Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: I’m not crying. You’re crying. Shut up.
Quick synopsis: The story of Togo, the most important lead sled dog in the Nome 1925 Serum Run. It became what we know today as the Iditarod.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: You probably heard of the Iditarod and a dog named Balto. Balto ran 55 miles of the journey in awful conditions. Togo ran 260 miles. I’m going to go punch a wall.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: The lowest temperature with windchill during Togo’s leg of the run was -85 degrees. Not a typo, people.
My Take: This movie made me feel many feelings.
First, let’s get the actual history clear. Diphtheria hits Nome, Alaska mostly effecting children. A cure exists. That cure is in Anchorage. If you don’t know the topography of Alaska, then I will tell you this is a major problem. The big thinkers say they can fly there with this somewhat newfangled thing called an airplane. It’s too cold and it will never work. What’s the plan? Mushers and sled dogs. 674 miles in subzero temperatures.
Now, let’s discuss the movie. It’s Willem Dafoe doing a very subdued Willem Dafoe performance which works quite well actually. There is the crisis interspersed with flashbacks to Togo being a gigantic pain in the ass.
As I am a history nerd and this is one of the most amazing stories I had ever read before seeing the movie, I had my eyes peeled for them to go Hollywood all over this thing. Thankfully, they were very respectful of the history and the people (and dogs!) throughout. If you are a parent, don’t actually tell your kids what happened to Togo. You won’t be able to explain it and they will be pissed and upset.
Other than that. It is spot on.
Verdict: If you love dogs, then this is for you. If you don’t love dogs, then you are a serial killer. Move on.
If You Liked This Try:
- Gay and Laney Salisbury, The Cruelest Miles (read it read it read it read it)
- Chernobyl (HBO)
- Saints & Strangers (TV miniseries)