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The Call of the Wild Reviews

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PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

May 17, 2014
I watched this American adventure film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Clark Gable, Loretta Young, and Jack Oakie, before and decided to revisit it and write this review. Based on Jack London's novel of the same name, the film omits all but one of the book's story lines! This was the third screen version of the popular Jack London's classic adventure story but the first with sound. And where you find Clark Gable, it was impossible not to have a love story (which wasn't in the book).

A prospector heading for the Alaska gold fields loses most of his money gambling. His luck changes when he pays $250 for a sled dog to keep him from being shot by an arrogant Englishman, who is also headed for the Yukon. The prospector and his friend head off for the Yukon with a map showing the location of a major gold mine. Along the way, they rescue a woman whose missing husband owned the original map. After the dog wins them a thousand dollars used to purchase supplies, the three continue north in search of the gold mine.
There was a lot of real drama connected to this film. This was the last film released under the 20th Century Pictures' banner before it merged with Fox Film Corporation to create 20th Century-Fox, and during the filming of The Call of the Wild, Clark Gable and Loretta Young had an affair that resulted in Young's hushed-up pregnancy and the birth of their daughter Judy Lewis (1935-2011).

The film doesn't even come close to the book in quality and excitement, but it is a solid piece of work from its time... especially the first half hour of it! If you want to see a little bit more about the life on the frontier in the US around 1900, not bad for beginners!
jam233
March 8, 2010
Very well made, with impressive outdoors shooting and cinematography. Good performances, especially from Oakie in a supporting role. Great pace, always interesting. Well produced and Clark Gable is ideally cast.
rickrudge
June 9, 2009
The Call of the Wild (1935)

Very loosely based on Jack London's book and directed by William Wellman. Jack Thornton (Clark Gable) is an Alaska prospector. He meets up with Shorty Houlihan (Jack Oakey) who spent some time in jail opening other people's mail. He remembers one letter that has a map to a valuable gold mine. What he has written down from memory is enough to get them partnered up and headed up into the Yukon to find it. One of their sled dogs, Buck, is a wild half-wolf, who somehow befriends Jack.

While Jack and Shorty are on their way, they rescue a woman surrounded by wolves. Claire Blake (Loretta Young) is the wife of the man who that original letter was written to. The husband took off on his own to get help. Claire, Jack and Shorty create an uneasy alliance to continue on to this gold field. However, there are desperate men, led by Mr. Smith (Reginald Owen) trying to find this gold too.

Jack Oakey actually steals the show from these other actors. This movie is probably better known as where Loretta Young got knocked up by Clark Gable in real life.
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

May 17, 2014
I watched this American adventure film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Clark Gable, Loretta Young, and Jack Oakie, before and decided to revisit it and write this review. Based on Jack London's novel of the same name, the film omits all but one of the book's story lines! This was the third screen version of the popular Jack London's classic adventure story but the first with sound. And where you find Clark Gable, it was impossible not to have a love story (which wasn't in the book).

A prospector heading for the Alaska gold fields loses most of his money gambling. His luck changes when he pays $250 for a sled dog to keep him from being shot by an arrogant Englishman, who is also headed for the Yukon. The prospector and his friend head off for the Yukon with a map showing the location of a major gold mine. Along the way, they rescue a woman whose missing husband owned the original map. After the dog wins them a thousand dollars used to purchase supplies, the three continue north in search of the gold mine.
There was a lot of real drama connected to this film. This was the last film released under the 20th Century Pictures' banner before it merged with Fox Film Corporation to create 20th Century-Fox, and during the filming of The Call of the Wild, Clark Gable and Loretta Young had an affair that resulted in Young's hushed-up pregnancy and the birth of their daughter Judy Lewis (1935-2011).

The film doesn't even come close to the book in quality and excitement, but it is a solid piece of work from its time... especially the first half hour of it! If you want to see a little bit more about the life on the frontier in the US around 1900, not bad for beginners!
Page 1 of 1
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