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His Destiny

(North of 49°)

Year: 1928
Runtime: 73 min
Director: Neal Hart
Writer: Daniel Campbell
Cinematographer: Alvin Wyckoff, Jack Greenhalgh, Arthur Reeves
Editor: Fred Burnworth
Cast: Neal Hart, Barbara Kent, Charles Wellesley, William Quinn, Guy Weadick, Alec Fleming
Production Company: British Canadian Pictures

Wrongfully convicted rancher Jack Bowen (Neal Hart) – who was imprisoned through the machinations of Dick Thompson (William Quinn), whom Bowen suspects of having killed his father – escapes from prison just as the warden (Charles Wellesley) is about to pardon him. He is caught after rescuing Betty Baker (Barbara Kent), the warden’s daughter, from her runaway carriage. Bowen is released despite the escape attempt, and moves to Calgary to compete in the Stampede. There he is involved again with Thompson, who, after failing to have Bowen killed during the competition, takes Betty as a hostage and flees. Bowen, Betty’s father and others give chase but are impeded by a number of obstacles including a stampede of wild horses. Thompson finally falls to his death from a cliff as Bowen rescues Betty.

The only film produced by the Calgary-based British Canadian Pictures, His Destiny was also the first designed to take advantage of the British quota act. Locally financed and based on a script written in Calgary, it was directed by and featured Neal Hart, an aging Western star. It was a box-office failure (despite the release in the United States of a sound version under the title North of 49°), due as much to the distributor’s mishandling of the film as to the film’s confusing continuity.

By: Peter Morris