In 1896, Jeff Webster sees the start of the Klondike gold rush as a golden opportunity to make a fortune in beef, and woe betide anyone standing in his way. He drives a cattle herd from Wyoming to Seattle, by ship to Skagway, and (after a delay caused by larcenous town boss Gannon) through the mountains to Dawson. There, he and his partner Ben Tatum get into the gold business themselves. Two lovely women fall for misanthropic Jeff, but he believes in every-man-for-himself, turning his back on growing lawlessness, until it finally strikes home.
Another Great Jimmy Stewart/Anthony Mann Western
Cowboys James Stewart and Walter Brennan take their herd from Seattle to Alaska and on into Canada to stake a claim. Once there, they have to contend with seductive, shifty businesswoman Ruth Roman and ice-cold, happy-go-lucky villain James McIntire.
John Wayne may get talked about more, but his good pal Stewart made some excellent, hard-edged westerns too, some with the great director Anthony Mann. Frankly, I’d take this, with it’s sturdy action sequences and fine melodrama, over North To Alaska any day!
The Far Country features some breathtaking scenery and cinematography that should definitely have been shot in widescreen.
Also, there’s some strong support by the always reliable Brennan, Roman (who’s great), the incredibly cute Corrine Calvet, and James McIntire, who plays one of my favorite types of bad guy, the kind that doesn’t take himself too seriously.
This would make a great double-bill with another highly recommended Mann/Stewart northwest-set western, Bend Of The River.
The best Western movie I’ve ever seen.