Belle of the Yukon (1944)

83-84 mins | Romantic comedy | 1944

Director:

William A. Seiter

Producer:

William A. Seiter

Cinematographer:

Ray Rennahan

Editor:

Ernest Nims

Production Designer:

Don Loper

Production Company:

International Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

In onscreen credits, the credit for Don Loper reads, "Production designs, Costumes and Dances by Don Loper." The film opens with a voice-over narrator reading the following written prologue: "If it's blood you want, and cold you want, And the call of the Klondike night; If it's mud you want or what Robert Service would write, You're in the wrong theatre, brother." According to a Mar 1944 HR news item, showgirls Alma Carroll, Ruth Valmy, Dorothy Koster, Wesley Brent, Mickey Malloy and Joan Chaffee were hired to perform in the picture, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Other HR news items add Lynn Watson, Albert Ruiz, Joel Friend and Robert Dudley to the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to another HR news item, exteriors were shot in St. Elmo, CO. This film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score and the song "Sleighride in July" received a nomination for Best ... More Less

In onscreen credits, the credit for Don Loper reads, "Production designs, Costumes and Dances by Don Loper." The film opens with a voice-over narrator reading the following written prologue: "If it's blood you want, and cold you want, And the call of the Klondike night; If it's mud you want or what Robert Service would write, You're in the wrong theatre, brother." According to a Mar 1944 HR news item, showgirls Alma Carroll, Ruth Valmy, Dorothy Koster, Wesley Brent, Mickey Malloy and Joan Chaffee were hired to perform in the picture, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Other HR news items add Lynn Watson, Albert Ruiz, Joel Friend and Robert Dudley to the cast, but their participation in the released film has not been confirmed. According to another HR news item, exteriors were shot in St. Elmo, CO. This film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score and the song "Sleighride in July" received a nomination for Best Song. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
2 Dec 1944.
---
Daily Variety
29 Nov 44
p. 3.
Film Daily
6 Dec 44
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 44
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 44
p. 32.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 44
p. 6, 12
Hollywood Reporter
15 Mar 44
p. 8, 12
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 44
p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Mar 44
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 44
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 45
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Apr 44
p. 1835.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Dec 44
p. 2201.
New York Times
30 Mar 45
p. 18.
Variety
29 Nov 44
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Wrt for the screen by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
Mus mixer
Mus cutter
Sd eff
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Sketch artist
Research dir
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor dir
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Can't Tell You Why I Love You, But I Do," words and music by Will D. Cobb and Gus Edwards
"Little Johnny Dugan," words and music by Thomas Lee Mack and Andrew Mack
"Like Someone to Love," "Belle of the Yukon," "Ev'ry Girl Is Diff'rent" and "Sleighride in July," words and music by Johnny Burke and James Van Heusen.
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
San Francisco premiere: 27 December 1944
Production Date:
15 March--late May 1944
Copyright Claimant:
International Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 December 1944
Copyright Number:
LP12985
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
83-84
Length(in feet):
7,572
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10071
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

To the Yukon town of Malemute and the saloon owned by "Honest John" Calhoun comes performer Belle DeValle and her troupe of entertainers. In John's absence, Belle is toasted as the "Belle of the Yukon" by saloon manager Pop Candless and his daughter Lettie, a singer at the saloon. Soon after, Sam Slade enters, looking for John and a job keeping the peace in the saloon. Sam's claim that reason is the best weapon against lawlessness is met with derision by Mervin Maitland, the dishonest town marshal. Upon returning home, John is approached by George, a swindler, about installing a crooked gambling operation at the saloon. Spouting the virtues of honesty, John refuses George and then goes to greet his new star performer. When John enters Belle's dressing room, she smashes him over the head with a vase and denounces him for ditching her in Seattle. John, who has recently changed his name to "Honest John," claims to have renounced his former life as a confidence man, but is met with skepticism by Belle, who threatens to turn him over to the Seatlle police if he is lying to her. Pop is concerned about Lettie's romantic interest in Steve Atterbury, the piano player, and sends his Indian friend, the Chief, to search Steve's room. When the Chief returns with a letter from a woman, sending her love and noting that "the children miss him," Pop becomes convinced that Steve is married and sends the letter to the Seattle police to investigate. John, who is wanted by the Seattle police, then decides to prevent the lawmen from coming to Malemute by ... +


