James Oliver Curwood

James Oliver Curwood

Biography of James Oliver Curwood

James Oliver Curwood was one of the best selling authors of his time. His more than thirty novels were made into two hundred movies and television shows. His books are full of a love of life and a zest for wilderness adventure that people today still enjoy. His novels are still being made into movies and will continue as they are timeless.

Born in Owosso, Michigan on June 12, 1878 and raised there, Curwood grew up to study journalism at the University of Michigan in 1900. He sold his first story while working as a journalist for the Detroit News-Tribune. Saving his money, Curwood took his first journey into the wilds of Canada before 1910, capturing the heart of the wilderness and people there in his first novels.  The success of his writing allowed him to continue to return to Canada, Alaska, and the Yukon over the next seventeen years writing the adventure novels that the reading public of the early 1900s loved.

James Oliver Curwood loved the wilderness of Canada and Alaska, hunting, trapping, and hiking from British Columbia to northern Quebec. He would spend six or more months at a time there, even building his own log cabins in the wilderness, then return to his hometown of Owosso, Michigan to write about his adventures. If you have read and like, Jack London’s novels, you will like Curwood.

His characters are not typical, at times the villain becomes the hero or the law man the ruthless hunter without heart; and then they switch roles again. At times the heroine is helpless and in need of rescue and at others a quite competent woman of the back woods capable of out-whiting the most able backwoodsman. He drew his characters from his own experiences and more than seventeen years living in the Canadian wilderness among the people who settled that frontier in the early 1900’s.

He was an ecologist before it was popular and was appointed Chairman of the Game, Fish, and Wildlife Committee of the Michigan Department of Conservation in 1926. As the years went on, Curwood exchanged hunting with a rifle to filming the wildlife he loved with a camera.

After writing and living in the backwoods for many years, Curwood eventually settled back in his hometown of Owosso, Michigan where in 1922 he followed another dream and built a replica of a Norman chateau along the banks of the Shiawassee River, now called The Curwood Castle Museum. The Castle, became his writing studio where he would spin the tales of his out door adventures in the Canadian and Alaskan wilderness that so thrilled the readers of that era as they still do today.

In 1927, while on a fishing trip to Florida, Curwood contracted blood poisoning from an insect bite and later died on August 13, 1927 of complications.  He is interred in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Owosso, and his Curwood Castle is now a museum. There is an annual Curwood Festival held the first full weekend in June in his honor in Owosso where many gather to hear his books read or told by story tellers and plays are re-enacted of his novels and movies.

Below are a list of James Oliver Curwood’s novels and movies made from them.

Novels by James Oliver Curwood

Movies by James Oliver Curwood (from IMDb)

