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Northwest Rangers (1942)

Boyhood friends grow up into different professions, one a dedicated Royal Canadian Mountie, the other a notorious if well liked gambler.


(as Joe Newman)


(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
... Frank 'Blackie' Marshall
... James Kevin Gardiner
... Jean Avery
... Martin Caswell
... Duncan Frazier
... 'Slip' O'Mara
... Fowler
... 'Blackie' - as a Boy
Drew Roddy ... Jim - as a Boy


Boyhood friends grow up into different professions, one a dedicated Royal Canadian Mountie, the other a notorious if well liked gambler.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DANCE HALL GIRLS! GAMBLERS! GUN-BLAZING ACTION! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | History | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 December 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gambler's Choice  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


An ending similar to Manhattan Melodrama (1934) (the film on which this movie was based) was written and filmed, but was discarded before the first press preview. It consisted of trial and execution sequences, and casting lists had actors with their character names as follows: George M. Carleton (Bailiff), Howard C. Hickman (Judge), Emmett Vogan (Jury Foreman), James Millican (Warden), Russell Hicks (High Commissioner), William Tannen (Guard), Roy Barcroft (Guard), Herbert Heyes (Guard), Patrick McVey (Guard), Leigh Sterling (Guard), Hooper Atchley (Juror), Howard M. Mitchell (Juror), Dick Rush (Juror) and Murdock MacQuarrie (Juror). See more »


'Slip' O'Mara: [Slip shows the gamblers their roulette wheel has been rigged] Caswell's been pickin' you all as cleaner than an Armenian can pick a fried hen!
See more »


Remake of Manhattan Melodrama (1934) See more »


The Little Brown Jug
(1869) (uncredited)
Written by Joseph Winner
Played on piano in the Topaz
See more »

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User Reviews

John Carradine steals another one
18 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

1942's "Northwest Rangers" was MGM's streamlined 'B' remake of their own "Manhattan Melodrama," with James Craig suitably cast as Clark Gable's Blackie, but William Lundigan a woeful replacement in the William Powell good guy part. The 1934 original ran a full 93 minutes, this programmer a meager 64, but its predictability is really an asset, the boyhood friends Jim and Blackie orphaned by an Indian attack, subsequently reared by dedicated Mountie Duncan Frazier (Jack Holt), who proves unable to curb Blackie's gambling ways, while inspiring Jim to follow in his law abiding footsteps. Best of all is John Carradine, cast in typical villainous mode as Martin Caswell, owner of notorious gambling den The Topaz, who makes the mistake of humiliating the young Blackie at the roulette wheel, only to have the adult Blackie return years later to claim The Topaz for his own by denying Caswell his cheating ways. Carradine's scene stealing work keep things from getting dull, though they do slow to a crawl whenever he's offscreen (the best 'honest' hand wins!). In only his third feature film, Keenan Wynn does very well as Blackie's fast talking accomplice, but leading lady Patricia Dane proves to be no match for Myrna Loy, quickly returning to obscurity after Abbott and Costello's "Rio Rita." Among the unbilled extras are several faces familiar on television decades later- Jim Davis (as a Mountie sharing a scene with Jack Holt), Hugh (LEAVE IT TO BEAVER) Beaumont (a Mountie opposite William Lundigan), and perennial Jewish mother Kay Medford, unaccountably young and pretty as the showgirl that first greets Blackie upon his return to The Topaz (she calls him 'Cookie!'). Carradine would later star opposite James Craig in 1969's "Bigfoot," and with Darryl Hickman, former co-star in "The Grapes of Wrath" (as the youngest Joad, Winfield), in a 1959 GUNSMOKE, "Target," cast as father and son.

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