Call of the Yukon (April 18, 1938)
Released on April 18, 1938: Can a wolf-dog find love with a beautiful collie, or will the St. Bernard get the collie's attention? And what about those bears!
Directed by B. Reeves Eason and John T. Coyle
Written by James Oliver Curwood, Gertrude Orr and Bill Peet.
The Actors: Richard Arlen (Gaston Rogers), Beverly Roberts (Jean Williams), Lyle Talbot (Hugo Henderson), Mala (Olee John), Garry Owen (Connor), Ivan Miller (O'Malley), Billy Dooley (watchman), Al St. John (Joe), Nina Campana (Knudka), Sherry Hall (Ed), Charles Anthony Hughes (Bill), Jimmy Lono (Topek), Frank McCarroll (trapper), Emory Parnell (Swenson).
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Dad was a preacher, so Sundays were all alike. First we were off to Sunday school and morning worship, then home were a chicken or piece of beef was slow roasting while we were away. We'd all help mom make a salad or open a jar of vegetables that she canned the previous summer, and fix some mashed potatoes with gravy made from the drippings in the roasting pan. The evening was taken with the Sunday evening service, but before that, along about 5 o'clock or so, Mom would brew herself and me a cup of hot black tea. I would toast a couple slices of bread and put a generous amount of peanut butter on it. Then it was into a chair in front of the television set to watch Marlin Perkins and the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. I was always fascinated with the wilderness areas of the world and the antics of the animals from strange and wild places. In this movie, just like on most of the old Wild Kingdom television shows, the animals are the stars of the show. Sure, there are actors weaving together a simple enough plot . . . but the plot is only there to give us an excuse to watch the wonderful winter wilderness of Alaska and the antics of a menagerie of animals. As the movie opens we watch a huge piece of iceberg break off and fall into the ocean just like the pictures that we often see today on Alaska cruise ship promotions. Then we meet a couple of bears, a talking bird, and three dogs that are more human than the actors. Firefly, a Lassie-like collie that is torn between the affection of a wild wolf-dog named Swift Lightning and a refined St. Bernard named Buck. Take my advice for this movie thriller and forget about the people and the plot . . . bundle up really warm, brew a big mug of hot tea and enjoy the antics of the animals and the beauty of the winter wonderland that we call Alaska.
Toughie and Roughie the bears
Beverly Roberts and Ricahrd Arlen
Beverly Roberts as Jean Williams
Beverly Roberts as author Jean Williams, writing her next novel in an Alaska cabin.
Buck the St. Bernard
Firefly the collie
Lyle Talbot and Sherry Hall
Lyle Talbot as Hugo Henderson
Richard Arlen wants the affection of Beverly Roberts, but she thinks that he is too wild for her.
Beverly Roberts and Richard Arlen
Richard Arlen as Gaston Rogers
Sherry Hall, flying his plane, spots the stranded couple in the snow.
Swift Lightning the wolf-dog