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Tuesday, August 9, 2022
A hybrid Western-historical drama, this Technicolor marvel (adapted from Kenneth Roberts’s 1937 novel) chronicles the St. Francis Raid during the French and Indian Wars of the mid-18th century, in which a company of British soldiers known as Rogers’ Rangers attacked the predominantly Abenaki village of St. Francis in Canada. Robert Young stars as an aspiring painter, recently expelled from Harvard, who crosses paths with the rangers and their leader, Major Rogers (Spencer Tracy), quickly finding himself roped into their expedition north to confront the Abenaki. The most expensive film ever produced by MGM at the time, Northwest Passage is as visually astonishing a film as classical Hollywood ever produced. Print courtesy of the George Eastman Museum.