Wild Geese Calling


1h 17m 1941

Brief Synopsis

In the 1890s lumberjack John leaves Seattle for Alaska to look for gold. After he marries dancehall girl Sally, he finds she used to be in love with his best friend Blackie.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 15, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Wild Geese Calling by Stewart Edward White (New York, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,100ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

Drifter John Murdock travels from job to job, always seeking new sights and experiences. Whenever John sees a flock of wild geese heading for parts unknown, he gets a notion to move on. Following his yearnings, he leaves a lumber job in the Cascade Mountains to go to Seattle. There he is to meet an old friend, Blackie Bedford, who owes him money. Blackie does not show up at their appointed meeting place, but sends word for John to wait. John gets another lumber job, and makes the acquaintance of Sally, a saloon dancer. Sally is impressed with John's gentle nature, despite his restlessness, and John quickly falls in love with the high-spirited Sally. The two are married and spend a happy month together until one day, Blackie arrives. Unknown to John, Blackie was Sally's former sweetheart, and is still enamoured of her. Sally makes clear to Blackie, however, that she is interested only in John, and that he is not to tell John of their prior relationship. Blackie, a rogue who is perpetually involved in shady deals, tells John and Sally that he has won half-interest in an Alaskan hotel from a tough mug named Pirate Kelly. John and Blackie have a run-in with Kelly, who asserts that Blackie won the hotel in a crooked dice game. John throws Kelly off the boat that he and Blackie are inspecting so that Blackie can buy it and sail to Alaska. Soon after, John tells Sally that he wants to go with Blackie, and despite her misgivings, Sally agrees. Upon their arrival in Klakan, Alaska, Sally and John find that Blackie's "hotel" is only a cheap saloon, and they are forced to find other lodgings. John obtains work at Len Baker's logging operation, and he and Sally settle into one of Len's log cabins. Sally becomes friends with Clarabella, who works in the saloon and was another of Blackie's former girl friends. Everything goes well until Sally hears that Kelly is in town looking for John and Blackie. Afraid that Kelly, who knows about her and Blackie, will inform John of her past, Sally goes to Blackie's room to ask him to get rid of Kelly. Blackie has no intention of confronting Kelly, however, wanting instead to leave for the Klondike to mine gold. Blackie asks Sally to come with him and is embracing her against her will when John walks in. John angrily denounces Sally without letting her explain, and Sally, crushed by his lack of faith, decides to leave. She is packing her things when Dr. Jed Sloan tells John that she is expecting a baby. Sally, who did not want John to feel tied down, agrees to stay in Alaska with him until the baby is born. They move to a remote logging site, Indian Cove, where they are cold and distant to each other. Winter passes, and in the spring, Sally goes into labor two weeks early. Although there is a terrible storm, John goes to Klakan to get the doctor but instead runs into Kelly, who re-possessed the saloon when Blackie left for the Klondike. John is shot by Kelly, who is in turn shot by Blackie. Blackie and Clarabella then brave the storm to take John home and help Sally. Clarabella delivers the baby while John, who was only slightly wounded, reconciles with Blackie after Blackie explains his and Sally's relationship. John and Sally are thrilled with their new son, and although Blackie invites him to go to the Klondike with him, John is able to resist the lure of the departing wild geese to stay with his family.

Film Details

Release Date
Aug 15, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Wild Geese Calling by Stewart Edward White (New York, 1940).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 17m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,100ft (8 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film's opening credits show a man taking a book from a shelf, the cover of which lists the title and author, Stewart Edward White. The acting and production credits are revealed as the book is opened and the pages turned. The Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library indicates that Bruce Humberstone was considered as director of the picture, and that shots of the wild geese were filmed at Willows, CA. The scripts collection also notes that in mid-April 1941, Charles Stallings was scheduled to be the assistant director, but the extent of his contribution to the released picture has not been confirmed. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, the company spent three days filming on location at Lake Arrowhead, CA.