Dir. King Vidor (1940). One argument in favor of location shooting is that the Louis B. Mayers of the world might be too far away to suss out what exactly a director is up to. Perhaps that’s the case with this gorgeous epic, King Vidor’s surprisingly hard-edged (and too rarely screened) adaptation of Kenneth Roberts’s novel about white folks taking vengeance on Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Brutal for its time, especially for a film from sunny MGM, Northwest Passage is hardly a work of transcendent humanity. But the artistry is superb, and the work that must have gone into rigging up Technicolor shots of the huge cast and extras mucking and rowing through the marshes and rivers of Idaho might tire you out even in your comfy seat.
Wed., Oct. 10, 1:30 p.m.; Thu., Oct. 11, 1:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 12, 1:30 p.m., 2012
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 10, 2012