NORTH TO ALASKA

(1960)
With John Wayne, Stewart Granger, Ernie Kovacs, Capucine, Fabian, Mickey Shaughnessey, Kathleen Freeman
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Reviewed by JL

     An entertaining, if fluffy, comedy-melodrama that's as much a Western as a film set in Alaska can be.  John Wayne and Stewart Granger play mining partners who strike it rich during the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1898.  Granger sends Wayne to Seattle to retrieve both his French-born fiancee and some mining equipment; when the Duke discovers that his partner's gal has married someone else, he returns to Alaska with dance-hall girl Capucine in tow, reasoning that Granger will settle for any French mademoiselle.  But Wayne starts to have some feelings for the girl himself, as does Granger's kid brother Fabian.  This was Wayne's first broadly comic role and you can tell he's having a blast mugging it up.  Ernie Kovacs, a con man trying to wheedle Wayne and Granger out of their claim, steals the show when he's handling the comedy, but a couple of dramatic scenes were clearly beyond his range.  NORTH TO ALASKA is no masterpiece, but it's two hours of well-crafted fun.  ½ - JL

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