Cast and Crew: Frank De Vol (Score); Jack London (Short Story); Simon Oakland, Elisha Cook Jr., Sid Haig, Vic Tayback
What It’s About: Master hobo A no. 1 (Lee Marvin) vows to ride the train of murderous conductor The Shack (Ernest Borgnine) when a young would-be hobo rider named Cigaret (Keith Carradine) challenges A no. 1’s reputation; whichever of them can ride The Shack’s train all the way will be known as “The Emperor of the North Pole”. What follows is a battle of wills and wits between all three men, with the prize being the top positions in each man’s world.
Why Watch it Today?: A no. 1 begins his ride on The Shack’s train on 10/24/1933. Emperor is a little seen gem from director Robert Aldrich, with a great cast of craggy old bad asses, wonderful character moments, and a story steeped in Hobo culture. In case that’s not enough to entice you into seeing it, how about a final battle between Marvin and Borgnine on an open, moving train car?