Trail of the Yukon (1949)

Genres - Adventure  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 31, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 67 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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"Suggested" by James Oliver Curwood's novel The Gold Hunters, this low-budget Monogram release was the first film in a series of seven "Northwest" adventures to team former Universal cowboy Kirby Grant and a beautiful white malamute named Chinook. Grant played Bob McDonald, a mountie shot in the leg during a confrontation with a gang of bank robbers. One of the robbers, Jim Blaine (Bill Edwards), was forced into participating by his prospector father Matt (Guy Beach) and is now being held hostage by the gang. With his dying breath, Matt besieges Bob to rescue his son but the injured mountie instead sends his faithful dog, Chinook. The clever pooch manages to free Jim and Bob is nursed back to health by Marie LaRue (Suzanne Dalbert), the daughter of the saloon owner (Dan Seymour). Admitting to holding the loot from the bank heist, Jim then explains that the money was actually owed his father and that banker Dawson (William Forrest) is after the Blaine gold mine. With Chinook's help, Bob, Jim and the Larues set a trap for the villain,, who is consequently caught red-handed attempting to free his henchmen from the local jail. Although famed pulp-writer Curwood's name appears prominently in the credits, B-movie veteran Oliver Drake later admitted that it was he, not Curwood, who conjured up the story. No different from a host of low-budget Westerns despite its potentially colorful locale, Trail of the Yukon was directed by the prolific William Beaudine under the pseudonym of "William X. Crowley."