Movie about people who died forging a new trail in the north

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Sorry, my google fu fails me, probably because I have no idea what are the correct key words to use.

Many years ago I watched a movie about a trailblazing party somewhere in the North America (not sure if Canada or Alaska) - group of rangers (not sure if "rangers", but more or less team of 3-4 people) tried to forge a new winter dog sled trail between settlements (or just posts?). They decided to not use a local guide and made some wrong decisions about equipment. After they started temperatures went down, turned out they didn't have enough food and were not able to hunt, and whole party, one by one, died (eating their dogs before). Several weeks/months later, when the weather got better, rescue party found some remnants of them and forged the trail with no problems.

From what I remember the movie was based on real events. And no, it was in no way related to Nome run, which contaminates all my searches. Tried google, tried some movie databases, tried some "describe the movie" sites, to no avail.

Rings a bell?
 
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  • #2
Borek said:
Rings a bell?
Try including "Jack London?"
 
  • #3
Borek said:
Sorry, my google fu fails me, probably because I have no idea what are the correct key words to use.

Many years ago I watched a movie about a trailblazing party somewhere in the North America (not sure if Canada or Alaska) - group of rangers (not sure if "rangers", but more or less team of 3-4 people) tried to forge a new winter dog sled trail between settlements (or just posts?). They decided to not use a local guide and made some wrong decisions about equipment. After they started temperatures went down, turned out they didn't have enough food and were not able to hunt, and whole party, one by one, died (eating their dogs before). Several weeks/months later, when the weather got better, rescue party found some remnants of them and forged the trail with no problems.

From what I remember the movie was based on real events. And no, it was in no way related to Nome run, which contaminates all my searches. Tried google, tried some movie databases, tried some "describe the movie" sites, to no avail.

Rings a bell?
The only bell that rings here is Into the Wild.

Maybe Wiki has a better description than IMDb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Wild_(film)
 
  • #4
ChatGPT thinks it might be White Fang by Jack London. Although the main character doesn't perish.
 
  • #6
Not a Jack London story, I wouldn't miss that. Besides, it was not an animal story/movie, more like a man vs nature story (see below).

Into the Wild is around 100 years later than the story and doesn't use dog sleds.

Neither The Revenant nor Northwest Passage either.

Sadly, these are all things I saw during my search, they are very difficult to filter out and ignore :frown:

I remember single scenes - they see a huge bird flying, one of them tries to shoot it with a bullet but misses and grimly quotes his colleague saying before the departure "we can save on weight, we won't need shotguns". At some point one of them realizes they have some stomach medicine and shares it with others as something to eat. One of them is unable to walk at the end and is left by the rest of the team with a promise they will get back to him, before they get far enough they hear a gunshot and know he killed himself. Later rescue party finds remnants of the camp and fire, surrounded by the dog bones as they started to eat their dogs.

Could be it wasn't a cinema movie but a TV movie (I definitely watched in on TV), could be it was so long ago even dinosaurs don't remember.
 
  • #7
Borek said:
Could be it wasn't a cinema movie but a TV movie (I definitely watched in on TV), could be it was so long ago even dinosaurs don't remember.
Though set in the Pacific Northwest could this (made for TV) movie be the product of a local production company with limited distribution? Was the broadcast In English or Polish?

For example, when I lived and worked in the small Kingdom of Thailand, I saw many Thai produced films and TV movies that either never left the country or that appeared only on certain Asian distribution destinations. The Shaw brothers first released Bruce Lee's first film, translated as "The Big Boss", set in Bangkok on a limited Asian circuit circa 1972. IMS the original movie was voiced in Cantonese and Thai with Chinese (for Mandarin speakers) and English subtitles shown in Chinese movie theaters.

After Lee became famous worldwide, the movie was re-released in many countries with a variety of titles. The original film was funny, sexy and imaginative with Lee appearing as a country bumpkin in the big city, discriminated against by the Thais and constrained by an oath not to hurt other people after accidentally killing an opponent, leading slowly to an explosive climax. I have never seen Lee's first movie in its original form, a victim of studio machinations and Lee's massive popularity.

Your adventure movie sounds interesting but not familiar, perhaps only distributed on local TV stations.
 
  • #8
I doubt it was a Bruce Lee film.
 
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  • #9
PeroK said:
ChatGPT thinks it might be White Fang by Jack London. Although the main character doesn't perish.
That book scarred me as a teenager.
 
