Land of a thousand adventures

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German title Land of a thousand adventures
Original title North to Alaska
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1960
length 122 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Henry Hathaway
script John Lee Mahin
Martin Rackin
Claude Binyon
is based on the play Birthday Gift by Ladislas Fodor based on an idea by John Kafka
production Henry Hathaway
music Lionel Newman
camera Leon Shamroy
cut Dorothy Spencer

Land of a Thousand Adventures , in the original North to Alaska , is a 1960s western comedy directed by Henry Hathaway. It is based on the play Birthday Gift by Ladislas Fodor . The theme song North To Alaska is interpreted by Johnny Horton , the German version Weit von Alaska by Ralf Bendix .

In the German synchronization, some scenes are subtitled in German in the original language.


1900 in Alaska : The gold prospectors Sam McCord (Wayne), his partner George Pratt (Granger) and his younger brother Billy (Fabian) run a gold mine near Nome . At the beginning of the plot, all three come to Nome to exchange the gold that has been mined so far for American dollars. The exchange gives them a handsome sum with which they want to purchase heavy equipment and tools for future mining of the precious metal in remote Seattle, minus a drink in the local saloon. When McCord starts the voyage to do the purchase, Pratt asks him to bring his bride Jenny with him; at the same time he receives a picture of the same from him, who has been waiting loyally for Jenny for three years, and a ticket for her sea voyage towards Nome. Before McCord's sea voyage began, however, the fraudster "Frankie" Canon (Kovacs) tried twice to steal the bag with the gold prospectors' cash. He is first stopped by the trio dog "Clancy" and then - in a steam bath - by McCord and catches a straight line from the sturdy gold digger.

Upon his arrival in Seattle, McCord is surprised to find that said Jenny ( Lilyan Chauvin ) is a maid of wealthy people and has also already married, of all things, the in-house butler ( Marcel Hillaire ). Annoyed by Jenny's alleged infidelity as well as concerned about Pratt's reaction, McCord visits the establishment "Hen House", where he gets drunk, flirts with several beauties of the light trade and finally, in a tipsy state, the Frenchwoman Michelle, known as "Angel" ( Capucine). Impressed by their demeanor ("You have a temper, George will particularly like that!"), Her French origins and her very attractive appearance, he suggests that she accompany him to Nome. Michelle, attracted by McCord's behavior towards her and flattered by his spontaneous gifts (which were originally intended for Jenny), agrees.

Before starting their journey together, they visit a so-called lumberjack picnic at the invitation of McCord's old buddy Lars Nordqvist (Swenson) (McCord used to work in this profession). Although McCord, who was victorious in a tree-climbing competition during that party, collapses completely drunk at the end of the day and Michelle has to have him and his luggage brought on board the ship, she develops more and more feelings for him. However, they get a bitter shock on board the ship when the gold digger explains to her that he has only taken her as a replacement for Jenny in order to alleviate the expected grief of his friend. She, however, thought she should accompany him (McCord) and maybe become his partner. Despite the misunderstanding and a lengthy dispute between the two of them, at the end of the voyage, to the surprise of McCord, who had already organized her return trip to Seattle with the captain, she leaves the ship to take a room at the hotel in Nome. This is now managed by Canon (he was able to acquire it through a poker fraud), and it soon becomes apparent that the scoundrel used to have a relationship with Michelle. To escape this unfortunate circumstance, she leaves the hostel and allows McCord to take her to the gold mine or to the shared log cabin of the trio of men.

After Pratt learns that his buddy has brought another woman instead of Jenny, and a subsequent argument, it is the horned man who realizes that Michelle and McCord are actually a better match. He then tries, together with the ex-prostitute, to provoke a feeling of jealousy in McCord - who presented himself as emphatically misogynistic in earlier scenes. The enthusiasm of his still young brother Billy causes further chaos; he takes advantage of the absence of the two older people to unabashedly approach the strange beauty with singing and champagne, which she rejects politely and firmly. The illustrious hustle and bustle of the four people is interrupted when a troop of soldiers rides to the gold mine and explains that McCord and Pratt's property is being contested and that the mining facility for the precious metal is being confiscated by a government agent (Sawyer) until the verdict is pronounced. In Nome it turns out that the trappers Boggs (Shaughnessy) - he is the former owner of the log cabin - was instigated by the devious Canon while drunk to lay claim to the mine. Together, McCord and the Pratts go in search of Boggs; They are supported in this by Michelle, who is now willing to leave because of the chaotic confusion, who concluded from a thoughtless statement from Canon that he must be behind the dizziness.

