Cast & Crew
Renfrew, a member of the Northwest Mounted Police, makes a bad first impression on Kay Larkin when his dog Silver King puts her little pekinese in the garbage. Because of this, she is not happy when he is given the assignment to escort her to a trading post in a remote region of the Pacific Northwest, where she hopes to find her father, Andrew Larkin. Unknown to Kay, Renfrew's superior had gotten word that Larkin's partner Bennett and a mountie have been killed at the remote post and that Larkin is the only suspect in the crime. The information on the murder comes from Dr. Howe, a once brilliant doctor whose drinking has forced him to work in the outback. On their way up river in a canoe, Kay and Renfrew are attacked by Williams, her father's manager, and his cohort LaGrange. Renfrew and Kay do not see their assailants, but evade them and eventually make their way to the trading post. When they arrive at the post, Renfrew knows that it is his duty to find Larkin, even though Garou, the trading post operator, is certain that his friend Larkin is innocent. While Renfrew is locked in a storeroom, Garou sends Kay on ahead, accompanied by his trusted guide Pierre. With the help of his dog, Silver King, Renfrew arrests Larkin and starts to transport his prisoner back to civilization. Hearing and believing Larkin's story, however, Renfrew decides to unhandcuff him. A short time later, Pierre shoots at Renfrew from a distance and Larkin starts to get away. Renfrew warns Larkin to stop, but he continues to run, forcing Renfrew to shoot him. Returning to Garou's post, Renfrew is confronted by Kay, who slaps him upon hearing that her father is dead. Renfrew then goes to Dr. Howe, feigning a stomach ache, and asks for his help. When Renfrew's back is turned, Howe, who had been feigning drunkennes and had secretly been robbing Larkin for years, attacks the mountie. Howe almost kills Renfrew, but is stopped when Larkin, who is not dead, breaks the door down. Renfrew then reveals that Howe had murdered Bennett and the mountie and that the doctor had been stealing from Larkin with the aid of LeGrange and Williams. Rather than share the money with his cohorts, Howe had murdered them as well. Larkin then explains to Kay that it was his own idea to have Renfrew pretend to kill him so that they could find which one of his employees had been stealing from him. With everything cleared up and her father safe, Kay reveals to Renfrew that she knew all along that her father was not dead, otherwise she would have slapped him harder.
Variety reviewed this film under the title On the Great White Trail, and Motion Picture Herald release charts list it as Renfrew of the Great White Trail. Renfrew Rides North was a working title listed on a production chart in Hollywood Reporter on April 11, 1938. The chart lists Phil Goldstone as producer instead of Al Herman, although the onscreen credits and the Variety review only list Herman. Modern sources include Wally West, Carl Matthews, Herman Hack, Bruce Warren and Roger Williams in the cast. Some sources refer to the song "Mounted Men" as "We're Mounted Men." The novel Renfrew Rides North also provided the inspiration for the 1940 films Murder on the Yukon and Yukon Flight. For information on other films in the Renfrew series see the entry below for Renfrew of the Royal Mounted and consult the Series Index.