(aka 'Emperor of the North Pole')
Gritty story of the Depression,
railways and hoboes. With a tough performance from Ernest Borgnine as the guard
who won't let any freeloaders onto his patch
This is a wonderfully dark and realistic tale of the never-ending battle between railwaymen and the hoboes who try to use their beloved trains for free rides.
Centring on Borgnine's sadistic guard and his determination to prevent freeloader Marvin from making a fool out of him, the tale quickly becomes violent. Director Aldrich's initially quaint story turns into a brutal cat and mouse game.
Even if the script occasionally fails to make the goings on in this insular little world relevant to larger issues, The Emperor Of The North Pole is an unusual, uncompromising and much underrated film.
Theatrical Release: May 23rd, 1973
DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 7.54 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Mono), DUBs: French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, None|
by film historian Dana Polan
Talk about films staying with you - I saw this in the theatre when I was, I suppose, 11 years old. The film reminds me of another depression era violence-based adventure saga called Hard Times with Charles Bronson and James Coburn. It also focused on the extension of extreme means of survival in impoverished times, although they both had a different spin.
This DVD image is fabulous - minor, but fairly fine, digital noise at times but it is extremely sharp and colors are very bright. Aldrich uses a lot of closes ups and it really brings out the detail of the image. Audio comes with a mono and stereo flavor in English and two mono DUBs. The optional subtitles are great and this anamorphic and progressive DVD, with commentary insights by Dana Polan, is a steal at under $10. Borgnine and Marvin both give super performances. Even with its macho underpinnings we recommend!