October 24th, 2013: Emperor of the North Pole aka Emperor of the North

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?

One comment on “October 24th, 2013: Emperor of the North Pole aka Emperor of the North

  1. geelw says:

    I absolutely LOVE this film. I still remember seeing ads for it and while I didn’t see it until it was on TV in the early 80’s, by that time I was old enough to appreciate it on a few levels as drama, action and comedy (and it IS pretty darn funny in spots). That fight at the end is just pure sweat and blood and grease and old guys socking it out for dumb glory and bragging rights, but man…. does it work. My take: http://fanboydestroy.com/2013/02/02/random-film-of-the-weekend-emperor-of-the-north-pole/

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