  • #10
PeroK said:
I doubt it was a Bruce Lee film.
How droll. The example was meant to show how small films can seemingly disappear even starring a major actor. American fans of Bruce Lee as a martial artist did not know he began making movies in Asia until his second and third films were recut and released for general audiences.

I remember seeing the then great French actor Gérard Depardieu playing a tiny role as a street thug in an action flick broadcast in French on local TV. No way I remember the film but for his appearance as a thin 18 year old actor in a minor role.

Remembering the name of a cast member, director or producer might help the OP find their movie.
 
  • #11
Klystron said:
How droll.
A British radio station ran a competition once, where you had to answer a single question: who starred in the film Enter the Dragon?

Answers were to be sent to:

The Bruce Lee Competition
Radio XYZ
...
 
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  • #12
Klystron said:
Was the broadcast In English or Polish?

Definitely English, not something local. If memory serves me well it was advertised as "based on a real story", so I hoped even if nobody remembers the movie itself, perhaps the story will ring a bell.
 
  • #13
Borek said:
Definitely English, not something local. If memory serves me well it was advertised as "based on a real story", so I hoped even if nobody remembers the movie itself, perhaps the story will ring a bell.
And you are sure it wasn't the incident in Siberia 1959?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyatlov_Pass_incident
 
  • #14
Borek said:
Many years ago I watched a movie about a trailblazing party somewhere in the North America (not sure if Canada or Alaska) - group of rangers (not sure if "rangers", but more or less team of 3-4 people) tried to forge a new winter dog sled trail between settlements (or just posts?). They decided to not use a local guide and made some wrong decisions about equipment. After they started temperatures went down, turned out they didn't have enough food and were not able to hunt, and whole party, one by one, died (eating their dogs before). Several weeks/months later, when the weather got better, rescue party found some remnants of them and forged the trail with no problems.Rings a bell?
Borek said:
I remember single scenes - they see a huge bird flying, one of them tries to shoot it with a bullet but misses and grimly quotes his colleague saying before the departure "we can save on weight, we won't need shotguns". At some point one of them realizes they have some stomach medicine and shares it with others as something to eat. One of them is unable to walk at the end and is left by the rest of the team with a promise they will get back to him, before they get far enough they hear a gunshot and know he killed himself. Later rescue party finds remnants of the camp and fire, surrounded by the dog bones as they started to eat their dogs.

Long shot possible source material: not Jack London but American author Louis L'Amour?

While not a fan myself, I once worked at a radar site with devoted fans who populated our break room with his paperback titles. L'Amour's novels provided quick easy reads with lots of details about frontier landscapes and terrain. The "shotgun", "stomach medicine" and "suicide" sequences read like vintage L'Amour. I tried to find a specific film or TV movie based on his writing without notable success locating this specific story.

Apropos the problem finding actual copies of Bruce Lee films due to changing titles and re-editing, L'Amour books and derivative films often appear under different titles. Film makers might change character names and shift locales while borrowing plot devices such as the advisability of carrying shotguns for hunting fowl. "Shotgun" in place of "fowling piece" certainly sounds American.
 
  • #15
PeroK said:
ChatGPT thinks
If only that were true... :wink:
 
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  • #16
Borek said:
Definitely English, not something local. If memory serves me well it was advertised as "based on a real story", so I hoped even if nobody remembers the movie itself, perhaps the story will ring a bell.
Good clue. Can you remember the approximate broadcast date?

Other useful dates include when the story is set. Did the equipment and weapons appear 18th or 19th century, or even early 20th? One hundred years before the historical grizzly bear attack on mountain man Hugh Glass in 1823 would be ~~1730 CE; Hugh Glass being the subject of "The Revenant" and other films and TV shows. Breech loaded weapons as opposed to muzzle loaders appeared around 1850 prior to the American Civil War and became ubiquitous in the postwar "Old West" circa 1870s.
 
  • #17
Klystron said:
Good clue. Can you remember the approximate broadcast date?

I am not not entirely sure. "Long ago". I have a feeling I saw it in BW TV, so probably not later than in eighties.

Klystron said:
Other useful dates include when the story is set.

Probably somewhere around 1900 (give or take 20, 30 years). Initially I thought it was a bit earlier (although in the times of breech-loaded guns), but then I learned Nome run was in 1929. I didn't know dog sleds were used for transportation that late, felt like it was already a "machinized" era.
 
