Nelson Eddy's last film before he left motion pictures to begin a career as a nightclub singer pairs him again with Ilona Massey, with whom he starred in ROSALIE and BALALAIKA. Set at a Russian fort in 19th-century California, NORTHWEST OUTPOST focuses on the arrival Natalie Alanova
(Massey), a gentlewoman who has traveled from the mother country in search of her husband, Count Igor Savin (Joseph Schildkraut), a convict laborer. Between songs, Capt. James Laurence (Eddy), a dashing American in the employ of the settlement's Russian governor, Prince Nickolai Balinin (Hugo
Haas), falls hard for Natalie, and her husband tries to coerce her into enlisting the captain's help in his escape. Unwilling to do so, she gives the count her jewels, which he uses to buy his freedom, though ultimately Laurence confronts Count Savin with guns blazing, after the American realizes
that his beloved has been an unwilling pawn in her evil husband's scheming.
Director Allan Dwan, always deft and competent, seems to have regarded NORTHWEST OUTPOST as beneath him, but still found humor in the turgid story by poking fun at Eddy's screen image and his singing. Composer Rudolf Friml was prolific but disorganized, so the studio sent a recording crew to his
home to capture the 69-year-old musician's keyboard improvisations; from these tapes songs were constructed for the film, of which only one was memorable, the unfortunately titled "Weary." Other songs: "Raindrops on a Drum" (performed by the American GI Chorus, later by Eddy, Massey), "Tell Me
With Your Eyes" (sung by Massey, reprised by Hugo Haas), "One More Mile to Go" (sung by Eddy with the Chorus), Russian Easter Hymn (Eddy and Chorus), "Love is the Time" (Massey), "Nearer and Dearer" (Chorus, Eddy, Massey).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Nelson Eddy's last film before he left motion pictures to begin a career as a nightclub singer pairs him again with Ilona Massey, with whom he starred in ROSALIE and BALALAIKA. Set at a Russian fort in 19th-century California, NORTHWEST OUTPOST focuses on… (more)