Northwest Passage Reviews
Luckily, it's nice to look at, has a great battle scene and one character who literally eats the head of an Indian.
The stars are Spencer Tracy, Walter Brennan and Robert Young, whose performance here makes up for the soppiness of his later turns withe "Father Knows Best" and "Marcus Welby, M.D."
The music by Oscar-winner (not for "Northwest Passage") Herbert Stothart is superb and stirring.
Maj. Robert Rogers (Tracy): " See you at sundown, Harvard."
Hunk Marriner (Brennan): "I've been."
I saw "Northwest Passage" at least 10 times before watching a screening in at the University of Wisonsin in Madison in 1973 and discovering the movie is in deep and glorious Technicolor. My head almost exploded that night. It's a true classic.
Watching this movie again today, I was shocked at how racial this movie is. The Indians are portrayed as lying, cheating, untrustworthy, murdering heathens. Never mind that we invaded their territory to start with. The saying 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian' could have easily been added as a secondary title.
Needless to say, the movie is tainted now from it's original showing in 1940. It's not surprising it's now shown much on TV anymore. The film isn't bad, Spencer Tracy is OK, and Robert Young is... well young.