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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day is gonna show you what happens to people who ride on its train without a ticket!

Update: I've been away from the computer all day, but it's been brought to my attention that I took the below picture at face value as an Emperor of the North image, but it is really from The Professionals, another quality Lee Marvin picture. So, apologies for the mistake, even if it was an honest one. I mean, Lee Marvin on a train... right? The picture is still cool and I'm trying to dig up another set of cool Emperor of the North images to make amends with. 


Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

How badass is Emperor of the North? Lee Marvin hits people with live chickens. Ernest Borgnine murders train-hopping bums with a twinkle in his eye that is less than sane. Directed by the great Robert Aldrich, Emperor of the North is one of the most badass men’s men movies from the ‘70s that nobody talks about.

I did my part when interviewed Ernest Borgnine, but I could devote a fansite to this movie I love it so much, so here my enthusiasm leaks into this BTS column.

Aldrich insisted on filming on a real, moving train, which is pure balls and makes all the difference in the world when you see the finished product.

That also means a great behind the scenes shot of the camera crew precariously placed on a small platform built into the steam engine as Lee Marvin holds on, probably for dear life.

The movie is out on DVD, seek it out. Trust me. In the meantime let’s look at the pic!

Once again thanks to Pat Barnett for the cool image! Click to embiggen!




If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Even tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes Pic goes a little crazy sometimes!

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  • May 13, 2011, 3:09 p.m. CST


    by Ingeld

  • May 13, 2011, 3:11 p.m. CST

    "Who's the big, bad 'bo, Shack?"

    by Randy_of_AFTimes

    Nice shot, Eric! Love to see some BTS shots of Marvin and Borgnine fighting on the boxcars! This was my late brother John's fave movies! Thanks for spreading the word about this great movie.

  • May 13, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Link to Borg interview not working?

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Also, this movie is totally unknown to me... so I will check it out.

  • May 13, 2011, 3:31 p.m. CST

    lousy title for a great film

    by paulloch

    is probably why it underperformed at the box office. Sounds like a quaint Merchant/Ivory fiim. Badasses on a train would have been better. Underrated film by an underrated director. This film, Flight of the Phoenix, Dirty Dozen.

  • May 13, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Was hoping for a Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back pic

    by thelordofhell

  • May 13, 2011, 3:37 p.m. CST

    no one cares

    by Nick

  • May 13, 2011, 3:40 p.m. CST

    awesome film!

    by Grace_Panda

    well worth tracking down

  • May 13, 2011, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Seriously, just rename the site

    by bigpale

    to Aint it BTS

  • May 13, 2011, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Why do fuckers complain about features like this that are actually consistently updated?

    by SierraTangoFoxtrotUniform

    I mean, Harry isn't doing shit anymore but sitting on his studio kickbacks so it's good that the other contributors actually put up material. Granted it isn't scoops or unbiased reviews, but at least it's SOMETHING.

  • May 13, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    I love these b&W pics.

    by deelzbub

    Where else you gonna see these?

  • May 13, 2011, 6:28 p.m. CST

    The Last Hard Men-1976

    by deelzbub

    These days that would be a porn title. But in 1976 it was a badass movie w/ Heston and Coburn. I'd like to see a BTS from that.

  • May 13, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I didn't know about this movie

    by Nem_Wan

    I got value from my visit to AICN. The trolls who keep posting are obviously from competing sites. Real people don't keep posting how much they hate a site, they just stop coming.

  • May 13, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST

    One of the best of all time!

    by MoffatBabies

    I never expected to see a still from this one. I watched this SO many times.

  • May 13, 2011, 11:15 p.m. CST


    by RottNElsewhere

    Bustin balls the whole way (if you can stomach the unnecessary title song, and Carradine's character is [by design] a fuckin idiot). Real ass-kicking movie, very well written/directed/acted/cut, and all without the cgi spfx safety net (or 9 writers; read Chris Knopf's well-researched screenplay [see Hollywood B&P] ; he knew what the hell he was writing about). -Then just when you think its over - POW! What a mean, dirty-ass fight! (SPOILERS) I didn't see this as EMP/NORTH POLE at first release, but wondered something about the re-edit to simply EMP/NORTH: Borgnine's last line seems tacked onto the end of the revised EMP/NORTH - could it be in the original (titled) version A#1 actually does KILL Shack by pushing him off the train with the ax -? (guy woulda probably croaked from blood loss nonetheless) Maybe it wouldn't been "best" (in 73) to have the audience rooting for some guy who violently kills two people (and half-fried the coaly) hitching a train ride to Portland. But while there's much more to it than simply that (and of course A#1 would eventually be hunted down for murder), Shack's death is actually more important to the film than some tidied-up ending where "they'll go at it again some day" ... Its about in part (class) conflict and SURVIVAL, and probably more relevant today than when it came out in 73. (film is set during the original Depression 1933) "You gotta chance to be a good bum. You could be a meat eater, kid - I mean people, not their garbage." and Borgie (corners Carradine atop the caboose after all the mayhem): "And there's no place to hide. My Brakey's cracked his neck, the hide's peeling off the Black, and the Hogger's ready for the looney bin. And all because of you. That's a pretty fair day's work for a tender-foot." (dammit I gotta get Borgnine to write that on my NORTH POLE half sheet) Then: "Your fights over HERE!" Check out the supporting characters too (Sid Haig as Greasetail, Liam Dunne as Smile, Elisha Cook Jr, Harry Caesar, more) An overlooked near-gem, with some hair-raising scenes and perhaps the best Marvin-Borgnine slugfest (certainly ax and chain-fight) in memory. (I could be wrong - but see this anyway).

  • May 14, 2011, 12:59 a.m. CST

    They're Not Even Moving!

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Yeah, that's really badass filming on a train that isn't even moving. Lee Marvin could have stumbled and hurt his toe or something.

  • May 15, 2011, 6:38 a.m. CST

    Ooooo...Thank you for the reminder...

    by Aaron Synn

    Haven't seen this in decades. It's an awesome movie, I'm going to have to track it down. First time I saw this I was about 7, and what happens to Ernie B was very disturbing to me.

  • May 16, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by RottNElsewhere

    Don't let nobody tell you the big boom cgi stuff ain't real or badass just cuz the "talent" is hanging in front of some blue scrn inside some studio or warehouse (waiting to break their own toes or worse).