You'll find Boggs drunk once more in Canon's Palace Hotel; After a wild brawl in the muddy main street of Nome, the three prospectors are able to convince the responsible government officials of the real ownership structure, and they get their mine back unbureaucratically. At the very end, Michelle manages to say "Because I love you!" In front of a large number of citizens, the mud-smeared McCord. to elicit; Because of this statement, she drops her plans for the new voyage and decides to stay with the three men.


The film premiered in Los Angeles on November 3, 1960. The western hit cinemas in West Germany - surprisingly quickly for the time - on December 16 of the same year.


Originally, Richard Fleischer provided as a director of the strip, but declined because a finished script was slow in coming because of the then strikes the authors. Hathaway, who stood in for him, was struggling with the same problem, but handled the matter in part on an improvisational basis. Hathaway - next to Raoul Walsh, the best known "male filmmaker" in Hollywood (but Walsh on a much higher level), with a focus on westerns, crime novels and war films - and John Wayne had already cooperated twice: in 1941 on Verfluchtes Land and 1957 on, however disappointing Sahara adventure The City of the Lost . They got on well together, although both were under tension; the veteran filmmaker hadn't landed a hit in a while, and Wayne was financially tight because the recently completed prestigious Alamo project had ruined his bankroll. Land of 1000 Adventures became a formidable success (to which the title song interpreted by Johnny Horton contributed), and the Hathaway / Wayne duo made three more films in the sixties, crowned in 1969 by The Marshal , Wayne's OSCAR win.

Some Western experts are worried about the idea of ​​authorship of the Austrian Hans Kafka (in the USA: John Kafka), which can be read everywhere; Land of 1000 Adventures is all too clearly reminiscent of The Spoilers , a John Wayne / Marlene Dietrich adventure from 1942, based on the 1906 novel by Rex Beach of the same name . The same place of action (Nome), the same year (1900), the same milieu (gold digger) and also the same problem of the possible loss of a profitable mine, caused by a "commissioner" (most logically translated as a government representative). The only difference is that Wayne leaves Alaska for a long time in the direction of Seattle (where help is sought in The Spoilers , but this is not shown), and that the hero's future partner in the older construct is already there, ergo not first must be fetched. Anyone who compares the two westerns is not committing a serious sin if he sees North to Alaska as the remake of Die Freibeuterin (German title for The Spoilers ); It would have to be limited that Ladislas Fodor's play "Birthday Gift" - which processed Kafka's idea - was created in 1939 and therefore has nothing to do with Ray Enright's version , but the original work of writing came from the first decade of the last century, and the abundance of similarities leaves little doubt that Kafka (not related to the more famous writer of the same surname) must have copied from Beach.

The budget was (according to the IMDb database) $ 3.5 million, of which around 20 percent was for leading actor Wayne (the fee figures vary between $ 660,000 and $ 750,000). The Nome scenes were filmed in Point Mugu State Park on the Pacific coast, a few miles from Los Angeles, while the landscape shots with the tent of gold mining trio on the banks of the Hot Creek in the Inyo National Forest emerged, a Breathtaking backdrop in eastern California's Mono County, used several times by director Hathaway .


The lexicon of international films ruled that Land of a Thousand Adventures is a " spirited and cheerful adventure film. "

Adolf Heinzlmeier and Berndt Schulz give the film three stars ( very good ) in their lexicon "Films on TV" and write: "The lively, funny film with some of the most beautiful beatings in the cinema and cheerful mimes always attracts new ideas."

Joe Hembus describes Land of a Thousand Adventures as a "film that is bursting with all cuts for sheer vitality and fun."

Sight & Sound wrote : “John Wayne as a Tristan des Klondyke , with Capucine as his Isolde, in one of Henry Hathaway's boisterous self-parodies. Enough brawls and mud fights to blow any normal boy up. Freud, on the other hand, would have reason to frown. "

Phil Hardy notes that the film is "highly entertaining" and the script is "left out" . The "rampant brawls" were carried out by all those involved "with great pleasure" and were among the largest ever filmed in Hollywood.


In 1961, the film won a Laurel Awards award as Sleeper of the Year . In the same year the film was nominated for the WGA Award .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Land of a Thousand Adventures. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. ^ Adolf Heinzlmeier, Berndt Schulz: Lexicon "Films on Television" (extended new edition). Rasch and Röhring, Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-89136-392-3 , p. 479
  3. ^ Joe Hembus: Western Lexicon - 1272 films from 1894-1975 . Carl Hanser Verlag Munich Vienna 2nd edition 1977. ISBN 3-446-12189-7 . P. 340
  4. quoted in: Joe Hembus: Western-Lexikon - 1272 films from 1894-1975 . Carl Hanser Verlag Munich Vienna 2nd edition 1977. ISBN 3-446-12189-7 . P. 340
  5. ^ Phil Hardy: The Encyclopedia of Western Movies. Woodbury Press Minneapolis 1984. ISBN 0-8300-0405-X . P. 276