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North Star


List Price: CDN$ 18.70
Price: CDN$ 16.06 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Caan, Christopher Lambert, Catherine McCormack, Burt Young, Morten Faldaas
  • Directors: Nils Gaup
  • Writers: Gilles Béhat, Heck Allen, Lorenzo Donati, Maria Giese, Paul Ohl
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French, English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner
  • Release Date: April 14 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O2UTS6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,989 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Now here is a film with an interesting pedigree. Based on a novel by American author Will Henry, set in Alaska, but filmed in Norway by a British-French-Norwegian-Italian production. Whew! And with a cast that includes James Caan, Christopher Lambert, Catherine McCormack, and Burt Young, this film is about as multinational as it gets. Not that this is in the least bit unusual. Nils Gaup, best known to most people as the director of THE PATHFINDER, serves up another outdoor adventure set in the Arctic. Though hardly on par with his earlier effort, NORTH STAR is still a decent film on its own. At less than 90 minutes it is a briskly paced and beautifully photgraphed western. Christopher Lambert is either as good or as bad as he ever was, depending on how you feel about him. The idea of him playing a half-white, half-Indian named Hudson Santeek may strike some as ridiculous, but I think he's perfectly acceptable. Opposite Lambert is James Caan as xenophobic town patriarch Sean McLennon, who chews up scenery like there's no tomorrow. The conflict between them over a cave rich in gold but sacred to the people who raised Santeek results in a flurry of chasing, shooting, stabbing, and even a wolf mauling. Given all this, the climax and finale come off as rushed and rather disappointing. I must also admit that I liked John Scott's score in the European version much more than Bruce Rowland's in the American version. But that's a personal bias. The production values and technical aspects of the film are fine, the scripting and acting side less so. A shame considering the cast involved(especially McCormack, who is given too little to do), not to mention co-writer Sergio Donati, whose previous credits include ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and THE BIG GUNDOWN. For all its flaws, NORTH START is still a good, solid, and enjoyable B-movie.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MJ Bland on April 16 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I am a huge James Caan fan. I mean, I could watch the man do nothing but sit in a chair and stare at a wall and I would love it. However, there is no doubt in my mind he was facing starvation when he made this film. How else can you describe a man with his talents acting in something so despicable? Jimmy, if you're short on cash give me a call. Don't ever stoop this low again. The writing is uninteresting at best, the entire movie seems to have been overdubbed as no one's voice matches his mouth, and Christopher Lambert makes Sophia Coppola's turn on Godfather III look like an Oscar nominated performance. I'm still mad I wasted 90 minutes on this drivel. If you insist on watching this picture do it with the sound off, it's the only way you'll make it through it with your self-respect.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
North Star Shines Bright March 22 2005
By Steamboater - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. At first, I thought it would be another cheapie with an artic theme or one of those Disney concoctions suitable for a teen crowd. Not so,. Production values are first rate. Burt Young never looked so good. James Caan plays the psycho greedy bad man sans black hat, and even Christopher Lambert comes off well as a half indian-half white trying to prevent Caan and company from stealing claims to the gold diggings. (Someone mentioned the voice-overs didn't match the lip syncs; I never noticed there was any lip syncing and I don't think there was.) This film is pure adventure from start to finish and one that's a bargain at the very cheap price it's listed for at Amazon.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A good Norwegian Western July 13 2000
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Now here is a film with an interesting pedigree. Based on a novel by American author Will Henry, set in Alaska, but filmed in Norway by a British-French-Norwegian-Italian production. Whew! And with a cast that includes James Caan, Christopher Lambert, Catherine McCormack, and Burt Young, this film is about as multinational as it gets. Not that this is in the least bit unusual. Nils Gaup, best known to most people as the director of THE PATHFINDER, serves up another outdoor adventure set in the Arctic. Though hardly on par with his earlier effort, NORTH STAR is still a decent film on its own. At less than 90 minutes it is a briskly paced and beautifully photgraphed western. Christopher Lambert is either as good or as bad as he ever was, depending on how you feel about him. The idea of him playing a half-white, half-Indian named Hudson Santeek may strike some as ridiculous, but I think he's perfectly acceptable. Opposite Lambert is James Caan as xenophobic town patriarch Sean McLennon, who chews up scenery like there's no tomorrow. The conflict between them over a cave rich in gold but sacred to the people who raised Santeek results in a flurry of chasing, shooting, stabbing, and even a wolf mauling. Given all this, the climax and finale come off as rushed and rather disappointing. I must also admit that I liked John Scott's score in the European version much more than Bruce Rowland's in the American version. But that's a personal bias. The production values and technical aspects of the film are fine, the scripting and acting side less so. A shame considering the cast involved(especially McCormack, who is given too little to do), not to mention co-writer Sergio Donati, whose previous credits include ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and THE BIG GUNDOWN. For all its flaws, NORTH START is still a good, solid, and enjoyable B-movie.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
B Western in Alaska April 20 2011
By Dr. James Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"The North Star" is a 1996 film about the struggles between natives, Americans, and foreigners to control the gold fields in Alaska at the end of the 19th Century. It stars Christopher Lambert, James Caan, and Catherine McCormack and was directed by Norwegian Nils Gaup and produced by a joint French, British, Italian, and Norwegian group.

