Emperor of the North

This is a little off topic but does anyone remember the movie "Emperor
of the North"?
As a kid I caught this many times on TV but haven't seen it since then
and the recent interest in model trains has got me to thinking about it
again. Had to do a google search to refresh the character names again
(Amazon has it on VHS only but since I'm getting a book there I think
I'll get the movie too to get to the free shipping level).
It's a depression era movie with Ernest Borgnine playing a darn mean
train master named Shack who hates hobos to the level of killing them if
he finds any riding his train. His reputation is known throughout the
hobo community, but one hobo named A Number One (played by Lee Marvin)
announces he is going to try to ride that train and receive the title
Emperor of the North. A younger upstart hobo played by Keith Carradine
tries to ride his coat tails to fame.
I can remember Shack doing things to his train and cars to foil hobo
riders like loosening handles that they grab onto to jump on a moving
train, and using a pipe on a chain to lower under cars and chase out a
rider. And there is a vicious battle between Shack and A on top of a
boxcar involving a chain and an axe.
It was a fascinating movie, especially the portrayal of the hobo
community, how they would gather to talk about things, and the markings
they would put on trains so other hobos would know who had rode
different ones.
Anyway, thought that may spark an old train movie memory. :)
~Brad H.
Reply to
flyingdragon64
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.. But the lasting question that is in everyone's mind is" What railroad did they use for the great shots of the 2-8-0's and trains"? I've heard Oregon Short Line but their steam was long gone by then. Anyone got the answer.???
Emperor of the Midwest
Reply to
Bob Fink
it was an mil logging line running west out of Cottage Grove (about halfway between Eugene and Roseburg) west ito the coast range, as I recall it.
Reply to
Jim McLaughlin
Don responded (to mention of the movie being available at Amazon on VHS only):
Thanks for that info! 3 months is a long wait but I suppose it will be worth it (maybe they'll toss in some background and history on the RR and era). Still, went ahead and ordered the track book last night and a newer book on vintage Halloween customs (I'm working the older style holiday look into the layout).
I've also taken a small detour on projects and am fixing up a couple cheap $1.99 battery operated trains and track for my nieces. Will get some pictures when finished. The goal is to make 2 extended trains (re-painted) and extended track on a foam board (also painted) -basically 2 working layouts for under $10 a piece. Lol. Actually it's looking pretty good, but whether it will actually work when completed is yet to be known; lot of mickey mouse modification going on. :)
~Brad H.
Reply to
flyingdragon64
Sydney...the orginal book was entitle "Emperor of the North Pole" but there was a conflict with the author when the movie was made either regarding content, storyline, or royalties, and the movie producers had to alter the film's name or face a court battle.
CNJ999
Reply to
CNJ999
CNJ999 posted:
Interesting. I wonder why the author used "North Pole"? Maybe that was hobo slang for something?
I passed on the VHS version when notified it was coming out on DVD but have forgotten the release date. Anyone remember when it's due?
~Brad H. :)
Reply to
flyingdragon64
Brad - I believe the title of "Emperor of the North Pole" was indeed slang term and implied the character as being on top of the world, king of the heap, etc. ...as A#1 was supposed to be.
CNJ999
Reply to
CNJ999
CNJ999 posted:
Makes sense to me! Wonder if there was any records kept of hobo slang.
And thanks to Dori from another post for the release date of June 6 for the movie. I'll be looking for it.
~Brad :)
Reply to
flyingdragon64
Don posted:
Thanks Don. Went to Amazon last night and ordered it up. Only 9.69 and some nice new cover art.
Some have questioned the popularity of the movie. Was it really that good? I haven't seen it since I was a kid, but remember it held my attention on numerous occasions. Maybe I'm being sentimental, but will know for sure when it arrives and watch it again.
On a side note, had to order a couple more items to get free shipping and got the "Down from the Mountain: Live" CD: his was a concert done just before the theatrical release of "O, Brother Where Art Thou?" (I thought a good movie and music) which has some similar but many other excellent songs that didn't make it into the movie. The DVD of this is great (especially the second half with the actual concert material). The other item was the DVD of "March of the Wooden Soldiers", a Laurel & Hardy movie I only got to see a few minutes of years ago (but much enjoyed) and now will finally get to see it all. -And Amazon did it again: this time all 3 items qualified for free shipping but they are shipping one item now and the other two later with no extra charge. How can they make a profit doing this?
And back to model RR; called Kinkos, and they are able to make color copies on cardstock up to 11" =D7 17", so the enlarged paper models idea is a go.
~Brad
Reply to
flyingdragon64
Salvé
People rave about it because unlike many movies the director has attempted to recreate honestly the period as it was, the acting is superb ie not a "B" video creation, and it represents something that is unique to North America (Possibly only the USA ) and the story is a good one, this Mark is why those who have seen itconsider it to be a memorable film :) Beowulf
Reply to
Beowulf
Hmm. I don't think I can agree with you about that - it seemed to me to be the usual Hollywoood interpretation of the depression.
I definitely disagree! Ernest Borgnie doesn't act, he just shouts.
Reply to
mark_newton
salvé "mark_newton" skrev i meddelandet news: snipped-for-privacy@> > Salvé
In this film he portrayed a bullying loudmouth so shouting is justified, and if memory serves me Mark, you like I do not hail from the USA or Canada, so any portrayal of the depression there is going to be open to discussion, however having spoken to fellow Britons who lived through the era ( and back into the end of the 1800´s for that matter) the portrayal of poverty rings true, the brutality of the era also rings true, the few individuals that rose above their fellows are still spoken about, and the Emperor isnt a bad portrayal , nice to see that you are still procrastinating mark :) . Beowulf
Reply to
Beowulf
You say Ernest Borgnine doesn't act. Then explain how did he receive an Academy Award Oscar for Best Actor for his role in the film 'Marty'.
Fred Ellis
Reply to
Fred Ellis
What would you like me to explain? Numerous "actors" with no discernible talent have been awarded them over the years - doesn't mean they can act.
Reply to
mark_newton

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