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Alaska Highway (1943)

Approved | | Drama | 24 June 1943 (USA)
Pop Ormsby wins the contract from the Army Engineer Corps for the construction of the Alaska Highway connecting Alaska to Canada. The elder of his two sons, Woody Ormseby, decides he had ... See full summary »


Frank McDonald


Maxwell Shane (original screenplay), Lewis R. Foster (original screenplay)




Cast overview:
Richard Arlen ... Woody Ormsby
Jean Parker ... Ann Coswell
Ralph Sanford ... Frosty Gimble
William Henry ... Steve Ormsby (as Bill Henry)
Joe Sawyer ... Roughhouse
Eddie Quillan ... Pompadour 'Shorty' Jones
Jack Wegman Jack Wegman ... Sgt. Swithers
Harry Shannon ... John 'Pop' Ormsby
Edward Earle ... Blair Caswell
Keith Richards ... Hank Lincoln


Pop Ormsby wins the contract from the Army Engineer Corps for the construction of the Alaska Highway connecting Alaska to Canada. The elder of his two sons, Woody Ormseby, decides he had rather fight with bullets than bulldozers but is assigned by the Army to work on the project. Woody and his younger brother Steve are both rivals for the affection of Ann Caswell, the daughter of Road Engineer Blair Caswell. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Bullets vs. Bulldozers... On The Road That Stopped The Japs! See more »




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


In the movie, the crew traveled from the end of steel in Dawson Creek by truck to Fort Nelson, to start work on the highway. But to begin with, the road extended only 50 miles beyond Dawson Creek, to Fort St. John, some 250 miles short of Fort Nelson; so construction of the new road actually began at Fort St. John. See more »

Crazy Credits

(Opening dedication) For the U.S. Engineer Corps. -- the officers and men, who slashed the Alcan Highway through in time to protect our Alaskan outposts -- this picture is a token of respect and admiration. It had to be done -- and they did it! See more »


Ramblin' Wreck From Georgia Tech
Credit frames music
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User Reviews

Not completely terrible....
3 September 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When I watched "Alaska Highway" I had a reaction that many might not have. That's because as I watched the aging Richard Arlen muddle through this bad film, I couldn't help but think of him in his glory days when he was a leading man in GOOD films--such as the Oscar-winning "Wings" back in 1927. The years were not good to his career as by the mid-1930s onward, he appeared in mostly third-rate films by fourth-rate studios. Now instead of a handsome leading man, he was just another journeyman actor.

This is the sort of film they only made during WWII. It's a propaganda film designed to help boost the war morale as well as make a few bucks in the process. Its backdrop is the building of the Alaskan Highway, but it's really just another familiar love triangle flick. The Major is responsible for a group of engineers who are trying to get this road completed within six months. After all, it will help the US and Canada get soldiers and supplies to Alaska in order to fight the Japanese (yes, while it's not talked about much in history books, the Japanese did attack and even occupied portions of Alaska).

There is a monkey wrench, however, that gums up the works. The Major has two idiots for sons (Arlen and William Henry) who both have fallen for the same girl (cute Jean Parker--who I always thought looked a lot like Ann Sothern). Can these two knuckleheads set aside their hormones and machismo long enough to do their bit to help America rule supreme?! Will the Americans STILL manage to win the war? What do you think?! The film suffers from some bad writing (Parker's character is insane--or at least in the way she was written), bad dialog and is just not that interesting. You know it's not a very good movie when the comic relief (featuring the cruel but funny antics of Joe Sawyer) are by far the best thing about the film. Probably not worth your time. Watchable but nothing more.

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Release Date:

24 June 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Estrada da Vitória See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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