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During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, Emily Meyer joins a group of German immigrants who travel to the Far North in search of gold deposits. The seven apprentice gold-diggers, who have no real idea of what awaits them, leave the town of Ashcroft, the end of the railway line and set off for their long journey. As they sink into the wilderness of Canada's wide-open paces, fatigue is felt. Worse, the maps become uncertain. As a result, doubt sets in and conflicts burst forth... Written by
Filmed entirely in daylight harvesting. See more »
Before Joseph Rossmann runs into the wilderness they have 5 horses then when they break camp and leave they have only 3. See more »
[Speaking in German, with English subtitles, to the group at a campfire]
Let's drink to a successful voyage.
Müller, we'd agreed on a bare minimum of provisions.
There's no need for pettiness, Laser. No one could object to a good beer. The sooner we've drunk it, the lighter my load will be. Here's to the gold. It's waiting for us.
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In Canada in 1896, a train led by a steam locomotive arrives in a small town not too far from Vancouver. The exact date is not that important, though "1896" appears on screen, but later a tombstone says 1898 even though it is not possible for two years to have passed.
The woman who gets off the train is Emily, an attractive and nicely dressed woman from Chicago. She pays Laser (pronounced lass-er, not lai-zer), whose ad was responsible for attracting the members of the group who Laser intends to lead to Dawson to search for gold. The journey will be a difficult one because there is not a clear route, though Laser has marked the approximate route on a map, showing that rivers will be used at some point.
Carl takes care of the horses which most of the members of the group ride and there is potential for romance between him and Emily Marie appears to be the cook, and her husband Otto takes care of the food. They have a covered wagon. Muller is a journalist whose primary interest is documenting the journey.
It's not long before Laser shows evidence that he doesn't know what he's doing, but that he only wanted the other people's money. And more than once, the group is advised not to continue by people in the towns because it will be very difficult to get to Dawson. Indians are helpful, though they want money, and not everyone believes they should be trusted, even though Indians would know more than the others who have not been there. Most of the members are very determined to continue despite many obstacles.
Two men show up in one town and ask "Grandpa" if he saw a group of Germans. They appear to desire harm to the group.
In the wilderness, justice and medicine are very different from how they are in town. And not everyone is going to make it to Dawson. I won't say whether anyone actually does.
Is this any good? Maybe. It illustrates the difficulty of being among the first in an area, and having to cope when there is no one else around for miles to help. Sometimes there is merely tension, sometimes danger, and sometimes the mood is just plain dismal.
Much of the acting is the same quality as what might be expected when a group sits around the table reading the script for the first time. Some acting is better than that. Even if the acting isn't all that good, the story is good, if you like this sort of thing. I wasn't all that entertained but this just isn't my type of movie.
Though this is supposedly set in 1896, a lot of the "music" sounds more like 1996. It might actually be appropriate but so much of it seems like just noise. Several scenes do benefit from an eerie new age sound that could actually have been performed during the time period, enhancing a very dismal atmosphere. Rossmann does play the banjo, but not nearly enough. He's pretty good, meaning real.
The scenery is beautiful. Some areas don't have trees and don't look quite as good, but that doesn't mean it's not still impressive. Personally I like the trees better than what looks like desert.
I forgot to look for the statement that no animals were harmed. Assuming there was one, a couple of horses do some good stunt work. Or at least someone does a good job of making it look like a horse had an impressive fall.
The movie doesn't quite live up to its title, but it's not too bad, I guess.
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