7.0/10
6,264
54 user 37 critic

North to Alaska (1960)

During the Alaska gold rush, prospector George sends partner Sam to Seattle to bring his fiancée but when it turns out that she married another man, Sam returns with a pretty substitute, the hostess of the Henhouse dance hall.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

John Lee Mahin (screenplay), Martin Rackin (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Sam McCord
Stewart Granger ... George Pratt
Ernie Kovacs ... Frankie Canon
Fabian ... Billy Pratt
Capucine ... Michelle Bonet - aka Angel
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Peter Boggs
Karl Swenson ... Lars Nordquist
Joe Sawyer ... Land Commissioner
Kathleen Freeman ... Lena Nordquist
John Qualen ... Logger Judge
Stanley Adams ... Breezy
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Storyline

Sam and George strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiancée back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel. Sam, after trying to get George and Angel together, finally romances Angel, who, in the meantime, is busy fighting off the advances of George's younger brother, Billy. Frankie is a con man trying to steal the partners' gold claim.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

These were the adventures . . . fighting, laughing and brawling their way from Seattle to Nome! [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 December 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Alaskans See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At one point this was envisaged as a re-teaming for John Wayne and Dean Martin after their huge success with Rio Bravo (1959), and with Howard Hawks back to direct. See more »

Goofs

Censor Fail: Angel is taking a bath in the cabin leans forward her nipple is clearly exposed twice. See more »

Quotes

Billy Pratt: Sam, do you think George is keeping her over there, you know, against her will?
Sam McCord: Oh, sure! You can hear her screamin' for help, can't ya?
Billy Pratt: Gosh, I just don't understand Michelle...
Sam McCord: There's one thing you gotta learn about women. They're all liars. And if they ain't liars, they're worse, laying for you with wedding music. Take that little dame from Oregon. All I was doing was tying her shoe laces and she starts beating me over the head with a preacher. Or that little thing from Minnesota, who tried...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: NOME, 1900 See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: John Wayne (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

When the Saints Go Marching In
(uncredited)
Music by James Milton Black
Played by the Salvation Army Band
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
All Kinds of Claim Jumping
21 May 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Stewart Granger in his memoirs said he was very glad to receive the role of George Pratt when he did and was always grateful to John Wayne who got him cast in the part. He had just left MGM and offers were not piling up. Granger's career was in a transitional stage and he would soon take off for Europe and all kinds of spaghetti westerns. Right at that point he needed a paycheck.

Granger and Fabian play the brothers Pratt, George and Billy and John Wayne is their partner Sam McCord in a gold claim that's just hit it big. He's got to buy mining equipment in Seattle and Pratt's fiancé Jennie is there too. Wayne's to bring back both the equipment and Jennie.

But Jennie has off and got herself married. So Wayne in a moment of alcoholic brilliance spots another girl with a French accent in a pleasure palace called the Birdcage and decided to take her back to Alaska for Granger. She's played by Capucine. But things don't quite work out.

Of course there's another kind of claim jumping going on led by no-good cynical gambler Ernie Kovacs. All kinds of problems for the McCord-Pratt partnership.

If you like your comedy broad and unsophisticated North to Alaska is your kind of film. The Duke has some of his funniest screen moments in this film. There's a whole routine with Granger and Capucine trying to make Wayne jealous and with Fabian serving as a straight man to Wayne, it's a pretty funny bit of business. Wayne's facial expressions are alone worth seeing the movie.

John Wayne was always shrewd in marketing his films and he sought to woo a younger audience by having current teenage idols in his films around that time. He had Ricky Nelson in Rio Bravo and Frankie Avalon in The Alamo and now Fabian in North to Alaska.

I saw an interview with Fabian some years ago where he said Wayne was a formidable presence on the set of his film. He was great when you got to know him and he accepted you. But you did things his way or it was the highway, no questions asked.

Fabian has some moments too as a 17 year old whose hormones get going at the sight of Capucine. He sings a song in the film, If You Only Knew. But the real song hit is the title tune sung by Johnny Horton over the title. It was a big hit for Horton in his short and tragic career. Frankie Laine also sold a few platters with this song.

If your taste is sophisticated drawing room comedy, this ain't your film. But fans of the eternal Duke will love it.


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