7.4/10
4,937
73 user 46 critic

Emperor of the North (1973)

Emperor of the North Pole (original title)
In 1933, during the Depression, Shack the brutal conductor of the number 19 train has a personal vendetta against the best train hopping hobo tramp in the Northwest, A No. 1.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... A No. 1
... Shack
... Cigaret
... Cracker
... Hogger
... Policeman
... Coaly
... Yardman's Helper
... Yardlet
... Gray Cat (as Elisha Cook)
Joe Di Reda ... Dinger (as Joe di Reda)
Liam Dunn ... Smile
Diane Dye ... Girl in Water
... Conductor
Jim Goodwin ... Fakir (as James Goodwin)
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Storyline

It is during the great depression in the US, and the land is full of people who are now homeless. Those people, commonly called "hobos", are truly hated by Shack (Borgnine), a sadistical railway conductor who swore that no hobo will ride his train for free. Well, no-one but "A" Number One (Lee Marvin), who is ready to put his life at stake to become a local legend - as the first person who survived the trip on Shack's notorious train. Written by Brian Peterson calyooper@email.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This movie is about one hell of a man who lived when Dillinger was slamming banks, and Roosevelt was awakening the nation. He's a hard-time fast-tracker who's been where it's mean. A grizzly with a sense of humor, an adventurer with holes in his pockets. A wandering rebel, living off the land by his wits and his fists. He goes it alone, he does what he wants - for the beautiful pure sweet hell of it. Who's going to stop him - you? Now he's taking on his biggest run. A challenge no one ever survived. That's why he has to do it! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Emperor of the North  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,705,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was Robert Aldrich's intention that the characters played by Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin and Keith Carradine represented the Establishment, the Anti-Establishment and the Youth of Today respectively. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie, when Shack knocks the hobo down with a hammer, the hobo is seen with his body cut in half, one half of his body between the rails, the other half on the outside of the tracks covered with blood. There is no blood visible on the rail, even though there certainly would have a lot of blood on the wheel that cut him in half. See more »

Quotes

Shack: There's only one 'bo that's got the stuff to try me, and you ain't even on the list.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pen Pals (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man and a Train
Lyrics by Hal David
Music by Frank De Vol
Sung by Marty Robbins
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User Reviews

This is a man's movie: ugly, violent, and pessimistic...it's great!
21 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This movie scared the hell out of me when I was little, mostly because I'd never seen an evil Ernest Borgnine. With his fierce eyes, maniacal laugh, and drop-forged fists, he commands every scene with a demonic self-assurance. You have to see this movie just to see Borgnine, he's perfect as the railway conductor. He's like a violent gorilla in a conductor suit. Lee Marvin as Number One mumbles his way through the movie with an impressive vocabulary and intelligence that belies his appearance. He wanders about waxing philosophical about the state of the world, the battle between good and evil, and his place in the grand scheme of things. Keith Carradine wouldn't have been my choice for the role of the young kid, he just wasn't very convincing and some of his lines come off a bit forced and awkward. One of the other reviewers mentioned the photography, and I'm left wondering how they got some of the shots, especially considering the movie was made thirty years ago with gigantic, bulky cameras. There are scenes where the train is way out in the middle of nowhere and the camera is actually pacing the train and the action that happens on it; great photography. This is a very good film and worthy of all the praise it gets from the other reviews.


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