Both living in New York City, successful artist Phillip Gayley, most renowned for his series of Gayley Girls (swimsuit models in evocative poses), and Ellen Gayley, a one time Gayley Girl, ... See full summary »
Canadian Mountie Steve Wagner captures a German Luftwaffe officer on a spy mission, who later escapes from the prison camp. To catch the spy ring, the Mounties employ a ruse so that the spies, believing Steve to be sympathetic, enlist him in their plans.Written by
Diana Hamilton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the written order for the German prisoners Wagner gives the Mounties, the date given is August, 1943. But the terrain is covered in deep snow and the temperatures are below freezing. Even in northern Canada, such conditions would not prevail in August. See more »
Colonel Hugo von Keller:
You should know, Wagner, how determined we Nazis are! We've known for a long time what we've wanted, and we're prepared to take it.
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Errol Flynn was a fascinating screen presence. Just look at how many books have been written about him including a couple he wrote himself. I found a good dozen on Amazon before I stopped counting. Some well-known actors and filmmakers often have only one biography or even none at all.
"Northern Pursuit" isn't the best of his movies, but it is Flynn at his best. He looks in great shape despite the fact that he had a dicky ticker, a bad back, tuberculosis, a couple of exotic diseases picked up along the way and a liver that was in more danger of destruction than any target of the Nazis in the film.
Set in Canada during WW2, Errol plays Steve Wagner, a Royal Canadian Mountie of German Ancestry whose loyalty is questioned when he comes across Nazi secret agents who are planning to bomb a canal that is critical to the Allied war effort.
Although the story feels cobbled together, the film looks good. Most of it was shot on the sound stage and no doubt a great deal of talcum powder and papier mache was employed, but the sequence where a U-Boat breaks through the ice and scenes such as the avalanche are brilliantly staged.
However the stars make the film. Although Errol was rarely upstaged, Helmut Dantine was Warner's go-to Nazi guy during the war years. He plays Colonel Hugo von Keller in this film. The reason why Dantine was more effective than many screen Nazis at the time was the degree of intelligence with which he approached his roles. He was no off-the-rack, monocled Nazi stereotype, he came across as vigorous, smart and fanatical; a formidable enemy, he was also good looking and often got the best lines.
If you like the stars, and Flynn was absolutely unique, then there is much to enjoy here. In fact the film was a bit of a turning point for him- he even got a laugh with an in-joke at the end alluding to his recent acquittal on rape charges. From that point on he went along with the joke about his sexual prowess although those who knew him felt that it hurt his desire to be taken seriously as an actor.
Finally, for anyone with a sense of history, "Northern Pursuit" is a fascinating insight into what audiences were watching during the war even if they took it all with a generous pinch of salt.
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