7.1/10
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Northwest Passage (1940)

'Northwest Passage' (Book I -- Rogers' Rangers) (original title)
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Langdon Towne and Hunk Marriner join Major Rogers' Rangers as they wipe out an Indian village. They set out for Fort Wentworth, but when they arrive they find no soldiers and none of the supplies they expected.

Directors:

King Vidor, Jack Conway (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Laurence Stallings (screenplay), Talbot Jennings (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Major Richard Rogers
Robert Young ... Langdon Towne
Walter Brennan ... 'Hunk' Marriner
Ruth Hussey ... Elizabeth Browne
Nat Pendleton ... 'Cap' Huff
Louis Hector Louis Hector ... Reverend Browne
Robert Barrat ... Humphrey Towne
Lumsden Hare ... Lord Amherst
Donald MacBride ... Sergeant McNott
Isabel Jewell ... Jennie Coit
Douglas Walton ... Lieutenant Avery
Addison Richards ... Lieutenant Crofton
Hugh Sothern ... Jesse Beacham
Regis Toomey ... Webster
Montagu Love ... Wiseman Clagett
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Storyline

Based on the Kenneth Roberts novel of the same name, this film tells the story of two friends who join Rogers' Rangers, as the legendary elite force engages the enemy during the French and Indian War. The film focuses on their famous raid at Fort St. Francis and their marches before and after the battle. Written by Dale Roloff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Half Men - Half Demons . . . Warriors Such As The World Has Never Known . . . They Lived With Death and Danger For The Women Who Hungered For Their Love ! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Northwest Passage See more »

Filming Locations:

Cascade Mountains, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,677,762 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,169,000, 31 December 1940

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,150,000, 31 December 1940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Bible passage that Rogers quotes "The voice of him who crieth in the wilderness... " is from Isaiah 40:3. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, Langdon Towne and "Cap" Huff talk to "Hunk" Marriner, who is in stocks; at one point the sound of an airplane engine overhead is clearly audible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: This is a story of our early America... of the century of conflict with the French and Indians... when necessity made simple men, unknown to history, into giants in daring and endurance. It begins in Portsmouth New Hampshire, in 1759...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From the Ends of the Earth (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Hills and Far Away
(uncredited)
Traditional
Heard as a theme at the start, and sung by the Rangers as they march off at the end.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of King Vidor's best!
12 May 2003 | by IlyaMauterSee all my reviews

Northwest Passage is based on a novel of the same name by Kenneth Roberts, in fact it is an adaptation of its first part The Roger's Rangers, the second part was also originally planned to be filmed by King Vidor, but MGM dropped the project fearing the costs involved. As a consequence only the first part of the novel was brought to the screen where passage through the northwest never actually happens but only is talked about.

The story is centred on Major Robert Rogers (Spencer Tracy) and his rangers who take a dangerous and adventurous journey through the territory controlled by the Indians and the French troops in 18th century America in order to destroy a hostile Indian village from where English settlements are constantly being attacked.

Right in the beginning the rangers are joined by right out of Harvard idealistic young cartographer Langdon Towne (Robert Young) who is dreaming of becoming a great painter `like Velasquez or Rubens' and is enthusiastic about the journey because of possibility it offers to paint portraits of Indians and landscapes in contrast with the other rangers who are mainly driven by yearning of revenge for relatives murdered during Indian raids.

Northwest Passage is possibly the best and the most visually impressive King Vidor's adventure film. Breathtakingly beautiful landscapes shown here certainly stand out as the most wonderful even among King Vidor's work who was well known for beautiful Technicolor exteriors in his movies. A beautiful film, definitely worth watching. 8/10


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