Call of the Yukon (1938)
Utilizing a couple of unusual credits – John T. Coyle as the co-director and “Pre-Production Scenes Directed and Produced by Norman Dawn” – in addition to showing the following animals “credited” below the human cast (showing here to complete the casting order for fans of animal performers, since the IMDb does not give animal credits) the following were given cast credits below the 12th billed Nina Campana; Swift Lightning – half dog & half wolf (13), Firefly, a collie (14), Buck, a St. Bernard (15) (and about the 5th film Buck, from “Call of the Wild”, had poster and film credits), Toughie and Roughie, two bear cubs (15 & 16) and Winkey, the Talking raven (17.) The film finds writer Jean Williams coming to a Eskimo settlement, Topek village, in search of material for a novel. The locals fear “Swift Lightning”, a half dog-half wolf that leads a vicious wolf pack. To escape the merciless winter and the wolf pack, the entire village leaves on a boat brought there by the local white trader, Hugo. He, in love with Jean, vainly attempts to persuade her to leave also. The only other person that stays is trapper Gaston Rogers. The plot comes to a grinding halt for a while showing Jean playing with her other companions, Firefly, Winkey and two bear cubs. Swift Lightning comes to the village prowling for food, finds love instead with Firefly, the Collie, and they depart for the hills. Conditions worsen and Jean and Gaston are forced to leave, but she insists they go by way of Nenana to see the gigantic yearly ice-break, which is somewhat akin to jumping from the frying pan into the fire, but they had all this footage shot by Norman Dawn which would have gone to waste otherwise. As expected, in such situations, the ice breaks earlier than usual, and Jean and Gaston are caught in the flow, losing their dogs and sled. A wandering trapper finds Gaston’s sled, and Hugo sends a search plane from Nenana, and instructions are dropped telling of a deserted cabin nearby. Jean and Gaston find the cabin, and so does Swift Lightning and Firefly. And Hugo and his St. Bernard, Buck also show up. A double triangle of love problems soon develops between the humans (Jean, Hugo and Gaston) and the animals (Swift Lightning, Firefly and Buck), with Hugo and Buck the early betting-line favorites but one would do better to take the odds and bet on Gaston and Swift Lightning, or go back and check on which human and which animal was billed above the others.