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Spawn of the North

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spawn of the North
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Written byJules Furthman
Talbot Jennings
Produced byAlbert Lewin
StarringGeorge Raft
Henry Fonda
Dorothy Lamour
John Barrymore
CinematographyCharles Lang
Edited byEllsworth Hoagland
Music byDimitri Tiomkin
Paramount Pictures
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • August 26, 1938 (1938-08-26) (United States)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budgetover $1 million[1]

Spawn of the North is a 1938 American adventure film about rival fishermen in Alaska starring George Raft, Henry Fonda and Dorothy Lamour, and featuring Akim Tamiroff and John Barrymore. The picture was directed by Henry Hathaway[2] and was an unofficial follow up to Souls at Sea, also featuring Raft and directed by Hathaway.[3] Spawn Of The North is based on the novel of the same name by Barrett Willoughby and shares plot similarities with The Virginian, transferred to Alaska.[4]

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Jim Kimmerlee owns a salmon cannery. He is pleased to see old friend Tyler Dawson, who has been away hunting seal. Also glad to see Tyler is his sweetheart, hotel owner Nicky Duval.

Thieves have been stealing from fishing traps. Jim is determined to put a stop to it, engaging in a feud with Red Skain, a Russian fisherman who is suspected in the thefts.

Di Turlon comes back to town after several years of big-city life. The adjustment to the fishing community is awkward at first, but Di comes around and becomes interested romantically in Jim.

As he and others go after Red and the thieves, Jim is dismayed to learn that Tyler has become one of Red's accomplices. Planning to catch the fish poachers in the act, Jim tries to spare Tyler by having Nicky sabotage his boat, but Tyler finds another vessel and joins Red at sea. Jim exchanges gunfire with the thieves, killing two and wounding Tyler.

After being found and helped by his friend after Red has abandoned him, Tyler decides there is one more thing he must do. Close to death, he takes a boat back out, confronts Red, then blows a loud boat whistle that causes an avalanche, resulting in both men's death. Jim speaks admiringly of his friend's sacrificial act.



The film was a big box office success and was later remade as Alaska Seas (1954).[5]

The special effects and production team who worked on Spawn of the North received an Academy Honorary Award at the 11th Academy Awards for their efforts. The award was given to the special effects artist Gordon Jennings, with assistance from Jan Domela, Dev Jennings, Irmin Roberts and Art Smith; the transparencies artist Farciot Edouart, with assistance from Loyal Griggs and the sound effects artist Loren L. Ryder, with assistance from Harry D. Mills, Louis Mesenkop and Walter Oberst.[6]


  1. ^ "Top Films and Stars". Variety. 4 January 1939. p. 10. Retrieved 18 March 2023.
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Spawn of the North
  3. ^ Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.
  4. ^ Lewin, William (1938). Max, Herzberg (ed.). "A Guide to the Discussion and Appreciation of Spawn of the North" (PDF). Photoplay Studies. Educational and Recreational Guides Inc. 4 (5): 21, 137–160.
  5. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 79
  6. ^ "Special Award - 11th Academy Awards". Academy Awards Database. Retrieved 9 August 2015.[permanent dead link]

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2023, at 23:26
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