Tundra (1936) - full transcript

After a plane crash, a doctor treks 400 miles into the Alaskan wilderness. Based on a true story.

Next time, you let a bear
test the strength of your trap.

That trap, she bite like she's alive.

How much I owe you, my friend?

Oh, pay me when you've
sold your furs, Pierre.

How are ya?


Doc, there's a very,
very sick Eskimo child

in Solitude Bay.

Is it possible for you to get there?

Solitude Bay is quite a ways away.

I'll take my plane, we'll fly.

Get my kit.

Doctor come now. Come, look.

Well, here we are, Mac old boy.

Look, the natives are
coming to pick us up.


Hand me my bag and hop out.

Some hot water, please.

And a candle.

Alright, Sayuk.

Hold tight, now.

May hurt a little, but I have to do it.

Steady now, you're almost through.

There, there.

You're going to be okay, young lady.

Umnak never forget.

You come like eagle from the sky.

Bad spirit go away!

I'll be back to see
little Sayuk in two days.

Well, goodbye.

Ho, ho!

Huskies no go much longer.

They must play up.

They've got to push on until
we find the flying doctor.

Look, Kuyuk.

There's the doctor's plane now.

That's him, ready to land at Icy Cape.

Hurry, Kuyuk.

Hey, mush!

Hey, mush!

Hey, mush!

Goodbye, he'll be alright.

Hey, Doctor, Doctor!

Hey, ho!

Doc, plague's in our village.

Everybody in Noonak die

if you no come.

A plague, what kind of a plague?

Don't know, came kind of sudden like.

Wiped out half of Noonak already.


Why, that's 400 miles
over the Endicott Range.

You go, though, won't ya, Doc?

If you no come,

my people, they die.

Doc, you've got to go.

Of course I'll go.

But, my plane is in no condition
to take that long a hop.

I'll have to go back
with you, by dog team.

Dog team take too long.

Besides, those dogs
couldn't mush another mile.

They're plum wore out.

Well, seems I'll have to
take my ship, doesn't it?

Thanks, Doctor.

You, Kuyuk's brother.

You make my people well.

Think you can make it, Doc?

I can if my motor holds out.

Want me to go along?

No thanks.

I believe I can find my way.

There's no use in overloading my ship.

I'll follow the Arctic
Ocean to the islands.

Then head up the Colville River.

Not even a smoke.

Well, maybe they'll dry.

Notebook, pencil, three
cigarettes, a lighter, a knife,

and alone on the tundra.


Go on, beat it.

Scat, get out of here, go on.

This may be your home, but you
boys have a roommate tonight.

Clear out.

Had enough bears for one day.

Oh well, come on back.

They say misery loves company.

I suppose that's why you hang around me.

A couple of orphans,

and just another flier
lost in the wilderness.

Mm, muskrat for breakfast.

You may be vicious, but I'm hungry.

Sorry, old boy, but it's
a survival of the fittest.


You're a cute little white fox.

How some beautiful woman

would love to have you about her neck.

Well, more company.

Don't run away, nobody's
going to hurt you.

Ah, you scared the white fox away.

Well, what are you
fellas doing here anyhow?

Go on, ya little beggars.

Hey, let go, there's only enough for me.

You fellas can eat roots.

Go on, get away from me.

I know you're hungry, but so am I.

That's all you get.

And quit following me.

Get back to your old lady.

She's been trailing me,

and I don't want to get mixed up with her.

Boys, there's an otter.


Another meal gone.

I suppose we'll have to draw
up our belts another notch.


That's great.

Here, here, let me have it.

Wait a minute!

We'll make a fire, boys.

Come on.

Hey, go on.

No, you'll have to wait until I cook it.

Look at those ermine go after that.


Come back with that
fish, you little scamp.

Come on, let go.

And you stay away from
me until this is cooked.

Guess I'll have to adopt you two boys.

But, you know, you should
be with your mother

like those two little fawns over there.


Get away from me!

Oh boy.

Well, you pests are good for something.

Your ferocious growls got
me out of a tight spot.

Just the same, I'm goin' to
gather some of this tundra grass

and make a rope for ya.

What's that?

Someone cutting timber!


Where are you?

Just beavers working.

Hello, Mr. Beaver.

You surely had me fooled.

