Spawn Of The North

  • 1938
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure

The danger and romance of the salmon season in Alaska comes to the Paramount backlot in this adequate adventure yarn. Fonda and Raft are old friends who eventually end up on different sides of the law. While Fonda tries to pull an honest living out of the sea by putting out traps and nets for the spawning fish, Raft joins Tamiroff's nefarious Russian gang...read more

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The danger and romance of the salmon season in Alaska comes to the Paramount backlot in this adequate adventure yarn. Fonda and Raft are old friends who eventually end up on different sides of the law. While Fonda tries to pull an honest living out of the sea by putting out traps and

nets for the spawning fish, Raft joins Tamiroff's nefarious Russian gang in pillaging the nets of others. Meanwhile, Fonda is romancing Platt, the daughter of drunken newspaper editor Barrymore. Raft and Fonda finally come into direct conflict one night on the water, and in the ensuing gun battle

Fonda shoots Raft. Dying, Raft pretends to be angry with Fonda and refuses to forgive him, but later, Raft takes the helm of his boat, and with all the Russian's gang aboard, he gives a familiar signal of friendship to Fonda with his horn, then crashes the boat against the base of a glacier,

triggering a huge fall of ice that crushes the craft. The plot here is no great shakes, and the dialog is mostly laughable, but the film is exceedingly well crafted by Hathaway and his ace crew. Raft once again agreed to die on screen and accepted the script sight unseen just to have the chance to

work with director Hathaway again (Raft had been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Hathaway's SOULS AT SEA the year before.) Fonda took his role only because Randolph Scott, originally announced for the role, had a prior commitment. Both of their performances, as

well as the supporting cast, Barrymore, Lamour, and Tamiroff, especially, are solid and professional, if somewhat limited by script deficiencies. The most fascinating thing about this film, though, is its smooth mixing of studio shooting and location footage brought back by a second unit

dispatched to Alaska. On the backlot, technicians built a wharf and a number of shacks to create a small settlement from the early days of the century. Remade in 1954 as ALASKA SEAS.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The danger and romance of the salmon season in Alaska comes to the Paramount backlot in this adequate adventure yarn. Fonda and Raft are old friends who eventually end up on different sides of the law. While Fonda tries to pull an honest living out of the… (more)

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