Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Silver Horde


The title refers to salmon runs in Alaska, not the metal silver. This was filmed on location in Ketchikan, which is why the snow heaped on the roofs looks so real, I guess. I TiVoed this because it starred Joel McCrea in only his second leading role, and Jean Arthur, who was not yet a big star despite having been in fifty films, including many silent ones. She got fifth billing. They are two of my favorite actors from the Golden Age. 1930 was so early in the sound era that this film really suffers from limitations of recording technology, and old-fashioned cinema techniques. The sound is awful, and all transitions are made with a slow, slow fade-out, followed by a slow, slow fade-in. After about half an hour I decided I had seen enough. I’m a big fan of silent movies and early talkies, but only of the best ones. This is not one of them.