Impressive scenes of the Alaskan waters, backgrounded by towering glaciers which drop mighty icebergs into the sea, imperiling doughty fishermen and their frail craft, lift Spawn of the North into the class of robust out-of-door films where the spectacular overshadows the melodrama.
The plot [story by Barrett Willoughby] recounts the battles between licensed fishermen and pirates who steal the catch from the traps which are set for salmon at spawning time. George Raft and Henry Fonda, boyhood friends, are members of opposing factions, the former having fallen in with Russian thieves.
Merit of the film is in the persuasive and authentic photographic record of Alaskan life and customs. Akim Tamiroff is a truly menacing pirate with a black heart and no regard for law and order. John Barrymore is an amusing small town editor and Lynne Overman makes a cynical role standout by his gruff humor.
1938: Special Award (special photographic and sound effects)