Charming and adventurous film!
CalgaryAlphan | 01/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The basic idea of the plot is that it follows Jack London's adventures on his way to the Yukon gold rush in 1897. Featuring an introductory voice over by Barry Morse, the film certainly starts on the right note.
Filmed entirely on location in British Columbia, Canada, "Klondike Fever" features many notable Canadian actors including Lorne Greene, Gordon Pinsent and the previously mentioned Barry Morse. All are excellent. Star Jeff East goes over the top occasionally, but he is an appealing lead with a mix of youthful idealism and strength. Jeff East does seem to have a good Odd Couple type rapport with actor Robin Gammell as his sidekick Sloper. Angie Dickinson is also notable among a cast of well-drawn and distinctive characters. The production design, music and costuming are also all commendable. The film looks and feels very authentic, which of course was helped by the location shooting.
This is good, clean "family" entertainment. A classic tale of good guys vs. bad guys. Soapy Smith is the loathsome leader of the bad guys, and actor Rod Steiger gives his all and makes the viewer hate Smith almost as much as Jack London does. "Klondike Fever" has both cheer and tragedy, adventure, honorable morals, humanity and heroics.
My favorite scene features Barry Morse driving a sled dog team and brandishing a shotgun as he races in to save our hero London and his sidekick Sloper from a shoot-out ambush at the hands of the gang of baddies - it's a wonderful sequence, and a highly distinctive moment in Morse's film career.
The DVD release itself features a Full Screen picture, with acceptable image and sound quality. It's nothing spectacular, but it's perfectly acceptable. Especially when one considers the incredibly cheap selling price on these DVD's! Come-on, people, if you're only going to pay $5.99 for a brand-new DVD (or if you're pinching pennies, $1.91 for a used one), I think you absolutely get your money's worth here! I try to buy widescreen discs myself, too, but when one isn't available I consider how much I want to watch the film and make my decision accordingly. It's unfair (as the last reviewer did) to give a poor review to a movie just because it isn't in widescreen format. What about the movie itself?
Overall, I do highly recommend "Klondike Fever". While clearly not a Hollywood-style blockbuster (this is a modestly budgeted Canadian film, which does the most with its money, cast and settings), this is a charming and good-hearted film, well made and well acted, and worthy of being either re-discovered or discovered for the first time now that it is available on DVD. Enjoy!"
Though advertised as widescreen, it is not....
Joseph Hindman | Arizona | 03/03/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I try very hard to only buy widescreen DVD's. This was advertised as Widescreen and even the plastic case says it is.... but it is formatted to standard TV size. Such a cheap DVD that it is not worth the hassle to return it but buyer beware..."