Watch Northern Pursuit
- 1 hr 33 min
Northern Pursuit is a World War II spy thriller released in 1943, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn, Julie Bishop and Helmut Dantine. The plot of the movie takes place in the Canadian wilderness, where a group of Nazi spies led by Major Otto Baumeister have set up a secret base to prepare for an invasion of North America. Errol Flynn plays Corporal Steve Wagner, a Canadian Mountie who is tasked with infiltrating the enemy's stronghold and stopping their attack. The opening scenes of Northern Pursuit set the tone for the rest of the movie. We see a group of German soldiers and spies parachuting from a plane and landing in the snowy Canadian wilderness. The beautiful but unforgiving landscape serves as both a beautiful backdrop and a constant danger for our heroes. Flynn's character, Steve Wagner, is introduced as a skilled outdoorsman and tracker, who is able to use his knowledge of the land to track the Nazis as they make their way through the wilderness. As the movie progresses, we follow Steve as he goes undercover as a Nazi sympathizer, earning the trust of their leader, Major Baumeister. He quickly discovers their plans to attack North America, but must keep up his undercover persona to gather more information. Steve becomes increasingly conflicted about his mission, as his loyalty to his country and his duty as a Mountie are at odds with his growing admiration for the charisma and intellect of Major Baumeister. The tension builds as he tries to navigate these conflicting loyalties without blowing his cover. Along the way, Steve meets and falls in love with Laura McBain, a local woman who is initially skeptical of his intentions. Played by Julie Bishop, Laura is the perfect foil to Steve's serious, duty-bound character. She brings a lighter touch to the movie, providing some moments of levity and humor amidst the tension and drama. Their chemistry is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the most enjoyable in the film. One of the standout elements of Northern Pursuit is the stunning Canadian wilderness that serves as the backdrop for the action. The movie was shot on location in Alberta and British Columbia, and the barren beauty of the landscape is a stark contrast to the tension and drama of the story. The scenes of Steve and the Nazis trekking through the snow-covered mountains are particularly striking, and the natural environment serves as a constant reminder of the danger and isolation of their mission. Another standout aspect of the movie is Errol Flynn's performance. Known for his swashbuckling films like The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood, Flynn brings a different kind of energy to Northern Pursuit. His portrayal of Steve Wagner is more restrained, and he brings a sense of quiet intensity to the character. He also demonstrates his versatility as an actor, as he convincingly portrays the conflicting emotions that Steve experiences throughout the movie. The supporting cast of Northern Pursuit also deserves mention. Helmut Dantine is excellent as Major Baumeister, the charismatic and manipulative leader of the Nazis. He brings a sense of gravitas to the role, and his scenes with Flynn crackle with tension and subtext. Julie Bishop is also great as Laura McBain, bringing a warmth and humor to the movie that balances out some of the heavier elements of the plot. The film also features solid performances from other character actors like John Ridgely and Gene Lockhart. Overall, Northern Pursuit is an enjoyable World War II spy thriller with a strong sense of adventure and romance. Its stunning location shooting, standout performances from its lead and supporting actors, and well-crafted plot all make it a classic of its genre. Despite being over 75 years old, the movie still holds up today as an exciting and engaging story of loyalty, duty, and love in the face of danger.