Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Renfrew of the Royal Mounted On the Great White Trail (1938)
After a week off we continue on with our look ay all the Renfrew of the Royal Mounted films. This week we go On the Great White Trail. (I have no idea if the title is just On The Great WHite Trail or if the the title actually begins with Renfrew..., but I digress.)
While not the best in the series, it's not quite the worst either. The film is a step in the right direction, and quite charming on it's own terms.
The plot of the film has Renfrew escorting a young woman North to find her father. It seems he's gone missing and the Mounties can't reach their man in the same area so they sent Renfrew to accompany the girl. While Renfrew is on the trail it's revealed that the Mountie Renfrew is trying to contact is dead and that the girl's father has gone missing with a large sum of money.The locals believe he killed Mountie and another man. Of course things are not as they seem and Renfrew has his work cut out for him.
A much more straight forward film than the first film in the series, this film at least knows what it's about. The film's first half is closer to a straight out musical comedy with a good number of (actually quite good) songs and what seems to be a never ending series of one liners coming from Renfrew. However once the film's second half arrives things turn more serious as Renfrew sets about trying to unravel what is really going on.
I like the film, but it's not as good as the later ones in the series. Part of it is the uneven tone, part of it is the cheapness of the production (there is an over use of rear screen projections). It's an interesting bridge between the first go at the character and where it would end up a short time later when you got six films in just over under two years.
Definitely worth searching out.
(Of trivial note, this is the first appearance, fleetingly, of Constable Kelly who would become Renfrew's partner in later films.)