March 30, 1954 (1954-03-30)
Gil Doud (story), Gil Doud (screenplay)
Saskatchewan, titled O'Rourke of the Canadian Mounted in the UK, is a 1954 American Technicolor Northern/Western film directed by Raoul Walsh starring Alan Ladd and Shelley Winters. The title refers to Fort Saskatchewan in modern Alberta. Shooting was in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, not far from the headwaters of the Saskatchewan River.
North-West Mounted Police Sub-Inspector O'Rourke and his Cree half brother Cajou are returning from a trapping trip in northern Canada when they encounter a burned wagon train and sole survivor Grace. Despite the advice of the Metis scout Batouche the naive new Mountie commander Inspector Benton (recently arrived from England) believes it to be a Cree attack, however the Sioux from across the border are trying to force the Cree into being allies in their struggle with the U.S. 7th Cavalry.
O'Rourke goes against his commanding officer who have offended the Cree by disarming them; O'Rourke losing his friendship with Cajou when he personally has to take his rifle away. He later mutinies to save the Mounties who have to leave their Fort Saskatchewan for a rendezvous with a larger command at Fort Walsh. He must also aid Grace (with whom he falls in love), but she is not as helpless as she first seems as an American lawman (Hugh O'Brian) has papers for her extradition for murder.
It was Alan Ladd's second starring vehicle for Universal, for whom he had made Desert Legion. The arrangement was made in England, where Ladd was shooting Hell Below Zero. The film was to be shot on location in Canada, enabling Ladd to get a tax exemption from the US government.
"I see absolutely no reason why I should not avail myself of the exemption because it is a law," said Ladd.
Shelley Winters was his co-star in June. She contracted an eye infection when she arrived on location at Lake Louise but was able to make the film. Filming started August 1953.
ReferencesSaskatchewan (film) Wikipedia
Saskatchewan (film) IMDb Saskatchewan (film) themoviedb.org