For a moment, I thought it
was a man cutting timber.

Hey, get away from that eagle!

Get out of here, you.

Here, come here, Jerry.

Here, come here, Jerry!

Why don't you keep out of trouble?

You're not big enough to fight eagles.

This will teach you to behave.

If you're going to travel with
me, you must have manners.

Yeah, you ought to be ashamed.


This will keep you

from stealing any more
of our smoked salmon.

There's little enough now, and
we may have a long way to go.

Come on.

Let's be going.

You may not like this rope,
but you'll get used to it.

Those glaciers look cold.

Hey, mush.

Hey, mush, mush!

Did you scout around for him, injun?

Look around all beach.

No see white man.

Me come here.

If he crashed on the ice,
he hasn't got a chance.

I'll send news to the outside.

Report from Caribou Post would
place the crash about here.

Yes, and if the flying doctor survived,

he would've made his
way to here or to here.

Emmerson, you will
cover the Endicott Range.

Hoffman, here's your territory.

From here to the cape.

Clarkson, you cover the coast
as far as Martin's Point.

- Mac, you go with Emmerson.
- Right.

You fellas take off immediately

and comb your respective districts.

And, boys, keep radio
contact with me at all times.

Wait, I left my knife back at the river.

I'll tie you fellas here

to keep you out of mischief
while I go back and get it.



Hey, what's going on?

What are you two doing?

You are the lint.


Come here.

If there's any trouble around,
you're sure to find it.

We'll go in the warm
water below this spring

and take a bath.

That is if you insist on taking a bath.

Here we are.

Now, you wait here til I get back.

Jerry, come down and
let those birds alone.

Come on down here, let's take a bath.

Look out, you're gonna fall!

There, didn't I tell ya?

Here, here.

Tom, Jerry.

Hey, cut it out.

Hey, here I am!


Over here!


Over here!

Please, hey!

Wait a minute!

Please, wait!


Emmerson, NC-295 calling PLB.




They didn't see us, did they?

Haven't seen a living soul.

I'm coming in.

Look boys, snowshoe rabbits.

We eat!

Come on, let's catch one.

Hey, this way, boys!

Now, let's drive 'em this way.

Oh, we caught one!

Snowshoe rabbit is right.

You have a foot as big as my hand.

That was a narrow escape.

And, once again, Jerry,

you came near getting
us into an awful mess.

You little scamp.

No more fire.

My lighter must be in
the bottom of that river.

A piece of flint!

Well, maybe lady luck is
being good to me after all.

With a warm bed, you boys
haven't a care in the world.

Wish I could feel that way.

But, life on the tundra's a
hard fight with a short stick.

You gotta take it, eh, Jerry?

If I didn't have you fellas
to talk to, I'd go crazy.

A man could die up here
and no one would ever know.

Except the wolves.

And the cold, blue stars.

Well, boys, Hoffman's coming in.

Let's hope that he's got somethin'.

This territory is our last hope.


Not a trace.

Well, boys.

I hate to give up, but
we've combed the tundra.

I guess there's nothing more we can do.

There is one more thing
that I can do about it.

There's a few places that can't be seen

from those flying bobsleds
of yours, Mr. Larson.

You wanna go along?

Sure, if it wasn't for us

the Doctor wouldn't have crashed.

Me go too.

Good boy, Kuyuk.

We can mush with the team
as far as the divide.

The two of us will go down the river

while Kuyuk will follow the east ridge.

There we split, and each one of us

can follow one side of the slope.

We'll meet again at Noonuk.

Porcupine for breakfast again, boys.


I'd rather have beef steak,
but you porcupines will do.


Jerry, where are ya?



I'm going to tie you firebugs
up again, once and for all.

You little scoundrels.

Come on.

Let's get out of these mountains.



It's Noonak!



Where are you?



Oh, you fellas are always in trouble.



Let's be going.



Here, take some of this.

Come on, Tom, come on, Jerry.

These are my pals, Mac.

If it hadn't been for these little fellas,

I'd have gone crazy.

Your pals?

Yes, Mac.

Well, little fellas.

This is the end of the trail.

You have to go back to your kind,

and I'll go back to my kind.

Look who's here.

Your mother's waiting.

You better be going.

So long, Tom.

So long, Jerry.