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Fun John Wayne Western comedy, but, it drag a little in some spots
Fist a cuffs, romance, well meaning friends and John Wayne make this movie. I have love it since I was around 13 and it is still up there, not a movie for sensitive men who can't cope with "dated" films.
An OK John Wayne up north comedy western. Not one of his better efforts, but it has its moments.
1 of the FIRST PRETTY WOMAN story-lines...and MUCHO GRANDE' Better. Forget over-rated Julia and give me Stunningly Talented CAPUCINE any day, any time. any movie, any kind of movie.
Old but fun. John Wayne carries the film well as he usually does . It's not a memorable film but still was good to watch and killed a couple of hours.
John Wayne is a miner sent to Seattle to bring back mining equipment and his partner's fiance back to Nome, Alaska. It turns out the fiance is already married so he brings back a beautiful prostitute (Capucine), which leads to romantic complications. The movie wobbles about a bit thanks to sketchy acting from Fabian and Capucine, and some dodgy sexual politics but is good-natured enough to remain watchable. If you can make it through the awkward bits it builds to a warm, cornball ending.
This lesser-remembered John Wayne film leaves much to be desired. The humor in North To Alaska is un-satirically patriarchal and offensive to those with modern sensitivities, the acting is cringe-worthy, and the plot is not deep enough to warrant a puddle in the rain, much less a 120-minute run time. However, if viewed with the right frame of mind, as a bystander with a telescope into a bygone era, there is some fun to be had here.
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.
For whatever reason, I've never been partial to western comedies and this John Wayne stab at western comedy is not different. Wayne plays a gold prospector dealing with a con artist played by Ernie Kovacs, Steward Granger's troublesome kid brother, Fabian, and also a gold digging French woman, Capucine. It's all quite light and quite broad for a Wayne western, but the film moves at a fast pace and doesn't dawdle long enough anywhere to get boring. Henry Hathaway directed.
A romance movie disguised as a western. John Wayne seems like he had a good time with this one.
Such a feel good movie! :)