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Back to God's Country

Back to God's Country(1953)

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The onscreen title card reads: "James Oliver Curwood's Back to God's Country." In 1920, Curwood republished his short story in the book Back to God's Country...and other stories. The film begins with the following written foreword: "Out of the Canadian Northwest, following the gold rush era, came a tale of courage involving two men, a woman-and a dog." According to a February 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, Douglas Sirk was originally set to direct the film, but fell ill and was replaced by Joseph Pevney. Hollywood Reporter news items indicate that background shooting took place in late January 1953 in Sun Valley, ID under the leadership of 2d unit director Jesse Hibbs, but principal photography did not begin until February 18, 1953. Universal borrowed actor Steve Cochran from Warner Bros. for the production. Modern sources note that the real name of the Great Dane who played "Wapi" was Baron.
       Two other film adaptations of Curwood's story, both titled Back to God's Country, are the 1919 Curwood-Carver silent production starring Nell Shipman and directed by David M. Hartford (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20), and the 1927 Universal production directed by Irvin Willat and starred Rene Adore (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30).