The 1940 early Technicolor Spencer Tracy film Northwest Passage is based on the 1937 best-selling historical novel by the same name, authored by Kenneth Roberts, from a serialized version that had previously run in the Saturday Evening Post.
The film is set along the New York and New Hampshire frontier during the French and Indian War including at Crown Point, Lake Champlain, and the Connecticut Valley.
The film also includes a fictionalized account of the raid by Rogers’ Rangers on the Indigenous village at Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec (or Saint Francis, to the Americans troops), a settlement of the Abenakis. The village of St. Francis was burned in an attack on October 4, 1759.
Although set locally, the film was shot at western locations under sometimes dangerous circumstances. It was one of the first films to be shot in Technicolor and the lush photography garnered it an Oscar nomination.
Photo: Walter Brennan, Spencer Tracy, and Robert Young in Northwest Passage.