In the spirit of haven’t-we-been-in-the-house-too-much-lately, here is an action-packed adventure film set in the great outdoors of the northern Mid-West. Based on the incredible true story of a 522-mile sled-dog race from Winnipeg, Manitoba to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1917, this movie transports us to another time and place when this country was facing a monumental struggle—World War I.
Just as the entire nation was mesmerized at the time by this international contest (the race was covered by every major newspaper), we are captivated by the story of a brave young man who is willing to embark on a grueling and treacherous cross-country marathon with his courageous team of sled dogs. The frozen wilderness they race through is real, not a Hollywood set; the movie was filmed in Minnesota and Wisconsin during a 12-week shoot in 1994 that included temperatures that dropped to minus-40 degrees Fahrenheit, just like the environment the racers faced.
Who would submit themselves to these extreme conditions? With a grand prize of $10,000 (that would be more than $200,000 today), a fortune amplified by the ongoing deprivation of the Great War, there was enormous enthusiasm for this competition.
Beautifully filmed and produced, one of the iconic elements of the movie is the 1913 steam engine borrowed from the Lake Superior Museum of Transportation. History, drama, adventure, and true grit—this movie has is all. It’s a tale of love, devotions, sacrifice, and optimism that has stood the test of time.
Iron Will (trailer)