As Writer
  1. “Aventures dans le Grand Nord” (5 episodes, 1994-1995)
    Le sang du chasseur (1995) TV episode (novel)
    Chasseurs de loups, chasseurs d’or (1995) TV episode (stories The Wolf Hunters; The Gold Hunters)
    Kazan (1995) TV episode (novel “Kazan the Wolf Dog, 1914”)
    Bari (1994) TV episode (novel “Baree, son of Kazan”)
    L’honneur des grandes neiges (1994) TV episode (book)
  2. L’ours (1988) (novel “The Grizzly King”)
  3. V debryakh, gde reki begut… (1987) (book)
  4. “Disneyland” (1 episode, 1964)
    Nikki, Wild Dog of the North: Part 1 (1964) TV episode (novel “Nomads of the North”)
  5. Nikki, Wild Dog of the North (1961) (novel)
  6. Yukon Vengeance (1954) (story)
  7. Back to God’s Country (1953) (story)
  8. Northern Patrol (1953) (story)
  9. Fangs of the Arctic (1953) (story)
  10. Yukon Gold (1952) (novel “Gold Hunters”)
  11. “Saturday Roundup” (1951) TV series (story) (1951)
  12. Northwest Territory (1951) (story)
  13. Yukon Manhunt (1951) (novel)
  14. Call of the Klondike (1950) (story)
  15. Snow Dog (1950) (novel “In the Tentacles of the North”)
  16. Timber Fury (1950) (novel “Retribution”)
  17. The Wolf Hunters (1949) (novel)
  18. Trail of the Yukon (1949) (story “The Gold Hunters”)
  19. Kazan (1949) (novel “Kazan, the Wolf Dog”)
  20. North of the Border (1946) (story)
  21. ‘Neath Canadian Skies (1946) (story)
  22. God’s Country (1946) (novel)
  23. Northwest Trail (1945) (story)
  24. Dawn on the Great Divide (1942) (story “Wheels of Fire”)
  25. Law of the Timber (1941) (story “The Speck on the Wall”)
  26. River’s End (1940) (novel “The River’s End”)
  27. Call of the Yukon (1938) (novel “Swift Lightning”)
  28. Roaring Six Guns (1937) (story)
  29. Rough Riding Rhythm (1937) (story “Getting a Start in Life”)
  30. Galloping Dynamite (1937) (story “The Mystery of Dead Man’s Isle”)
  31. The Fighting Texan (1937) (story “Tragedy That Lived”)
  32. Whistling Bullets (1937) (story “The Fifth Man”)
  33. The Silver Trail (1937) (original story) (story “The Mystery of the Seven Chests”)
  34. Valley of Terror (1937) (story “Game of Life”)
  35. God’s Country and the Woman (1937) (novel “God’s Country – and the Woman”)
  36. Wild Horse Roundup (1936) (story “The Man Hater”)
  37. Vengeance of Rannah (1936) (story)
  38. Phantom Patrol (1936) (story “Fatal Note”)
  39. Wildcat Trooper (1936) (novel “The Midnight Call”)
  40. The Country Beyond (1936) (story)
  41. Caryl of the Mountains (1936) (story)
  42. Song of the Trail (1936) (story “Playing with Fire”)
  43. Skull and Crown (1935) (story)
  44. Timber War (1935) (story “Hell’s Gulch”)
  45. His Fighting Blood (1935) (story)
  46. Trails End (1935) (story “Trail’s End”)
  47. Trails of the Wild (1935) (story “Caryl of the Mountains”)
  48. Code of the Mounted (1935) (novel “Wheels of Fate”)
  49. The Hawk (1935) (story “The Coyote”)
  50. The Test (1935) (story)
  51. The Red Blood of Courage (1935) (story “Red Blood of Courage”)
  52. Wilderness Mail (1935) (story)
  53. Northern Frontier (1935) (novel “Four Minutes Late”)
  54. Fighting Trooper (1934) (novel “Footprints”)
  55. The Trail Beyond (1934) (novel “The Wolf Hunters”)
  56. The Lone Trail (1932) (story “Skull and Crown”)
  57. River’s End (1930) (novel “The River’s End”)
  58. Untamed Justice (1929) (story) (uncredited)
  59. The Yellowback (1929) (story)
  60. The Old Code (1928) (story)
  61. Hearts of Men (1928) (writer)
  62. The Slaver (1927) (story)
  63. Back to God’s Country (1927) (story)
  64. A Captain’s Courage (1926) (story)
  65. In the Tentacles of the North (1926) (story)
  66. Prisoners of the Storm (1926) (story “The Quest of Joan”)
  67. The Flaming Forest (1926) (novel)
  68. The Country Beyond (1926) (story)
  69. When the Door Opened (1925) (story)
  70. The Ancient Highway (1925) (story)
  71. Steele of the Royal Mounted (1925) (novel)
  72. My Neighbor’s Wife (1925) (story “The Other Man’s Wife”)
