Emperor of the North, a vivid Depression-era drama, opens with a friendly, down-home song that doesn't prepare the audience for what follows: The brutal killing of a train-hopping bum at the hands of a cruel conductor named Shack (Ernest Borgnine, Marty, The Poseidon Adventure). A hobo called A-No. 1 (Lee Marvin, Cat Ballou, The Big Heat) rises to the challenge of catching a ride on Shack's train--but his heels are dogged by a tenderfoot (Keith Carradine, Deadwood, Nashville), whose inexperience may get them both killed. Director Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, Kiss Me Deadly) has a sure feel for male behavior driven by pride, boredom, and desperation. The swagger gets a little overblown at times, but more often Emperor of the North has a gritty realism, peppered with flashes of sardonic humor and surprising compassion. Aldrich has a gift for a loose yet always watchable story, filled with engaging bit parts and offbeat incidents that flesh out the world and make the main storyline all the more compelling. Marvin and Borgnine--craggy-faced character actors deluxe--are in excellent form, but Carradine steals the movie with his bitter, callow arrogance. (Originally titled Emperor of the North Pole, a bit of hobo lingo.) --Bret Fetzer
Remember before when I told you that everything I own is the biggest and the best? Well you're already the best. Now there's nothing left but to make you the biggest.
And don't fret about not being able to clean up your plate. Why soon your stomach will stretch and stretch and your capacity for food will grow and grow.
You say that like that's a good thing to have happen to your stomach.
Then you'll be like Buck.
Our first son. The biggest boy this big state's ever seen. Why he could eat more in one day than anyone else could eat in a whole month.
That's why Buck hated February.