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George At 

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Featured Movie Reviews

Emperor of the North


They definitely don't make them like this anymore. A Depression era action film like no other, EMPEROR OF THE NORTH is loaded with action and interesting characters.

Ernest Borgnine is Shack, the sadistic, violent conductor of the #19 train. Legendary for being the one route that NO hobos have ever ridden, Shack wields every weapon imaginable to kill any man that dares to hitch a free ride.

Lee Marvin is terrific as A No. 1, the king of the cross country hobos that announces that he WILL ride Shack's train, even telling him where and when.

Keith Carradine is Cigaret, a young wannabe who aspires to be the next Marvin, and shows more bravery than smarts as he tries to keep up with the older legend.

It's all a little sleepy in that early 70's style, beautifully shot in the Carolinas by Joe Biroc (Blazing Saddles, The Longest Yard) and directed by Robert Aldrich, who also brought us "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Longest Yard".

Borgnine and Marvin are pretty amazing with the amount of running around on top of a train they both did, well before the days of CGI. Their final battle on the train that concludes the film took 35 DAYS to shoot!!!

The music by DeVol (as always) is the weakest part of the movie and the score is painfully awkward when it isn't downright awful.

Ignore the score and enjoy these talented filmmakers from another era creating the ultimate "guy's movie" back when it was actually okay to have that sort of thing......

Borgnine paints a blood soaked portrait of one of the meanest, ugliest brutes I've ever seen on film. Stay off the train but check out this early seventies action classic. It gets a B.

This ain't the Polar Express......

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