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Klondike Fury

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Film
Original title Klondike Fury
Country of production United States
Original language English
Year of publication 1942
Length 68 minutes
Staff
Directed by William K. Howard
Script Henry Blankfort
Production Maurice King
Music Edward J. Kay
Camera L. William O’Connell
Edited by Jack Dennis
Cast
  • Edmund Lowe: Dr. John Mandre
  • Lucile Fairbanks: Peg Campbell
  • Bill Henry: Jim Armstrong
  • Ralph Morgan: Dr. Brady
  • Robert Middlemass: Sam Armstrong
  • Jean Brooks: Ray Langton
  • Mary Forbes: Mother Langton
  • Vince Barnett: Alaska
  • Clyde Cook: Yukon
  • Marjorie Wood: Ellen
  • Monte Blue, Kenneth Harlan: Flight operator
  • Leonid Snegoff: Dr. Recksner
  • Iron Eyes Cody: Indian Trading Post

Klondike Fury is a 1942 American film drama directed by William K. Howard, with a screenplay by Henry Blankfort based on the story Klondike by Tristram Tupper. After Dr. John Mandre, embodied by Edmund Lowe, performs a daring operation but is unsuccessful, he is relieved of his post. As he travels by plane over the Klondike Fields, it crashes over Alaska. Lucile Fairbanks and Bill Henry and Ralph Morgan are cast in supporting roles. The film received an Oscar nomination in the “Best Film Score” category.[1]

The film adaptation represents a remake of Phil Rosen’s 1932 film Klondike.

Storyline

Dr. John Mandre and Brad Rogers are traveling by plane. When they are diverted, they get caught in a blizzard that causes the engines to freeze up, so that as soon as they pass the Klondike Fields, the plane crashes near Moose Creeks. Mandre manages to fight his way out of the center of the storm before collapsing unconscious. He is found by the trapper Alaska, who takes him to the trading post owned by Sam Armstrong and his son Jim. The doctor Dr. Brady takes care of Mandre. As he does so, his eyes keep going to Jim, who is suffering from a brain disease that is slowly crippling him, causing great bitterness in the young man.

When John regains consciousness, Peg Campbell, who works for Sam, tells him that his partner was killed in the crash. Since John muttered the name Brad Rogers several times while he was asleep, Peg assumes that is his name. John refrains from correcting the mistake. He is told that he will have to wait until spring to get away from this region, as the mass of snow cannot be managed before then. So the doctor befriends Peg, who devotes a lot of time to him, which is watched suspiciously by Jim, who is in love with Peg. When he reacts very jealous one day because of this, Peg learns in a conversation with Jim that he has already thought about suicide more than once.

After John increasingly recovers and his head wound slowly heals, he tries to support Peg, and learns that she has never been out of this wilderness. One day, with some bitterness, he tells Peg about his life in the city when they hear Jim’s dog, Wolf, howling miserably. When they run over, they see that Wolf’s foot is caught in a trap. John immediately takes care of the animal and tends to it, unintentionally impressing Peg with his abilities. This then leads to Peg wanting to know more about John’s past, partly because she has heard him scream in his sleep that he killed a man. In response, John admits with some reluctance that he is Dr. John Mandre, and that until recently he had worked as a respected chief of surgery at a major hospital. He had tried to help his friend Carl Langton, who was suffering from a life-threatening illness, by performing a risky operation, as he had been convinced he could. Shortly before the date of the operation, the head of the clinic, Dr. Recksner, called him in and asked him to refrain from the operation, as all specialists were convinced that such an operation could only lead to death. However, he persisted and continued to argue that this was only because no one was willing to take the risk of such an operation. He was supported by Carl’s wife Ray, but Carl’s mother was against the operation. Carl himself survived the operation, but died shortly afterwards due to respiratory arrest. Carl’s mother then sued him. During the trial he was falsely accused of having an affair with Ray. It was assumed that his motive was to get rid of his boyfriend. He was acquitted, but his reputation was destroyed and the hospital board forced him to resign. He was also forced to close his private practice. He then wanted to fly to Vladivostok with his friend Brad for the Alaska Air Freight Service.

Although Peg urges him to go back to practicing medicine, John can’t bring himself to do it because he has lost confidence in himself. As Peg and John ski to see Dr. Brady, a kiss ensues between them. After Dr. Brady congratulates John on saving Wolf’s paw, the doctors get to talking about Jim’s illness. Shortly after, Brady sees a photo of John in a medical journal and now knows John’s true identity. In a conversation, John tells Brady that he is still convinced he can remove debilitating brain growths without the patient not surviving. Brady urges John to take care of Jim, but the doctor refuses. Jim also refuses to have the surgery because he is afraid of losing Peg the moment he is healthy. When Jim’s father also interferes, Jim accuses John of interfering in his life inappropriately, which gets him so upset that he collapses unconscious. John then changes his mind and performs brain surgery on Jim despite the primitive conditions in which he must work. Jim survives the surgery, and John and Peg are able to see an improvement in his condition immediately afterward, as he moves his previously immobilized right arm in his sleep. Peg hugs John with joy, unaware that Jim has woken up briefly. After a month has passed, it seems that the impairments Jim was suffering from are coming back. Peg, now certain that she loves Jim, fervently pleads with John to help him.

When John is alone one night, Jim comes to him with a gun drawn and demands that he write a letter to Peg claiming that he, Jim, cannot help him. After that, he says, he should leave. John realizes at that moment that Jim is in fact cured, but wants to use his illness to bind Peg to him. A debate ensues between the men, at the end of which John tells Jim that Peg loves him alone. Now, at last, Jim is reassured and joy spreads through him. Some time later, John leaves the trading post with Dr. Brady and goes with him to town, where he is warmly welcomed after his good reputation is restored.

Production

Production notes

It was a King Brothers Productions production, loaned by Monogram Pictures. The film, which had an estimated budget of $24,000, was made in seven and a half days, with shooting beginning on February 4, 1942.[2]

Background

The lead role of the doctor was offered to Jack Holt as well as Ralph Bellamy and William Gargan with the salary they were normally listed with. All three declined, however, as they did not want to be associated with Monogram Pictures, a studio known for B-movies.[3]

Reception

Publication

Klondike Fury premiered in the United States on March 20, 1942. On May 3, 1944, the film was released under the title Remedio heroico in Mexico and on May 22, 1944, under the title Dias de Tortura in Portugal. It was re-released in the United States on November 14, 1948.

The working title of the film was Klondike Victory.

Award

Academy Awards 1943:

  • Edward J. Kay nominated in the category “Best Film Score” (Drama/Comedy)

Web links

Individual references

  1. The 15th Academy Awards | 1943 s.S. oscars.org (English)
  2. Klondike Fury Original Print Information s.S. tcm.com (English)
  3. Raised Eyebrows Department. In: The New York Times. 11. January 1942 (English)