emperor_northrating-3.5Where else can you find a movie where Ernest Borgnine kills hobos with a hammer? (And who doesn't want to see that, I ask you?) For that and the opening title song alone, one must watch Emperor Of The North Pole (often seen without the "Pole" part of the title).

The rest of the film shows off the acting talents of Borgnine and our hero, Lee Marvin, giving the younger of us a reason to appreciate his acting (since Delta Force obviously isn't going to do that for us). Keith Carradine also appears, showing his dirty bastard side in an early role.

This film treats the viewers to the trials and trevails of being a hobo in the midst of the Great Depression. Surely that's a concept that everyone finds riveting... But the pacing and content of the movie really does serve to entertain, as Marvin and tagalong Carradine attempt to evade the aforementioned hammer of Borgnine as they ride his train, a feat we're told that no other would dare, due to Borgnine's murderous reputation when faced with hobo stowaways.

The film is something of a relic, but manages to be fun, despite its age, and avoids the tediousness of many other films of the period, possibly because of the skill of its director, Robert Aldrich, who is better known for The Longest Yard, The Dirty Dozen, and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? It's well worth the watch, if one can stomach a few hours of trains and the occassional hobo murder. (And who can't?)

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