was little, mostly because I'd never seen an evil Ernest Borgnine. With his fierce eyes, maniacal laugh, and drop-forged fists, he commands every scene with a demonic self-assurance. You have to see this movie just to see Borgnine, he's perfect as the railway conductor. He's like a violent gorilla in a conductor suit. Lee Marvin as Number One mumbles his way through the movie with an impressive vocabulary and intelligence that belies his appearance. He wanders about waxing philosophical about the state of the world, the battle between good and evil, and his place in the grand scheme of things. Keith Carradine wouldn't have been my choice for the role of the young kid, he just wasn't very convincing and some of his lines come off a bit forced and awkward. One of the other reviewers mentioned the photography, and I'm left wondering how they got some of the shots, especially considering the movie was made thirty years ago with gigantic, bulky cameras. There are scenes where the train is way out in the middle of nowhere and the camera is actually pacing the train and the action that happens on it; great photography. This is a very good film and worthy of all the praise it gets from the other reviews.


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