IMDb > Emperor of the North (1973)
Emperor of the North Pole
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Emperor of the North (1973) More at IMDbPro »Emperor of the North Pole (original title)

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Up 32% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Christopher Knopf (written by)
View company contact information for Emperor of the North on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 May 1973 (USA) See more »
Only one man can be ... "Emperor of the North Pole" See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(25 articles)
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User Reviews:
Best 'Bo movie ssince Beggars Of Life See more (70 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lee Marvin ... A No. 1

Ernest Borgnine ... Shack

Keith Carradine ... Cigaret

Charles Tyner ... Cracker

Malcolm Atterbury ... Hogger

Simon Oakland ... Policeman

Harry Caesar ... Coaly

Hal Baylor ... Yardman's Helper

Matt Clark ... Yardlet

Elisha Cook Jr. ... Gray Cat (as Elisha Cook)
Joe Di Reda ... Dinger (as Joe di Reda)
Liam Dunn ... Smile
Diane Dye ... Girl in Water

Robert Foulk ... Conductor
Jim Goodwin ... Fakir (as James Goodwin)
Raymond Guth ... Preacher (as Ray Guth)

Sid Haig ... Grease Tail
Karl Lukas ... Pokey Stiff
Edward McNally ... Yard Clerk

John Steadman ... Stew Bum

Vic Tayback ... Yardman

Dave Willock ... Groundhog
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Don Blackman ... Old Shine (uncredited)

Jack Collins ... Dispatcher (uncredited)
Richard Daughty ... The Cub (uncredited)
Bennie E. Dobbins ... Mechanic (uncredited)
Joe Haworth ... Ash Eater (uncredited)

Lance Henriksen ... Railroad worker (uncredited)
Harry Hickox ... Elder (uncredited)
Bern Hoffman ... Halfy (uncredited)
James Kingsley ... Machinist (uncredited)
George McFadden ... Prairie Special engineer (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Alkee Stiff (uncredited)
Hal John Norman ... Hobo (uncredited)
Danny 'Big Black' Rey ... Hobo (uncredited)
Wayne Sutherlin ... Gink (uncredited)
Forrest Wood ... Station agent (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Aldrich 
Writing credits
Christopher Knopf (written by)

Jack London  short story (uncredited)

Produced by
Stanley Hough .... producer (as Stan Hough)
Kenneth Hyman .... executive producer
Original Music by
Frank De Vol  (as Frank DeVol)
Cinematography by
Joseph F. Biroc (director of photography) (as Joseph Biroc)
Film Editing by
Michael Luciano 
Casting by
Jack Baur 
Art Direction by
Jack Martin Smith 
Set Decoration by
Raphael Bretton  (as Rafael Bretton)
Makeup Department
William Turner .... makeup artist
Production Management
Saul Wurtzel .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Malcolm R. Harding .... assistant director (as Malcolm Harding)
Michael D. Moore .... second unit director
Larry Powell .... second assistant director
Barry Steinberg .... second assistant director
Art Department
John La Salandra .... construction coordinator
Ygnacio Sepulveda .... property master
Maurice Larson .... painter (uncredited)
Stuart MacKenzie .... greensman (uncredited)
Tom Pedigo .... leadman (uncredited)
Dominick Williams .... prop assistant (uncredited)
Sound Department
William Hartman .... sound effects
Don Isaacs .... sound effects
Godfrey Marks .... dubbing dialogue editor
Richard Overton .... sound mixer
Edward Rossi .... sound effects
Theodore Soderberg .... re-recording mixer
Don S. Walden .... sound effects (as Don Walden)
Don Parker .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Howard Wilmarth .... boom operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Henry Millar Jr. .... special effects
Tom Fisher .... special effects (uncredited)
Jack Monroe .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... visual effects
Bennie E. Dobbins .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunt double: Ernest Borgnine (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
James Kingsley .... stunt double: Keith Carradine (uncredited)
Walter Scott .... stunt double: Lee Marvin (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe Jackman .... camera operator
Kenneth Peach Jr. .... camera operator (as Ken Peach Jr.)
Robert Bells .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Ray De La Motte .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Duggan .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Robert Duncan .... dolly grip (uncredited)
John Flanagan .... best boy (uncredited)
Don Gerrard .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Paul Gilbert .... generator operator (uncredited)
Orville Hallberg .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill Hannah .... gaffer (uncredited)
O.T. Henderson .... grip (uncredited)
Roy Hogstedt .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Edward Morey III .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Richter .... key grip (uncredited)
Phillip R. Sarabia .... second grip (uncredited)
Paul Schwake Jr. .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Orlando Suero .... still photographer (uncredited)
Joseph E. Thibo .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Woodside .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ed Wynigear .... wardrobe
Richard La Motte .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Frank Capacchione .... associate editor
Roland Gross .... associate editor
Willie Navarro .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver
Kelly Aldrich .... driver: camera car (uncredited)
Aram Betkijian .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Other crew
Walter Blake .... title designer
Dave Davies .... unit publicist
Howard Hohler .... script supervisor
Robert Sherman .... dialogue supervisor
Betty Berry .... production secretary (uncredited)
Ernie Fuentes .... first aid (uncredited)
Richard Menchaca .... craft service (uncredited)
Carl Skelton .... auditor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Emperor of the North Pole" - USA (original title)
See more »
118 min | 116 min (FMC Library Print)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1987) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1973) | Netherlands:16 | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (1973) | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video) | USA:PG | USA:TV-PG | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The movie's TV spot trailer declared that the picture was from the stars and makers of The Dirty Dozen (1967). This included director Robert Aldrich and actors Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine as well as editor Michael Luciano and producer Kenneth Hyman amongst two others.See more »
Revealing mistakes: In the scene where they guy climbs up on the water tower to write "A#1 to Portland....", you can hear a diesel engine idling in the background.See more »
A no. 1:Steers got horns, kid. You don't.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Escape from New York (1981)See more »
A Man and a TrainSee more »


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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Best 'Bo movie ssince Beggars Of Life, 22 October 2000
Author: vanwall from San Diego

When I first saw this movie, it was released as "Emperor of the North", although some of the early promos added "Pole' to the title. Since the top hobo of the old days was "Emperor of the North Pole", I assumed the studio wasn't sure if the average viewer would get the title. The literary character of A-number One, is based on a legendary hobo from the turn of the century, who was possibly real, as his graffiti 'A-1', or A-No-1, appeared regularly on water towers and bridges along the rails all over the USA. This film really gets the feel of a depression-era USA, and the conflict between Marvin and Borgnine is visceral and cunning, and the scene with the near-miss of the oncoming train has great tension. Carridine is great as a blowhard punk who might grow up to be something. This flick has an almost religious overtone of good versus evil. It also has a good feel for railroading, kinda like ""The Train"

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