  • #18
Louis L'Amour specialized in pulp Westerns but hammered out a few historical novels such as "Sitka".

Click the URL. The bookstore site includes a map button, a map centered on the Artic. As USSR censors and film writers generally loved L'Amour as source, the map may include the area of @fresh_42 Russian adventure movie West of the Bering Strait while your explorers cut trail in Alaska and Canadian Yukon.

Another detective method is to identify historical characters in the old film. For example, retired lawman Wyatt Earp and wife Josephine Marcus after surviving 1880's Tombstone followed a gold rush to Alaska around 1900. Old Wyatt sometimes refereed prize fights, so often appears in gold rush fiction as a link to the "Wild West".

I read "Sitka" years ago, coincidentally on an 18+ hour flight over the North Pole, Anchorage to Japan, but cannot remember the story except for the weird contrived names for characters more typical of pulp (paperback) fiction. I often use automobiles and related tech to estimate historical periods in movies. I Imagine an expert might use dog sleds in a similar fashion.
 
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  • #19
@Borek, I vaguely recall a real-life tale about some explorers in northern Canada. This might have taken place in the late 1800s or so. From what I remember, they were trying to subsist on rabbits and fish, but these animals were so low on fats that the explorers started to suffer from malnutrition, and possibly some of the explorers died from it. Does any of this ring a bell?
I can't remember any more details and if there was a movie about this expedition, I didn't see it.

On a different note, does anyone remember a movie from the 50s or 60s called "The Savage Innocents"? It starred Anthony Quinn, who played an Inuit or Aleut. The premise of the movie was that a Christian minister came to spread the gospel and was welcomed warmly to the group. However, when the minister refused the offer of Quinn's woman, Quinn became very angry at this breach of local custom, and killed the minister.

I believe that this movie and particularly Quinn's character in it, was the basis of the Bob Dylan song, "Quinn the Eskimo."
 
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  • #20
Mark44 said:
@Borek, I vaguely recall a real-life tale about some explorers in northern Canada. This might have taken place in the late 1800s or so. From what I remember, they were trying to subsist on rabbits and fish, but these animals were so low on fats that the explorers started to suffer from malnutrition, and possibly some of the explorers died from it. Does any of this ring a bell?
I can't remember any more details and if there was a movie about this expedition, I didn't see it.

On a different note, does anyone remember a movie from the 50s or 60s called "The Savage Innocents"? It starred Anthony Quinn, who played an Inuit or Aleut. The premise of the movie was that a Christian minister came to spread the gospel and was welcomed warmly to the group. However, when the minister refused the offer of Quinn's woman, Quinn became very angry at this breach of local custom, and killed the minister.

I believe that this movie and particularly Quinn's character in it, was the basis of the Bob Dylan song, "Quinn the Eskimo."
I googled the hell out of this lunch time but kept getting the same hits not what Borek is describing. Quinn the Eskimo is a great track, love it.
 
  • #21
Mark44 said:
I vaguely recall a real-life tale about some explorers in northern Canada. This might have taken place in the late 1800s or so. From what I remember, they were trying to subsist on rabbits and fish, but these animals were so low on fats that the explorers started to suffer from malnutrition, and possibly some of the explorers died from it. Does any of this ring a bell?

No, they were not able to hunt for any animals, it was so cold all animals got into hiding (??? not sure if that's really possible for deer). The only time they spotted something potentially edible was the bird I mentioned earlier, the one they couldn't shot down.
 

Related to Movie about people who died forging a new trail in the north

What is the title of the movie about people who died forging a new trail in the north?

The title of the movie is "The Lost Pathfinders."

Is "The Lost Pathfinders" based on a true story?

Yes, "The Lost Pathfinders" is inspired by true events, specifically the tragic expedition of explorers who attempted to chart a new trail in the northern wilderness and faced fatal challenges.

Who are the main characters in "The Lost Pathfinders"?

The main characters include John Harrington, the expedition leader; Emily Carter, a seasoned navigator; and Marcus O'Neill, a survival expert. These characters are portrayed by well-known actors who bring depth to their roles.

What challenges do the characters face in the movie?

The characters face numerous challenges, including extreme weather conditions, difficult terrain, and limited supplies. They also encounter internal conflicts and the psychological toll of their harrowing journey.

Where was "The Lost Pathfinders" filmed?

"The Lost Pathfinders" was filmed in various remote locations in Canada and Alaska, chosen for their rugged landscapes and authenticity in depicting the harsh northern environment.

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