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The Far Country

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Director  Anthony Mann
Country  United States
7.2/10 IMDb

Duration  
Language  English
The Far Country movie poster
Release date  July 22, 1954 (1954-07-22) (London) February 12, 1955 (1955-02-12) (USA)
Tagline  RENEE...the innocent...and the untamed...BEN...the gambler...and the loser...GANNON...the law...and the noose...RUBE...the friendless...and the afraid.

The Far Country is a 1954 American Technicolor Western romance film directed by Anthony Mann starring James Stewart, Ruth Roman, Walter Brennan and Corinne Calvet. Written by Borden Chase, the film is about a self-minded adventurer who locks horns with an evil, crooked judge while driving cattle to Dawson. It is one of the few Westerns, along with The Spoilers and North to Alaska, to be set (not filmed) in Alaska. This is the fourth Western film collaboration between Anthony Mann and James Stewart.

Contents

The Far Country movie scenes

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Plot

The Far Country movie scenes

In 1896, Jeff Webster (James Stewart) hears of the Klondike gold rush and he and friend Ben Tatem (Walter Brennan) decide to drive a herd of cattle to Dawson City. On the way, he annoys self-appointed Skagway judge Gannon (John McIntire) by interrupting a hanging, so Gannon "confiscates" (basically, steals) his herd. Jeff and Ben steal the animals back and take off with Gannon and his men in hot pursuit. After crossing the border into Canada, Jeff uses a few well-placed warning shots to persuade Gannon's gang to give up the chase, but the judge promises a hot reception when Jeff returns.

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When Jeff gets to Dawson, he finds widespread (though relatively peaceful) lawlessness, and ignores it as none of his business. He auctions off his herd to new arrival Ronda Castle (Ruth Roman), a saloon owner and one of Gannon's business associates, when she outbids Hominy (Connie Gilchrist), Grits (Kathleen Freeman) and Molasses (Connie Van), co-owners of the local hash house. Both Ronda and French-Canadian gamine Renee Vallon (Corinne Calvet) are strongly attracted to Jeff.

Ronda sets up a saloon in partnership with Gannon, who begins cheating the miners out of their claims. Gannon and his gunmen show up to grab their share (and then some), making Dawson much more dangerous. Jeff stays out of it, instead planning to sneak out by river while Gannon is otherwise occupied. However, Gannon is tipped off when Ben buys extra coffee for the long trip; his men kill Ben and wound Jeff, finally forcing him to take sides.

Jeff calls Gannon out to settle the dispute man to man, but the villain arranges an ambush. Ronda rushes out to warn Jeff and is fatally shot in the back. Jeff kills Gannon in the ensuing gunfight and the rest of his gang agree to leave town, rather than fight all the fed-up longtime residents, who have finally found their courage and armed themselves to resist the gang.

Cast

  • James Stewart as Jeff Webster
  • Ruth Roman as Ronda Castle
  • Corinne Calvet as Renee Vallon
  • Walter Brennan as Ben Tatem
  • John McIntire as Judge Gannon
  • Jay C. Flippen as Marshal Rube Morris
  • Harry Morgan as Ketchum
  • Steve Brodie as Ives
  • Connie Gilchrist as Hominy
  • Robert J. Wilke as Madden
  • Chubby Johnson as Dusty
  • Royal Dano as Luke
  • Eugene Borden as Dr Vallon
  • Jack Elam as Newberry
  • Kathleen Freeman as Grits
  • Connie Van as Molasses
  • Historical background

    The character of Gannon may be loosely based on that of Soapy Smith, a confidence artist and gang leader who ran the town of Skagway during the Alaska Gold Rush. He was killed in a gunfight, although not as shown in the movie.

    Production

    Filming locations
  • Athabasca Glacier, Alberta, Canada
  • Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
  • Reception

    The film was first released in the summer of 1954 throughout the UK. It would be released in the US only in February 1955. Stewart took a percentage of the profits. In 1955, William Goetz estimated that Stewart had earned $300,000 from the film.

    References

    The Far Country Wikipedia
    The Far Country IMDb The Far Country themoviedb.org


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