To the Yukon town of Malemute and the saloon owned by "Honest John" Calhoun comes performer Belle DeValle and her troupe of entertainers. In John's absence, Belle is toasted as the "Belle of the Yukon" by saloon manager Pop Candless and his daughter Lettie, a singer at the saloon. Soon after, Sam Slade enters, looking for John and a job keeping the peace in the saloon. Sam's claim that reason is the best weapon against lawlessness is met with derision by Mervin Maitland, the dishonest town marshal. Upon returning home, John is approached by George, a swindler, about installing a crooked gambling operation at the saloon. Spouting the virtues of honesty, John refuses George and then goes to greet his new star performer. When John enters Belle's dressing room, she smashes him over the head with a vase and denounces him for ditching her in Seattle. John, who has recently changed his name to "Honest John," claims to have renounced his former life as a confidence man, but is met with skepticism by Belle, who threatens to turn him over to the Seatlle police if he is lying to her. Pop is concerned about Lettie's romantic interest in Steve Atterbury, the piano player, and sends his Indian friend, the Chief, to search Steve's room. When the Chief returns with a letter from a woman, sending her love and noting that "the children miss him," Pop becomes convinced that Steve is married and sends the letter to the Seattle police to investigate. John, who is wanted by the Seattle police, then decides to prevent the lawmen from coming to Malemute by dispatching Steve to Nome. That night, after Steve professes his love to Lettie and walks her home, several men jump from the shadows, knock him unconscious and deliver him to a riverboat bound for Nome. Unaware of Steve's mishap, Lettie informs Pop that she plans to marry him. When Pops tells Lettie that Steve is aboard the boat to Nome, Lettie thinks that she has been jilted and breaks down in tears. Not to be outwitted, Steve, meanwhile, jumps overboard and is picked up by a wagon driver, who then transports him to the trail leading to Malemute. Steve sneaks into the saloon to speak to Lettie, and is spotted by John, who sends Maitland to arrest him. The next day, John encounters Professor Salsbury on the street. The professor, an authority on weather, has been entrusted with the Alaskan weather statistics, and worried that they may fall into the wrong hands, he locks the report in John's safe. When George learns that the statistics can predict freezes and thaws, he bribes Pop to open the safe so that he can study the report. Armed with the weather forecast, George marches into the saloon, laden with bags of gold dust and offers to take bets on the date of the freeze. John, who has planned the weather scheme with the professor to fleece George of his gold, suggests that a bank be established to house all the gold dust. John is appointed bank president, but when Belle, impressed by his newfound honesty, proposes marriage, he stalls her. When Maitland complains to John about Steve's incessant demands, John suggests that the marshal get rid of his prisoner by taking him to Nome. That night, as Maitland attempts to handcuff Steve for their journey, Steve resists, and when the professor, drunk and full of remorse, begs to be locked in the cell, Steve escapes and handcuffs Maitland to the professor. Soon after, George enters the jailhouse, realizes that the professor is a swindler and hurries to the bank to withdraw his gold. There John proposes that they go into partnership and abscond with the gold when the riverboat arrives on Thursday. George agrees, and after he leaves, John reveals to Pop and Sam that he has filled the gold sacks with sand and hidden the real gold behind a stone wall. Disgusted by John's apparent dishonesty, Belle rejects him. Soon after, Maitland receives a message from the riverboat captain, asking for custody of Steve. As John and his friends search for the fugitive, Steve, disguised as a drunken Indian, slips into Lettie's room and is captured by Maitland. When the riverboat docks the next day, Steve is bidding Lettie a tearful farewell when his sister Cherie runs down the gangplank followed by his father, C. V. Atterbury. Cherie explains that she wrote the infamous letter to Steve and that the minor peccadillo he committed back home has been smoothed over by his wealthy businessman father. Freed, Steve plans to marry Lettie, and as everyone toasts the happy couple at the saloon, John is summoned to the bank and is accompanied by Pop and Sam. There the threesome are met by George and Maitland who demand the gold at gunpoint. Back at the saloon, Belle discovers that John has walked out on her act, and furious, she incites a run on the bank. Meanwhile, at the bank, Maitland demands the gold for himself, and after John peacefully hands over the bags, George, realizing that a switch has been made, locks John and his friends in the closet and extracts the bags from the wall. As an angry mob marches on the bank, John escapes from the closet, and Belle informs him that she has spread the rumor that the bank was unsafe to prevent him from absconding with the funds. Hastily pulling the real gold from a trap door, John begins to measure it out to the depositors when C. V. appears and asks to deposit $100,000 as a vote of confidence. Impressed by C. V.'s trust in John, the depositors reinvest their money, and all ends happily as Sam is appointed the new marshal, and John and Belle plan their nuptials. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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