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River's End (1930)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, Western | 1 November 1930 (USA)
Sgt. Conniston and his alcoholic guide O'Toole are on the trail of an escaped murderer named Keith. When they catch up with him in the farthest reaches of Northern Canada, Keith turns out ... See full summary »


Michael Curtiz


James Oliver Curwood (based on the story by), Charles Kenyon (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Charles Bickford ... John Keith / Sgt. Conniston
Evalyn Knapp ... Miriam McDowell
J. Farrell MacDonald ... Pat O'Toole
Zasu Pitts ... Louise
Walter McGrail ... Sergeant Martin
David Torrence ... Inspector McDowell
Frank Coghlan Jr. ... Mickey O'Toole (as Junior Coghlan)
Tom Santschi ... Segeant Shotwell


Sgt. Conniston and his alcoholic guide O'Toole are on the trail of an escaped murderer named Keith. When they catch up with him in the farthest reaches of Northern Canada, Keith turns out to be a dead ringer for Conniston. On the way back, the sled overturns, Keith grabs the gun and leaves them to die in the snow. After second thoughts he comes back and brings them to safety at an RCMP emergency cabin. Conniston dies of a frozen lung. O'Toole becomes convinced of Keith's innocence and refuses to take him in. Instead he helps Keith disguise himself as Conniston to escape. Before he can do so, he is spotted by Mounties looking for Conniston and brought back to Conniston's fort. During the time Conniston was gone, it was discovered that Keith was innocent of the charges. Still Keith can't reveal his true identity for fear the Mounties will think he killed Conniston. Keith plans to keep up the charade only long enough to escape but Miriam, who Conniston had unsuccessfully pursued, is ... Written by Brian Cady <cadyb@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The HE-MAN of the HOUR! (Print Ad-Arcadia Journal, ((Arcadia, Calif.)) 18 January 1931)


Drama | Romance | Western








Release Date:

1 November 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Død eller Levende See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the ship's cabin, when both of Bickford's characters are smoking a pipe and playing cards on the opposite sides of the same table, the pipe smoke is cut off when it crosses the edge of the film where the two sides are spliced together. Likewise, when the cards are dealt, there is a delay between them being dealt and arriving on the other side of the table. It's obvious the two scenes were shot separately and spliced together. See more »


Version of The River's End (1920) See more »


Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played by a buglar at headquarters
See more »

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User Reviews

Pretty impressive for an early talkie
9 January 2012 | by marcslopeSee all my reviews

You can enjoy Charles Bickford in a rare (dual) leading role and watch Michael Curtiz learning to master talkies in this rugged melodrama, an improbability about a Mountie who gets his man and lives, though not for long, to regret it. Unusual for this period, it has refreshingly ambiguous morality -- the Mountie, outwardly such a mensch, turns out to have an interesting secret, and the bad guy turns out to be not bad at all. Add to that an appealing supporting cast, with vivacious, pretty Evalyn Knapp (she looks a little like Joan Blondell around the same time) and the excellent Junior Coughlan, a comparatively subtle kid actor who doesn't overdo cute, like Freddie Bartholomew, or grate the ears, like Jackie Cooper. Some of the art direction is forcedly unreal, almost Expressionist, and the ending's abrupt and unconvincing. But the snowy exteriors are vivid and believable, and Bickford's good enough to leave you wondering why he didn't attain leading-man status for a longer period.

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