Karl Dane - "The Trail of '98"
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The Trail of '98 (1928)

"The Trail of 98" was a 1927 big-budget gold rush drama directed by the great Clarence Brown. It was filmed on location at high altitudes and sometimes treacherous conditions in the Yukon.
Karl is Lars Petersen, a Swedish farmer from Minnesota, who dreams of gold in Alaska, but is burdened with an abusive, shrewish wife, played here by Polly Moran.
Lars has escaped his wife by leaping aboard a train bound for the Klondike. As he flees, she lobs a flat iron at his head, but misses. This flat iron becomes Lars' cherished good luck charm on his voyage.
Samuel Foote, aka "The Worm" (George Cooper) is a lazy fellow traveller who latches onto Lars and tricks him into doing all of his manual labor. Here he ministers to the aching muscles of a flummoxed Lars, who has no idea why he is so exhausted at the end of each workday.
Holed up in a tent during their journey, Lars proudly shows "Salvation" Jim (played by Tully Marshall), something he just bought from a peddlar, called "Sure Death for Mosquitoes."
Left to right: Lars, Salvation Jim (Tully Marshall), Old Swede (Russell Simpson), and The Worm (George Cooper) pan for gold. Russell Simpson was actually involved in the real Alaskan gold rush as a teenager.
Lars is driven to a maniacal rage by the treacherous claim-jumping antics of Jack Locasto (Harry Carey). Within seconds, he will proceed to tear Locasto's place apart with his bare hands.
...and the great brouhaha ensues...
Of course, all ends happily and Lars and company strike it rich. Here Lars enjoys supper with Salvation Jim and the two young lovers Berna and Larry (Dolores Del Rio and Ralph Forbes).
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Last modified: February 12, 2007