North to Alaska Reviews
Sam and his mining business partner George strike it rich in Alaska when their gold mine finally yields the rocks for which they've been digging. George is elated he can finally afford to marry his estranged love, Jenny, whom he left behind in Seattle. Unfortunately, as Sam quickly discovers, Jenny has chosen a different man in the time that has passed since George left on his treasure hunt to the "last frontier". Sam quickly meets a beautiful French woman from New Orleans named Michelle who he hopes will soften the blow for George, but in a world light on eligible bachelorettes, Michelle begins to attract the attention of all the men in town, including Sam himself.
The music is hokey, the comedy is slapstick, the men mistreat the women, and the lead solves every problem, real or imagined, with his fists. But this film was made in 1960. It is difficult for younger viewers to know what feels ridiculous because of the passing of time, and what was unforgivable even in the film's own era. The movie didn't win any awards, except for one: Fabian's "Uncrossed Heart" award for least Promising Actor of 1960 in Harvard Lampoon's Annual Movie awards. Even still, the movie was reportedly somewhat successful at the box office, and members of that generation seem to have a soft place in their hearts for this one even today.
Seasoned viewers will enjoy regaling the young whippersnappers in the room with their cinematic memories, pointing out famous John Wayne mannerisms as they flash across the screen, Stewart Granger's background as he slips between fake American and authentic English accents, and a cast featuring not one, but two celebrities sans last name: Fabian, a 1950's Justin Bieber, as "Billy", and Capucine, famous for the Pink Panther film series, as "Michelle". There is no reason members of both generations can't enjoy each other's company as they take in this western comedy, but it is hard to imagine that this movie was ever largely considered "good" by any standard. The film is long, and driven only by humorous lines that are few and far between, bookending muddy fistfights (so much mud) that seem to drag on longer than the Aleutian mountain range. Still, some of the most entertaining movies are B movies, and North To Alaska boasts a similar spirit.
Don't say no to watching North To Alaska with your grandparents if they suggest it, but if you're just looking for a way to fix a craving for an evening with the Duke himself, there are plenty of better places to start the search.
North To Alaska is available someplace, somewhere... probably.
Needless to say, unlike a lot of people my age, I don't think much of the man's acting ability.
But, that is what makes the world go 'round, differences of opinion. Right?
I would have given this a rating in the high fifties if this was set in say Texas, but I was won over by the Alaskan scenery and terrific chemistry between Wayne and Capucine. Highlights of the movie were just about every scene between Capucine and Fabian.