• Action
    Western

Synopsis

North of 36 was conceived in the wake of the immensely popular Covered Wagon, right down to the casting of that earlier film's leading lady, Lois Wilson (Covered Wagon director James Cruze was also to have been involved in the project, but dropped out when the budget was reduced from $1 million to $350,000). Jack Holt stars in this adaptation of Emerson Hough's empire-building novel. Much of the film is devoted to "actuality" footage of real-life cattle drive, one of the last such in the United States. Director Irvin Willat chose to hoke up this historical event for dramatic purposes, sacrificing full authenticity in favor of showmanship. Happily, Lois Wilson, an accomplished amateur photographer, recorded the cattle drive in full detail, allowing future generations to revel in this vanished piece of Americana. North of 36 (the title referred to the pre-Civil War slavery line) was remade in 1931 as The Conquering Horde, and again in 1938 as The Texans. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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