Watch Emperor of the North
- 1 hr 58 min
In the 1973 film Emperor of the North, two formidable forces clash in a battle of wills and strength. Lee Marvin stars as A-No. 1, a legendary hobo who prides himself on being the best "train rider" in the world. He's tough as nails, clever, and knows all of the tricks of the trade when it comes to hopping freight trains to travel across the country without paying a dime. However, he's about to meet his match in the form of Ernest Borgnine's Shack, a brutal conductor who takes immense pleasure in tossing any vagrant off of his train.
The movie takes place in the height of the Great Depression, a time when many people were left with no choice but to ride on trains in order to find work or to simply survive. Marvin's character is a true icon for many of these men, particularly for Keith Carradine's Cigaret, a young man who is hoping to learn the ropes and follow in the footsteps of A-No. 1. However, when they encounter Shack's brutal reign, the stakes are definitely raised. Shack sees himself as the emperor of his train, and he has no qualms about using violence to maintain his authority.
The movie is a true action-packed adventure, with plenty of train hopping, fistfights, and daring escapes. There are moments of humor too, particularly when A-No. 1 is spouting off his hobo wisdom and elaborate jargon. However, the film is also a commentary on the difficult circumstances of the time period and the struggles that people faced in order to survive. Marvin's character may be a hero to the other train riders, but he's also a man who is driven by a fierce desire for independence and freedom - even if it means risking his life on a daily basis.
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie involves a train race between A-No. 1 and Shack. The two men are on different trains, but Shack has made it his mission to catch A-No. 1 and toss him off. Thus begins an epic chase sequence, with both men trying their best to outwit and outmaneuver the other. It's a thrilling scene, made all the more impressive by the fact that Marvin and Borgnine performed most of their own stunts.
The film also includes some striking visuals, particularly in the way that director Robert Aldrich captures the vast, sweeping landscapes of America. There's a sense of wanderlust and searching that permeates the movie, as A-No. 1 and Cigaret dream of finding a better life somewhere else. However, they're constantly thwarted by Shack and the other train conductors who view them as nothing but nuisances.
At its core, Emperor of the North is a story about survival and the strength of the human spirit. Marvin's A-No. 1 may be a grizzled and tough individual, but he's also a man who has a code and a set of values that he lives by. He's willing to fight tooth and nail for his freedom, and he's not afraid to take risks in order to maintain his independence. For audiences in the 1970s, the character of A-No. 1 represented a lot of the countercultural attitudes and values that were prevalent at the time - and even today, the film feels like a celebration of individuality and resistance against authority.
Overall, Emperor of the North is a thrilling, exciting film that is sure to captivate audiences of all ages. With its strong performances, tense action scenes, and stunning visuals, it remains a classic of the 1970s era. Whether you're a fan of adventure films, historical dramas, or just great storytelling, this movie is definitely worth checking out.