Friday, December 17, 2010


(August 1935, U.S.)

There are several film versions of Jack London's classic story, CALL OF THE WILD. In my opinion, this is the best one for two great reasons. The first, of course, is Clark Gable. His performance and personality in many of his films simply speak for themselves. The second is the wonderment and fascination of black and white cinematography as it captures the look and feel of icy cold Alaska.

The adventures of a prospector heading for the 1900 gold rush and the complicated love triangle he finds himself tangled up in is a simple enough story. What I personally find most entertaining about watching this film, besides the above-mentioned cinematography, is the relationship between Gable's Jack Thornton and his faithful dog, Buck. There's always been something truly heartwarming about watching a master and his dog on screen, but when it's a huge Saint-Bernard like Buck, you just want to be able to reach out and hug the big beast yourself. There is also a particular scene that always catches my attention and that's when Buck mysteriously runs away into the cold mountains, presumably not to be seen again. That night, during a harsh winter storm, he returns to his new master's camp and snuggles down on the snow beside him. You just can't help but say, "Awww!" to yourself and mean it!

One other interesting little piece of information about this film; it was the last to be released under 20th Centery Films, before they merged with the Fox Film Corporation to become what we now know as 20th Century Fox. I never knew that.

Favorite line or dialogue:

Mr. Smith: "I remember watching a magician once. From an apparantly empty hand he shortly produced a rabbit. He smiled, very much as you're smiling now, because I imagine he knew all the while that he had the rabbit up his sleeve. You've something up you sleeve, perhaps?"
Jack Thornton: "Perhaps?"
Mr. Smith: "Roll up your sleeve, Mr. Thornton. There's no rabbit there!"

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