North to Alaska (1960)

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Henry Hathaway and John Wayne direct Wayne, Capucine and Stewart Granger in this western romance about a prospector who goes to collect his partner’s true love with some machinery and ends up bringing back a charming whorehouse madame instead.

This starts out really well. Wayne and Capucine are not the best actors in the world but they have an unforced chemistry that sparkles. While it is them travelling up river to Alaska, The Duke embodying an all awkward chivalry, it is a spellbinding treat. Once we get to Alaska an overlong cabin bound farce ensues, diluting the purity of the first hour and separating the stars for way too long. It ends in an comical town wide brawl that feels less inventive than the barroom brawl that opens the show. A shame it runs itself down into meh for if Hollywood wanted some untapped source material to remake then I’d wager that popping Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson into the leads and just focusing on the first two acts that the suits’d have a sizeable hit on their hands.

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