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Belle of the Yukon (1944)

Randolph Scott , Gypsy Rose Lee , William A. Seiter  |  NR |  DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Price: $49.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Randolph Scott, Gypsy Rose Lee, Dinah Shore, Bob Burns, Charles Winninger
  • Directors: William A. Seiter
  • Writers: Houston Branch, James Edward Grant
  • Producers: William A. Seiter
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Belle of the Yukon" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Set in the days of the Great Alaskan Gold Rush, this dazzling musical stars Randolph Scott as Honest John Calhoun, a 'reformed con artist-turned-dance hall owner on the lam from the law in the upper reaches of the Yukon. Calhoun's former flame, Belle (Gypsy Rose Lee), sails in as part of a new show troupe and quickly falls for her ex-boyfriend's newfound honorasserting her intentions to keep Calhoun an honest man. But on her toes is a band of Calhoun's colorful old cohorts, and they ve got one thing on their conspiring minds GOLD. Can Calhoun remain an upstanding businessman as he endeavors to be the small town's banker, or will the old thief pull his greatest number yet on its unsuspecting citizens? Oscar(r) nominated for best original score this rousing western musical takes you on a hilarious ride through the backcountry of greed, deceit, and double-crossing for a fun-filled finale that is sure to catch you by surprise.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great chance to see Gypsy Rose Lee! February 22, 2001
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Yes, its a lightweight film. Its also a great chance to see some rare footage of Gypsy Rose Lee's short film career. Randolf Scott (a handsome matinee idol in his day) is a strong veteran actor and plays his contrived role to the hilt. Don't expect plot; just enjoy the rich visual experience of this vacuous film-as-entertainment novelty feature.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cute musical December 6, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Even the charming presence of Dinah Shore and Gypsy Rose Lee can't completely save this strange musical, which plays like a poor man's "Calamity Jane" mixed with "The Harvey Girls".

BELLE OF THE YUKON, set during the bustling days of the Canadian goldrush, stars Randolph Scott as "Honest John" Calhoun, a con-artist on the run from the authorities who decides to establish a bank and then abscond with the profits. Legendary striptease star Gypsy Rose Lee is Belle De Valle, Calhoun's former love who makes a splash as the town's new music hall star. A subplot features the comical misadventures of saloon manager Pop Candless (Charles Winninger) and his efforts to stop daughter Lettie (Dinah Shore) from marrying a man he believes to be a bigamist.

Filled with songs by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke (including "Like Someone in Love" and "A Sleighride in July"), and filmed in blazing Technicolor, BELLE OF THE YUKON will be a welcome treat for musical fans; the early performance of Dinah Shore (costumed and wigged to resemble Judy Garland from "The Harvey Girls") is a real highlight, and seeing Gypsy Rose Lee is great too.

(Single-sided, single-layer disc).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Belle of the Yukon is the kind of mid-Forties Hollywood misfire that can lead earnest cinephiles to make clever wisecracks. My advice...put the rented DVD in the player, start folding the laundry on the coffee table and enjoy yourself. The movie is something of an uncertain romantic comedy-musical-western with a clever con. Randolph Scott is Honest John Calhoun, charming and untrustworthy. Gypsy Rose Lee is Belle De Valle, a high class music hall entertainer. The river town of Malamute plays the Yukon during the gold rush days. Honest John and Belle have a history that goes back to Seattle, where Honest John, then Gentleman Jack, had to skedaddle just ahead of the law, leaving Belle in the lurch. When Belle shows up with her troupe of dancers to play the music hall in Malamute, she finds the owner is Jack, now Honest John. He swears he's reformed. She's not so sure...there's a lot of gold dust in the town. When Honest John, who doesn't gamble, suggests the town pick an upright, non-gambling man to start a bank, guess who gets picked. We know the con is on, but we're not sure what the con is.

Not to be too critical, but the director, William Seiter, gives us plodding direction even as the Technicolor photography looks like a million dollars. The dance hall costumes and Belle's dresses are so garish even Vincente Minnelli would have gawked. With one exception, the songs are no more than Hollywood professional. The acting varies from satisfying (Scott) to interesting in a kind of unformed way (Lee) to standard cliché (Charles Winninger and Guinn Williams) to pre-nostalgia (Bob Burns sounding like what Andy Griffith will) to really awful (Dinah Shore and William Marshall).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rare Gypsy Rose Lee outing December 29, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Not too many people know that Gypsy Rose Lee, who virtually invented modern striptease, also essayed a career as an actress; "Belle of the Yukon" is one of the few examples. It's a pleasant, if middling, Western comedy where you can also see Dinah Shore, another personality known for her achievements in other fields than the silver screen. Gypsy Rose doesn't strip, which may disappoint some people.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Randolph Scott film. September 10, 2014
OK, it's not the best Randolph Scott film out there, though he does what he can with the limited script, but it is enjoyable in a mid-40s kinda way. Good, clean fun. No deep meanings. But largely entertaining. Add the one and only Gypsy Rose Lee, a surprisingly youthful Dinah Shore, and some very good show-stopping songs in a western setting and you have the makings of a great little popcorn entertainment. Enjoy it it for what it is.

The 1944 film is presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio. This Technicolor feature could use some restorative burnishment to bring out its full potential. Probably won't happen -- but I wish it would. It deserves to be refurbished onto Blu-ray. That being said, it looks pretty good on DVD for a 1944 production. 3.5 stars.
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