After WW1, Zeb and Thor start a cannery business in Alaska but eventually they drift apart with Zeb becoming unscrupulous and Thor becoming involved in Alaskan politics.After WW1, Zeb and Thor start a cannery business in Alaska but eventually they drift apart with Zeb becoming unscrupulous and Thor becoming involved in Alaskan politics.After WW1, Zeb and Thor start a cannery business in Alaska but eventually they drift apart with Zeb becoming unscrupulous and Thor becoming involved in Alaskan politics.
My biggest complaint is actually the music. This is an odd thing to complain about, but throughout the movie incredibly loud and flamboyant music occurs in the most mundane moments! For example, when people are out catching salmon in fishing boats, you are assaulted by loud classical-style music! Again and again, the lousy musical score dominates and overwhelms. A lot of the time, it simply would have been better with no music instead of the brash music they used.
Secondly, no one in particular is very likable or interesting. At first, Richard Burton seems interesting and pretty likable, but soon he becomes and unreasoning money-crazed robot instead of a real human being. So, in effect, he's a caricature of a person--completely one-dimensional and fake. His kid and later grandkid MIGHT be interesting, but their characters really are never developed--they're more like a part of the set or a plot device. Despite Robert Ryan's character being a little less repellent and wooden, he isn't a BIG improvement, either. Of the three leads, Carolyn Jones probably comes off best.
Thirdly, George Takei (yes, from STAR TREK) plays the role of a very stereotypical Chinese lackey. Considering how broad and insulting the character was, I feel sorry for him having to take such a demeaning role. Plus, he's Japanese--this just isn't the same as Chinese! Why not get a real honest-to-goodness Chinese guy who can act like he's not an idiot to play the part?
Fourthly, I hated the scene involving the fight between Thor's son and the bear. In the distant shots it's obviously a real bear. But in the close shots it's also obviously a guy in a bear suit! It's so obvious that it looks like something you'd see in a 3 Stooges short, not an expensive epic.
And finally, the film is just uninteresting. The movie seemed like it was 4 hours long, but it wasn't. It's just that a guy making money by operating a fish cannery just isn't compelling.
So in conclusion, the movie stinks. It's BIG and SWEEPING and has some nice cinematography, but that's all!!!
- Feb 22, 2006