Northern Pursuit (1943)

93 mins | Drama | 13 November 1943

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Producer:

Jack Chertok

Cinematographer:

Sid Hickox

Editor:

Jack Killifer

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

This film's working title was To the Last Man . HR news items add the following information about the production: Alexis Smith was announced as Errol Flynn's co-star, Jesse L. Lasky was to produce the film and A. I. Bezzerides was to write the screenplay. Technical advisor Alf Engen, a ski champion, also played a Nazi in the film. An 11 Jun 1943 HR news item states that the set was closed to the public because of "high-powered love scenes," but no such scenes were in the completed film. Press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library state that 275 tons of gypsum were used to manufacture the snow effects and a 250 foot ski run was built on one sound stage. Some footage was also shot on location in Sun Valley, ID. Northern Pursuit marked the motion picture debut of actor John Forsythe (1918--2010). Modern sources note that William Faulkner worked on the ... More Less

This film's working title was To the Last Man . HR news items add the following information about the production: Alexis Smith was announced as Errol Flynn's co-star, Jesse L. Lasky was to produce the film and A. I. Bezzerides was to write the screenplay. Technical advisor Alf Engen, a ski champion, also played a Nazi in the film. An 11 Jun 1943 HR news item states that the set was closed to the public because of "high-powered love scenes," but no such scenes were in the completed film. Press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library state that 275 tons of gypsum were used to manufacture the snow effects and a 250 foot ski run was built on one sound stage. Some footage was also shot on location in Sun Valley, ID. Northern Pursuit marked the motion picture debut of actor John Forsythe (1918--2010). Modern sources note that William Faulkner worked on the script. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Oct 1943.
---
Daily Variety
19 Oct 43
pp. 3-4.
Film Daily
25 Oct 43
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Apr 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jun 43
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 43
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Oct 1943.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
7 Aug 43
p. 1471.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Oct 43
p. 1593.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Dec 43
p. 1655.
New York Times
26 Nov 43
p. 29.
Variety
20 Oct 43
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Joseph Haworth
Richard Alden
Harry "Silverheels" Smith
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Mont
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Tech adv
Unit mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
To the Last Man
Release Date:
13 November 1943
Production Date:
15 April--3 July 1943
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
13 November 1943
Copyright Number:
LP12363
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
93
Length(in feet):
8,407
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

In 1941, a German submarine drops off some aviators near Hudson Bay in Canada. They meet two other men with dog teams and sleds and travel north. One day, an avalanche buries everyone except for Hugo von Keller. Nearly dead with exhaustion, Hugo is found by two members of the North West Mounted Police, Steve Wagner and Jim Austin. When Hugo learns that Steve is of German descent, he questions him closely about his feelings for Germany. Steve says only that now he is a Canadian, but arranges matters so that Jim goes for the authorities, leaving him alone with Hugo in the Mounties' isolated cabin. In town, before he reports to the commander, Jim tells Laura McBain, Steve's fiancée, about their prisoner, and she assumes that Steve will earn a promotion that will allow them to be married. Inspector Barnett, Steve and Jim's superior officer, on the other hand, professes to be worried about Steve's loyalty and orders the prisoner to be brought in. While alone with Hugo, Steve has made an attempt to discover why the German is in Canada, but his questioning ends when the other Mounties arrive. Hugo is sent to an internment camp, but he soon escapes with several other men. Steve is called back for questioning and, as part of a plot to discover the Nazi objective, is discharged from the force. As he leaves his hearing, Steve angrily curses Canada and is taken to jail. Later, he is bailed out by a man named Ernst Willis, who offers him a job guiding him to the north country. On the train north, Steve secretly ... +


In 1941, a German submarine drops off some aviators near Hudson Bay in Canada. They meet two other men with dog teams and sleds and travel north. One day, an avalanche buries everyone except for Hugo von Keller. Nearly dead with exhaustion, Hugo is found by two members of the North West Mounted Police, Steve Wagner and Jim Austin. When Hugo learns that Steve is of German descent, he questions him closely about his feelings for Germany. Steve says only that now he is a Canadian, but arranges matters so that Jim goes for the authorities, leaving him alone with Hugo in the Mounties' isolated cabin. In town, before he reports to the commander, Jim tells Laura McBain, Steve's fiancée, about their prisoner, and she assumes that Steve will earn a promotion that will allow them to be married. Inspector Barnett, Steve and Jim's superior officer, on the other hand, professes to be worried about Steve's loyalty and orders the prisoner to be brought in. While alone with Hugo, Steve has made an attempt to discover why the German is in Canada, but his questioning ends when the other Mounties arrive. Hugo is sent to an internment camp, but he soon escapes with several other men. Steve is called back for questioning and, as part of a plot to discover the Nazi objective, is discharged from the force. As he leaves his hearing, Steve angrily curses Canada and is taken to jail. Later, he is bailed out by a man named Ernst Willis, who offers him a job guiding him to the north country. On the train north, Steve secretly meets a Mountie and reveals his itinerary. Willis is unsure where Steve's loyalties really lie, however, and, despite Steve's attempts to cover for the man, shoots him. Steve and Willis then jump off the train and rendezvous with the escaped Germans at an Indian cabin. At first Hugo pretends to believe that Steve is no longer loyal to his country, because Steve is the only one who can guide him through the Canadian wilderness. To make sure that Steve will not betray him, however, Hugo abducts Laura, and holds her hostage. Steve is required to help three more German P.O.W.s escape and takes the opportunity to send an encoded message to headquarters. Jim then follows their trail, but is spotted by Hugo and killed. After Willis falls ill, Hugo kills him as well. Steve then convinces their Indian guide to go for help, but he, too, is killed. The men finally reach their destination--a mine shaft where bomber parts have been secreted. When the plane is assembled, Hugo plans to use it to bomb the Panama Canal. Steve is forced to help with the assembly, but at the last minute, he overcomes his guards and boards the plane. There, he shoots the entire crew and parachutes out before the plane crashes. Later, he and Laura marry. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.