PG | | Adventure, Family
When Will Stoneman's father dies, he is left alone to take care of his mother and their land. Needing money to maintain it, he decides to join a cross country dogsled race. This race will ... See full summary »
The movie is a fictionalized account of the 1917 Winnipeg-to-St. Paul dog-sled race, sponsored by the Great Northern Railway. The main character in the movie, Will Stoneman, is based on two real-life participants in the 1917 race: Albert Campbell, the eventual winner, a mixed-blood Cree trapper from Manitoba who endured harassment from his racist white competitors throughout the race; and Fred Hartman, one of only two American participants, was touted as a hero during the race by American newspapers. His sled dogs fought among themselves and his lead dog was killed. The other American racer dropped out two days before the finish but Fred continued, coming in last and then collapsed. J.W. Harper, the president of the St. Paul Winter Carnival in the movie, is based on Louis W. Hill, son of railroad magnate James J. Hill, president of the Great Northern Railroad.
Training begins now.
Will Stoneman: Ned? Ned, it's cold! Ned! Ned! Mom! Mom! Mom, please, it's cold! Mom, it's cold! Mom!
After Will crashes after dodging the "Army" truck. It is revealed that there is a Marine recruiting poster on the side of the truck. (The US Marines would never advertise on an army truck.) There is certainly a competitiveness in today's U.S. armed services; back in 1917 President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee On Public Information. This committee tasked "The Society of Illustrators" out of New York to create artwork that illustrated the demands that the Great War was placing on America and on American servicemen and women. These pieces of public art were created by some 300 of America's top designer's and were ordered to be placed on "every" wall and publicly viewable surface. Given the great need for the American public to support the war effort during The Great War, it is not unreasonable that an Army vehicle would show it's patriotism by sporting a U.S. Marine recruitment poster.
The character played by David Ogden Stiers is misspelled in the end credits as "J. P. Harper" despite being referred to as "J. W." throughout the movie.
$5,313,406 17 January 1994