Where the North BeginsAdventure/Drama
Box Office: $0.0M
PRINCIPAL CASTRin Tin Tin, Claire Adams
DIRECTORChester M. Franklin
Deep in the frozen tundra of the Great White North lies the Caribou trading post, manned only by a few brave people with ice in their veins. One of them is fur trapper Gabriel DuprÃ©, who plans to marry pretty Felice McTavish after completing his next job. Shad Galloway, de facto boss of the outpost, also has designs on Felice. He orders Gabriel to deliver some furs during a violent storm, hoping the hazardous weather will kill him. Gabriel's sled does indeed crack up on the ice, but he is miraculously rescued by Rin Tin Tin, a "wolf-dog" abandoned long ago by his owners. Though it has been many years since "Rinty" saw a human being, the dog instinctively knows he must nurse Gabriel back to health. Gabriel and his newfound friend face a long journey back to the Caribou trading post...and they must hurry, before the lascivious Galloway can have his way with Felice.
Where The North Begins is one of the most popular pictures of the silent era, introducing as it did Rin Tin Tin, the original canine movie star, to audiences. As explained in the film's prologue, Rin Tin Tin was discovered on the French front during World War I by U.S. Corporal Lee Duncan. Inspecting a bombed-out encampment, Duncan found a baby German Shepherd amongst a gruesome scene of dead dogs. He took the puppy back with him to America, naming it "Rin Tin Tin" after a popular doll in France. Duncan suffered from post-traumatic stress, but found comfort in training "Rinty", as he called him, to do tricks. Soon the adult Rin Tin Tin was appearing in dog shows, one of which was filmed. Seeing Rinty being filmed sparked Duncan's imagination, and he started bringing the German Shepherd around to the movie studios looking for work. Except for a couple of bit parts, this was mostly unsuccessful, so Duncan wrote a script tailored to his four-legged friend's strengths. Entitled Where The North Begins, it caught the eye of Warner Brothers, then a struggling movie studio. Warners initially invested $100,000 into shooting in Canada. Director Chester M. Franklin went over budget, forcing the studio to replace him with an uncredited Millard Webb. Editor Lewis Milestone (later an Academy Award winner for All Quiet on the Western Front) found melding the two directors' work an almost impossible task and predicted the film would be a disaster. As a testament to Rin Tin Tin's appeal and Milestone's skill, Where the North Begins was instead a massive success. It earned earned $396,000 domestically and $45,000 overseas, saving Warner Brothers from bankruptcy. By 1926, Rin Tin Tin was considered one of the most popular movie stars in the world, making an unheard-of $6,000 a week. He would be followed into motion pictures by his son, Rin Tin Tin Jr.
Alpha Home Entertainment/Gotham