In 1896, Jeff Webster sees the start of the Klondike gold rush as a golden opportunity to make a fortune in beef, and woe betide anyone standing in his way. He drives a cattle herd from Wyoming to Seattle, by ship to Skagway, and (after a delay caused by larcenous town boss Gannon) through the mountains to Dawson. There, he and his partner Ben Tatum get into the gold business themselves. Two lovely women fall for misanthropic Jeff, but he believes in every-man-for-himself, turning his back on growing lawlessness, until it finally strikes home.Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of James Stewart's favorite stories of his film career concerned his horse, Pie, a sorrel stallion whom Stewart called, "One of the best co-stars I ever had." Pie appeared as Stewart's horse in seventeen Westerns, and Stewart developed a strong personal bond with the horse. Pie was very intelligent, Stewart recalled, and would often "act for the cameras when they were rolling. He was a ham of a horse." When shooting the climax of The Far Country (1954), the script called for Stewart's horse to walk down a dark street alone, with no rider in the saddle, to fool the bad guys who were waiting to ambush Stewart. Assistant Director John Sherwood asked Stewart if Pie would be able to do the scene. Stewart replied, "I'll talk to him." Just before the cameras rolled, Stewart took Pie aside and whispered to the horse for several minutes, giving him instructions for the scene. When Stewart let the horse go, Pie walked perfectly down the middle of the street, to his trainer who was waiting with a sugar cube just out of camera range. He did the scene in one take. After Pie died in 1970, Stewart arranged to have the horse buried at his California ranch. See more »
There were no gunslingers or shootouts in Dawson City during the Klondike gold rush. The Mounted Police were in the Yukon in large numbers and enforced the law very strictly. Dawson City during the Klondike gold rush was peaceful and not lawless as depicted in the movie. See more »
Mann/Stewart Western (actually, a Northern) shot in spectacular Jasper National Park, Alberta
RELEASED IN 1954 and directed by Anthony Mann, "The Far Country" stars Jimmy Stewart as a self-centered cattleman, Jeff Webster, who conflicts with a crooked, self-appointed lawman (John McIntire) while driving cattle through Skagway, Alaska, to Dawson during the 1896 Klondike gold rush. Ruth Roman plays a formidable woman he meets on the steamship, who unfortunately works for Gannon (McIntire). Walter Brennan plays Jeff's best friend while Corinne Calvet plays a tough foreign settler with romantic inclinations.
This was the fourth of five Westerns Mann did with Stewart. These were uncompromisingly harsh, psychological Westerns featuring themes of revenge, obsession, rage and redemption. They were spectacularly shot on location, rather than in the studio, providing a backdrop of authentic rugged beauty. This one was shot in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, with one episode involving Athabasca Glacier.
The opening sequence on the steamship is memorable for the way Jeff (Stewart) escapes ship authorities with the assistance of Ruth Roman's character. Roman is stalwart, stunning and surprisingly vivacious (for her role as a woman in the rough NW wilderness). Gannon (McIntire) is an interesting antagonist due to the way he joyfully basks in his power and overt corruption.
THE MOVIE RUNS 97 minutes. WRITER: Borden Chase. ADDITIONAL CAST: Jay C. Flippen, Harry Morgan and Jack Elam.
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