Sunday, May 05, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Men of the North (1930) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Gilbert Roland stars in MEN OF THE NORTH (1930), recently released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

In this romantic adventure set in the Canadian wilderness, Roland plays Louis LaBey, who steals some gold in order to buy food and presents for the poor settlers in his small village.

Louis instantly falls head over heels for visiting Nedra Ruskin (Barbara Leonard), to the dismay of a native woman, "Woolie-Woolie" (Nina Quartero), who loves him.

Woolie-Woolie betrays Louis to the Mounties, revealing the location of the stolen gold. However, Louis will soon prove his mettle when he rescues Sergeant Mooney (Robert Elliott) and Nedra when they run into trouble on the trail. It also turns out there's more to the "stolen" gold than we first realize.

Since I like Gilbert Roland and "snowy Westerns," I had high hopes that this would be an entertaining 61 minutes. Unfortunately the dialogue delivery is quite creaky and unnatural, even from Roland, who would later prove to be such a polished and charismatic actor.

With the acting from everyone in the cast so stilted, it's unfortunate that in the end this film is little more than an early sound curiosity.

Hal Roach directed, with cinematography by Ray Binger. There are some effectively filmed snowy exteriors.

The print and sound are quite good considering the film's age. There are no extras on the disc.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw the name GILBERT ROLAND I immediately thought of the movies THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL with KIRK DOUGLAS, LANA TURNER & GLORIA GRAHAME and also CHEYENNE AUTUMN with RICHARD WIDMARK & CARROLL BAKER. I looked up his award nominations on imdb and those two movies are the ones he got nominated for the GOLDEN GLOBE for supporting actor. He was married to CONSTANCE BENNETT from 1941-45. They had two children. Later Mr. Roland remarried-his second marriage lasted from 1954 until his passing in 1994. 40 years! CLASSIC TV FAN

4:41 PM  

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