Emperor of the North


Action / Adventure / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Lance Henriksen Photo
Lance Henriksen as Railroad worker
Keith Carradine Photo
Keith Carradine as Cigaret
Ernest Borgnine Photo
Ernest Borgnine as Shack
Sid Haig Photo
Sid Haig as Grease Tail
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
849.51 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 58 min
P/S ...
1.8 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 58 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Woodyanders10 / 10

A terrific allegorical Depression-era period action yarn doozy

Nothing gets my blood a boilin' somethin' hot more than watching a rugged, brutal, mighty manly man adventure yarn done with plenty of grit, style, and insight. This truly terrific allegorical Depression-era period action doozy concerning the legendary, almost mythical rivalry between train-jumping hobos and the railwaymen who went out of their way to keep these lowly bums in their bottom-rung-of-the-socioeconomic-ladder-place most definitely fits that particular bill with astonishing deftness.

Lee Marvin rules the day with his customary effortless virile charm and cool, dry humor as A#1, the greatest of all train-hopping hobos who's rightfully revered as a god by his fellow dingy derelicts. Keith Carradine likewise holds his own as Cigarette, the brash punk tyro kid who Marvin teaches the basic hobo ropes to. Ernest Borgnine delivers a fierce, growly, volcanically hostile and quite intimidating portrayal of cruel, callous, "screw with me buster and I'll wipe the floor with your face" stomp-ass villainy as the Shack, an exceptionally mean and ferocious train conductor who would just love to clean A#1's clock but good. A#1 vows to do the seemingly impossible by riding the Shack's train all the way to Portland and living to tell the tale.

The always on-target, sorely missed Robert Aldrich directs this engrossing story with his trademark tautly wound, very blunt and forceful sinewy élan. Christopher Knopf's meaty, deep-diggin' script offers a fascinating examination of man's desire to amount to something in life regardless of the station he holds, how status has to be earned (here given a compelling old guard vs. the new generation spin thanks to the teacher and student relationship between Marvin and Carradine),the need for achievement, and the harsh victimization of the poor by the working class. Joseph Biroc's sharp cinematography gives the lush, verdant Oregon wilderness a lovely autumnal look. The fabulous supporting cast reads like a veritable who's who of 70's character actors: Charles Tyner, Matt Clark, Harry Caesar, Elisha Cook, Jr., Simon Oakland, Vic Tayback, Sid Haig, and even Lance Henrikson in a "blink and you'll miss him" uncredited bit part as a railroad worker. Marty Robbins heartily belts out the stupendously rousing theme song. And the final literal duel of the titans fight between Marvin and Borgnine -- these two really get down and dance a bloody boogie, tearing pieces out of each other's hides with chains, hammers, their own feet and bare hands, and even an enormous ax -- rates as the authentic gnarly article. It's without a doubt the greatest two ugly actors making themselves uglier in a very ugly knock-down, drag-out savage smack-down every filmed -- and an immensely satisfying conclusion to this simply sensational movie.

Reviewed by mark.waltz4 / 10

They think they can....they think they can....

You've got two Academy Award Winning actors in this movie, playing foes, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine, and along with Keith Carradine, it's one of the most disappointing action films set outdoors with trains (a subject I love) that I've ever been interested in seeing, resulting for me opposite results. I don't know how far up north they got, but it wasn't enough Outdoors for me oh, and I really expected at least some Majestic snowy scenes. But my not getting what I expected isn't the issue here. The issue is the fact that the three leading characters just aren't likable enough to really care about even though this is a story that could have been made by Warner Brothers in the 1930s with Cagney, Edward G Robinson, Paul Muni and Frankie Darro ("Wild Boys of the Road") and dealt with everything in 90 minutes. This takes two hours to unfold, and it's very tedious to get to the end.

Set in the Great Depression which is why I mentioned Warner Brothers who specialized in films about outcasts like this, it deals with hobos (Marvin, Carradine and Vic Tayback) going out of their way to get rides on trains, finding that they have a foe in conductor Ernest Borgnine who vows that no one will get a free ride on his trains. Borgnine isn't above killing anyone he finds on his train, and for him, the more brutally painful the more satisfied he is. At one point, he thinks he's hitting Carradine with a heavy iron bar, and he's snickering in evil delight like Britisg horror icon Todd Slaughter, and you know that if he had a mustache, he'd find a way to be twirling it at the same time. His character is one dimensional and would probably be upset if he didn't have someone to torture for trying to get a ride.

An embarrassing moment with cop Simon Oakland ("West Side Story") has him howling like a dog after a scene where Marvin, holding a turkey, asks "what turkey?", like he's Jimmy Durante with the elephant. Marvin is the best thing about the film, taking Carradine under his wing, and treating him with toughness but like a son who needs to be disciplined. Carradine plays a very arrogant youngster, and he never really grows up in this. The film had the potential of being something great, but it goes all over the place in its trying to tell a story of people living on the outside of the threshold of society, not giving us a real reason to find any sympathy for them. Robert Aldrich tries to direct this in the way of his now classic action films of the 60's, but it never comes together. With a cast led by these now legendary actors, it ends up being quite a disappointment, if not a complete disaster.

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Hard Times Breeds Hard Men

When TCM was showing films concerning The Great Depression last month, I'm still wondering how this one didn't rate a viewing. Emperor Of The North Pole concerned people at the very bottom of the economic scale, the jobless hobos of which the Bible admonishes that the poor will always be with us. Just in those years they increased exponentially in the USA and around the World.

They always seem to create their own societal pecking order, look at the Prince And The Pauper which records a society of the poor and the outlaw of which there wasn't much of a dividing line in Tudor England. Things haven't changed much in 400 years. In this society Lee Marvin is A-No.1, he's earned that by challenging all the train bosses for his right to thumb a ride on any train going anywhere in the 48 states.

Years ago I remember reading a biography of Jack Dempsey who in his youth was a hobo like Marvin, probably one about Keith Carradine's age who rode the rails as you see Carradine and Marvin do. You met all kinds of conductors, some as mean as Ernest Borgnine, some who let you 'ride the rods' as you see how Marvin and Carradine ride on the underbelly of the train holding on to those control rods. Some really nice ones actually would let you ride in the comfort of a freezing freight car.

But there's none as mean as Ernest Borgnine, the conductor known as Shack who boasts no one rides his train for free. He's not satisfied with just throwing them off after some roughing up. This film opens with him killing a hobo with a hammer he carries for the job and then throwing him off the train. Who's to know it's a homicide and who'll care if forensics would prove it?

Is Marvin up to the challenge however both from Borgnine and from young Carradine who thinks he's tough enough to live in the hobo camps and ride the rails as well?

For that you have to watch Emperor Of The North Pole. It's a fine depiction of life at the lowest levels in the Depression. Though Marvin does a fine job, I wonder if this film had been offered to Robert Mitchum? He was a Hollywood star who actually did live this existence in his late teens and early twenties. I really think Mitchum could have brought something special to A-No.1 that no other star could have.

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