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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The  Big North" )

 

directed by Andrew Marton
USA 19
52

Canadian officer Pedley slaps the cuffs on an accused murderer, mountain man Jules Vincent. The captive offers no resistance. Mother Nature will. As the Mountie and his dog team mush onward to take Vincent to justice, an avalanche, a marauding wolf pack, temperatures of -38 and more perils await them. Survival depends on the man who knows the mountains and ravines best - Pedley's prisoner. Stewart Granger portrays Vincent and Wendell Corey is Pedley in an eye-filling adventure that also stars Cyd Charisse. Andrew Marton, co-director of Granger's King Solomon's Mines, helms the brawny survivalist action.

***

Filmed on location in Canada, The Wild North stars Stewart Granger as renegade trapper Jules Vincent. Forced to kill in self-defence, Vincent hides out in the wilderness, obliging RCMP constable Pedley (Wendell Corey) to chase after him in some of the most treacherous territory in Northern America. After braving the elements and various wild animals, Vincent and the wounded Pedley are compelled to join forces in order to survive their ordeal. Though his common sense advises him to leave Pedley to die, Vincent's essential decency wins out, and the trapper struggles against the odds to bring the constable back to civilization. Third-billed Cyd Charisse does a little box-office duty in the thankless role of an Indian maiden smitten by Vincent's charms.

***

Granger is on the run in Mountie territory after committing a murder in self-defense. Corey is in pursuit, and when he finally catches Granger, he is steered in the wrong direction by his prisoner. Granger, who knows the wild north like the back of his hand, leads his captor into treacherous blizzards and a wolf pack. Corey is wounded and unconscious, but Granger carries him to safety, in the end restoring his health. Corey is convinced that Granger acted in self-defense and frees him. As usual, Charisse, Granger's girl, is the most watchable character in the film.

Excerpt from TV Guide

Posters

Television Premiere: January 1952 (London)

 

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:06
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.44 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.

Bitrate

Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (1:00)

DVD Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Keep Case

Chapters 10

 

 

 

Comments

The Wild North is a northern adventure - canoeing via rapids, wolf attacks, avalanches - and it shows this with a convincing air of realism. What helps is the rugged location-shooting - no back-lot trickery. There is some buddy-chemistry (with heavily tanned Granger and Corey) but more of Cyd Charisse would certainly have been appreciated. Her character is not fleshed-out enough... and we never see those famous legs! But this is a heck of a good adventure tale, nonetheless.

It's standard single-layered MoD (Made-on-Demand) disc but progressive in the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks a bit warn showing a few weak patches and some speckles throughout. Is it the 'Anscocolor' that makes Stewart Granger look as fiery red as George Hamilton? This is labeled under the Warner's "Archive Collection" marquee and the image shows some inconsistency looking frequent soft with occasional scenes of superior detail and even a few sequences with depth. Not the best SD we've seen, but certainly watchable. 

The mono sound is decent in limited support of the action. Another positive is the score by versatile composer Bronislau Kaper (Lord Jim, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Swan, Them!). There are no supplements aside from a weak-looking trailer.

The Wild North is a gripping ride - far more than I was expecting. I'll probably revisit this - a superior MGM adventure. Definitely worth a spin.  

  - Gary Tooze

 



 

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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

 




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