In this gritty and violent period drama set in the depths of the Great Depression, Lee Marvin stars as "A No. 1", the acknowledged King of the Hoboes. A No. 1 is famous among his fellow tramps for his ability to catch a ride on any train, no matter how risky the hop or dangerous the guards. He acts as a sort of mentor for Cigaret (Keith Carradine), a young hobo who brags that some day he'll surpass A No. 1 in his accomplishments. But neither has had the courage to ride a train guarded by Shack (Ernest Borgnine), an ...
In this gritty and violent period drama set in the depths of the Great Depression, Lee Marvin stars as "A No. 1", the acknowledged King of the Hoboes. A No. 1 is famous among his fellow tramps for his ability to catch a ride on any train, no matter how risky the hop or dangerous the guards. He acts as a sort of mentor for Cigaret (Keith Carradine), a young hobo who brags that some day he'll surpass A No. 1 in his accomplishments. But neither has had the courage to ride a train guarded by Shack (Ernest Borgnine), an unusually sadistic railroad cop who will brutally beat or even murder any man who tries to catch a ride on his train. A No. 1 is determined that no one, not even Cigaret, is going to deny him his title, so taking his life in his hands, he and Cigaret hop a ride on Shack's train, and they are soon bearing the full brunt of his violent nature. Emperor of the North features superb location photography by Joseph F. Biroc and a fine supporting cast, including Charles Tyner, Simon Oakland, Elisha Cook Jr., and Sid Haig. Mark Deming, Rovi
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Borgnine is over-the-top ruthless in this Depression-era piece; this epic will leave you with the question: was life this harsh in the 30's? You
can answer that with your grandad's recollections--or maybe not. Fact is, if you were a shiftless male with no close relatives and hated
farm life, this could be your story.
Mar 10, 2010
A No 1 on The 19
TITLE: Emperor Of The North (Pole)
CAST: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Kieth Carradine and No.19 the Locomotive with its Train of cars
PLOT: In the time of the Hobo, Railroads hired thugs to keep the freeloaders off their vehicles and away from the cargo. The Depression was on and penniless men needed get to the possibility of a job and the only way was to steal a ride. The situation quickly developed legends on both sides of the conflict. This story is about the clash of the two most legendary of each side: 'Shack', the RR man who is shown to be a killer to protect his charge and 'A no.1' a hobo who is so down he finds selfworth in his hobo-ing abilities. He has no job to get to, he just wants to get a ride on 'the Shack' to Portland Oregon, something no man has done before. And, as in all 'No Man Has Done Before' attempts,. there lies a story
RETURN ON INVESTMENT:8 of 10;Giving the train a lead role was a brilliant idea. That coal had to be shoveled into a steam locomotive, I think we all knew. But this film shows us the plank walks on the roofs, the couplings (hitches), the ladders and even the undercarriages. The travelogue through Oregon is wonderful. Carradine's portrayal as Cigaret, a 'wanna-be' emperor, rivals any of the character work his father did (An emperor of the north pole was a euphemism for excelling at train riding as there is no emperor of the north pole so everyone could try to become it by being the best at 'Hitch' hiking) The costumes are authentic. The supporting cast employs several recognizable character actors.
DVD BONUS: A boring critic's (like mine, He He)take how the director made his points in the film
ADDED NOTES: No stunt men, that's really Borgnine steadily walking the tops of the cars and him and Marvin in the entire fight scene on a moving lumber trailer. I love this movie.
Jul 17, 2008
this is a classic movie i have been looking for , for a long time , it is a very good movie, thanks to alibris i will enjoy this movie for years to come thank you