In 1917, Thomas Meighan played the lead in a film adaptation of Somerset Maugham's The Land of Promise. Nine years later he essayed the same role, Alberta wheat farmer Frank Taylor, in the remake, now titled The Canadian. When she loses her family fortune, Englishwoman Nora Marsh (Mona Palma) comes to Canada to live with her brother Earl (Wyndham Standing) and his wife Gertie (Dale Fuller). Though she tries to acclimate herself to her new Spartan lifestyle, Nora quickly alienates everyone with her inbred snobbishness. Upon hearing Earl's friend Frank (Meighan) making crude jokes about an "ideal wife," Nora insults not only Frank but also Gertie, who demands an apology. Refusing to give Gertie the satisfaction, Nora desperately seeks a way to escape Earl's household -- and this she does by offering her "services" as Frank's wife. The rest of the story concentrates on the tension-laden relationship between Frank and Nora, with both parties too proud and stubborn ever to admit being wrong about anything. Filmed on location in the Canadian Rockies, The Canadian may well be the best film ever directed by William "One Take" Beaudine, who lived long enough to see the picture lauded as a masterpiece during a screening at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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