North West Mounted Police (1940)

North West Mounted PoliceNorth West Mounted Police poster
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Written by Alan Le May, Jesse Lasky Jr., and C. Gardner Sullivan
1940/USA
Paramount Pictures

First viewing/YouTube

 

April Logan: Texas must be heaven.

Dusty Rivers: It will be when you get there.

This is a workmanlike action/adventure movie but I felt it lacked thrills somehow.

The setting is close to the U.S. border in Western Canada.  Evil half-breed whisky runner Jacques Corbeau (George Bancroft), aided by right-hand-man Dan Duroc (Akim Tamiroff), is fomenting revolution among his kind and hopes to bring the local Indian tribes in on his side.  Corbeau’s treacherous daughter Louvette (Paulette Goddard) has mesmerized Mountie Ronnie Logan (Robert Preston).  Ronnie’s sister April (Madeleine Carroll) is a nurse to the local people.  Sargeant Jim Brett is in love with April but she is undecided.

The regiment of Mounties is gearing up to combat the insurrection when Texas Ranger Dusty Rivers (Gary Cooper) arrives at the fort with a warrant to arrest Corbeau for a murder back home.  He is immediately taken with April and begins a great rivalry with Jim. But soon enough they become brothers in arms.  Meanwhile, Louvette tricks Ronnie into leaving his post at a key juncture and Dusty sets about rescuing him and redeeming his reputation for love of April.  This was one of Robert Ryan’s very first films but I didn’t spot him in his Mountie uniform.

1940 North West Mounted Police 1

This kept my attention for over two hours so I can’t complain.  It’s just kind of ponderous as I find most Cecil B. DeMille productions to be.  I generally love Akim Tamiroff but here his Russian accent came off as really ludicrous for the part he played.

North West Mounted Police won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing.  It was nominated in the categories of Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction, Best Sound Recording and Best Original Score (Victor Young).

Clip (spoiler)

 

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