Sunday, February 3, 2013

Silent Screen Sunday - Where the North Begins (1923)

Where the North Begins was Rin-Tin-Tin’s first starring role after a few screen appearances and winning attention around Hollywood as a high-jumper. The talented German Shepherd Dog had been brought home from France as a puppy at the end of World War One by Lee Duncan, who trained him with the goal of getting him into motion pictures. This first major role proved Rin-Tin-Tin had what it took to star in his own films, captivate thousands of fans, and save the struggling Warner Bros. studio from bankruptcy.

In Where the North Begins Rin-Tin-Tin plays a dog raised by wolves in the Canadian north. When he encounters a man for the first time since his puppyhood, his bloodthirsty upbringing is tested against buried instincts to befriend and protect humans. When the wolves attack (all “wolves” in silent films are savage man-eaters) nature wins over nurture and Rin-Tin-Tin fights back, gaining the affection of a human and finding himself thrust into a man-made world more brutal than anything he has known in the wild.

This movie is profiled in detail in Wonder Dogs: 101 German Shepherd Dog Films (link in top right sidebar). 

Produced by Warner Bros.

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