Christopher Lambert (1957) is best known for his "Highlander" films but personally I thought his best performance was as Tarzan in "Greystoke" (1984). To younger viewers he is best known for his work in "Mortal Combat" (1995). He won the French Oscar in 1986 for "Subway". He says "the main purpose for doing what I'm doing is the passion in the work." Lambert plays a half breed who is trying to protect the land for his clan.

James Caan (1940) is best known as Sonny Corleone, the role for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1973. Over more than 100 roles he's been nominated for a Golden Globe 4 times and for an Emmy once. From 2003 to 2007 he had his own TV series, "Las Vegas". Caan plays a greedy land owner.

You'll remember Catherine McCormack's stoic yet beautiful face from "Braveheart" (1995) where she played the doomed wife of Mel Gibson. McCormack plays Caan's girlfriend who is kidnapped by Lambert (reminiscent of "Valdez is Coming").

The marvelously funny and simultaneously tough Burt Young (1940) plays Caan's henchman.. We know him best from the "Rocky" films for which he received an Oscar nomination in 1977. Young has been in more than 100 films, including notable roles in "The Killer Elite" (1975) and "Once Upon a Time in America" (1984). FWIW - Young was up for the role of Sonny Corleone, but Caan got it.

The film's director Nils Gaup (1955) won several International awards for his 1987 debut film "Pathfinder". This was his 5th film and after this film he turned his attention to TV.

Father/son screenwriters Sergio and Lorenzo Donati (1933) worked on the script. Papa Sergio gave us such memorable films as "Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) and "Duck you Sucker" (1971) so you know there is a strong western background to the film. Paul Ohl from "The Highlander" films also contributed. The novel from which the film is based was the last work of Heck Allen (1912-1991) who wrote several westerns ("Mackenna's Gold", "Into the Badlands") but whose true legacy is the hilarious Tex Avery and Woody Woodpecker cartoons from the mid 40s to the mid 50s.

There aren't a lot of films about the gold rush in Alaska, even though we do have the classic 1925 "The Gold Rush" from Chaplin, John Wayne's comedy attempt "North to Alaska" (1960), and Disney's TV film "Goldrush" (1998). So I had hopes for this film. But while there is a little bit of background, the film rapidly deteriorates into a classic chase film with Caan and his baddies chasing Lambert who has kidnapped McCormack.

The photography and music are appealing, but the story has some inconsistencies and some key plot points are missing (e.g., what is the relationship between Caan and McCormack? What caused the strain between Lambert and his fellow Indians?). Basically, the film is a B western that take place in Alaska in 1899.

There's not much to recommend this film. It certainly had potential, but it fails to deliver.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Lutefisk Western Nov. 9 2007
By Jeremy W. Forstadt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
James Caan plays Sean McLennon, a greedy land owner who starts grabbing up gold claims in 1899 Nome, Alaska through murder and intimidation. Christopher Lamber plays Hudson Saanteek, a half-breed indian who is fighting to keep the native people on one of the richest of these claims.

The movie is not spectacular, and it has been noted by others that Lambert's acting skills are notab;y less than those of Keanu Reeves. Caan's bad guy is played annoyingly smirky, and Burt Young does nothing to expand beyond his usual generic tough guy range. That being said, there is some nice photography of the frozen northern wild which is pleasing to the eye. Speaking of which, Catherine McCormack is also pleasant to look at, though ultimately I have to admit that the story is not terribly engaging.

Directed by Norwegian Nils Gaup and filmed in Norway with a largely Norwegian cast, NORTH STAR seems to get a little preachy on the racism side of things, which I don't mind as long as there is a story to back it up. Unfortunately, this movie falls considerably short.

Jeremy W. Forstadt
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Pleasant little story June 10 2007
By E. F. Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
I'm not a Western genre fan usually, but sometimes my husband coerces me into watching one with him. I was happy I sat down and spent the time on this one. Full of natural scenery and beauty and gritty recreation of 1890's Nome, Alaska it was a great story of the Native Americans honoring the earth, and the infestation of man, and what lengths some men will go to for the almighty dollar. Some parts of the story were sketchy, such as how did McClennen come to love 'Miss Sarah' so deeply and why did he worship her so much? Her character was not as developed as it could have been, but the writers didn't want to morph this into a 4 hr. movie like some guys do. McClennen's character, unfortunately, was not developed as I'd have like to seen, but it was still a good story.

I liked it.

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