  73. Baree, Son of Kazan (1925) (novel)
  74. The Hunted Woman (1925) (story)
  75. The Alaskan (1924) (novel)
  76. Gold Madness (1923) (story “The Man From Ten Strike”)
  77. Jacqueline, or Blazing Barriers (1923) (story “Jacqueline”)
  78. The Valley of Silent Men (1922) (story)
  79. I Am the Law (1922) (story “The Poetic Justice of Uko San”)
  80. The Man from Hell’s River (1922) (story “God of Her People”)
  81. The Broken Silence (1922) (story)
  82. The Flower of the North (1921) (novel)
  83. The White Mouse (1921) (story)
  84. Kazan (1921) (novel “Kazan, the Wolf Dog”)
  85. The Girl from Porcupine (1921) (screenplay) (story)
  86. The Golden Snare (1921) (novel)
  87. The Northern Trail (1921) (story “The Wilderness Trail”)
  88. God’s Country and the Law (1921) (novel “God’s Country and the Woman”)
  89. Isobel or The Trail’s End (1920) (novel “Isobel: A Romance of the Northern Trail”)
  90. Nomads of the North (1920) (novel)
  91. The Courage of Marge O’Doone (1920) (novel)
  92. The River’s End (1920) (novel)
  93. Back to God’s Country (1919) (story “Wapi, the Walrus”)
  94. Paid in Advance (1919) (story “The Girl Who Dared”)
  95. Beauty-Proof (1919) (story)
  96. Some Liar (1919) (story)
  97. Two Women (1919) (story)
  98. Such a Little Pirate (1918) (story “Peggy the Pirate”)
  99. Tangled Lives (1918) (story)
  100. Baree, Son of Kazan (1918) (novel)
  101. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Quit (1918) (story “The Quest of Joan”)
  102. Soldiers of Chance (1917) (story)
  103. The Man Hater (1917) (story)
  104. The Sole Survivor (1917) (writer)
  105. Her Fighting Chance (1917) (story “The Fiddling Man”)
  106. The Soul Master (1917) (story)
  107. Clover’s Rebellion (1917) (novel)
  108. Danger Trail (1917) (novel)
  109. A Man, a Girl, and a Lion (1917) (story)
  110. The Last Man (1916) (story)
  111. The Wandering Horde (1916) (writer)
  112. Fathers of Men (1916) (story)
  113. The Destroyers (1916) (story “Peter God”)
  114. God’s Country and the Woman (1916) (novel)
  115. Beauty Hunters (1916) (writer)
  116. Husks (1916) (story)
  117. Unto Those Who Sin (1916) (story)
  118. The Hunted Woman (1916) (story)
  119. Thou Shalt Not Covet (1916/I) (screenplay) (story)
  120. The Vengeance of Rannah (1915) (story)
  121. The Flashlight (1915) (writer)
  122. The Gods Redeem (1915) (story)
  123. The Queen of Jungle Land (1915) (story)
  124. Rags and the Girl (1915) (story)
  125. The Jungle Lovers (1915) (story)
  126. Man’s Law (1915) (story)
  127. The Strange Case of Talmai Lind (1915) (story)
  128. The Coyote (1915) (story)
  129. The Mystery of Dead Man’s Isle (1915) (writer)
  130. Beautiful Belinda (1915) (story)
  131. In the Days of Famine (1915) (story)
  132. The Awakening (1915) (story)
  133. The Great Experiment (1915) (story)
  134. The Poetic Justice of Omar Kham (1915) (story)
  135. Getting a Start in Life (1915) (writer)
  136. Retribution (1915) (story)
  137. The Battle of Frenchman’s Run (1915) (story)
  138. A Study in Tramps (1915) (writer)
  139. The Young Man Who ‘Figgered’ (1915) (writer)
  140. The Red Blood of Courage (1915) (story)
  141. The Lady Killer (1915) (story)
  142. A Pound for a Pound (1915) (story)
  143. Cats (1915) (story)
  144. The Spirit of the Violin (1915) (story)
  145. His Fighting Blood (1915) (writer)
  146. The Richest Girl in the World (1915) (story)
  147. The Old Code (1915) (story)
  148. The Strange Case of Princess Khan (1915) (story)
  149. Till Death Us Do Part (1914) (writer)
  150. The Test (1914/II) (story)
  151. The Mystery of the Seven Chests (1914) (screenplay) (story)
  152. The Fatal Note (1914) (story)
  153. The Story of the Blood Red Rose (1914) (story)
  154. Two Women (1914) (story)
  155. Playing with Fire (1914/I) (story)
  156. The Tragedy That Lived (1914) (story)
  157. The Man Hater (1914) (story)
  158. His Dominant Passion (1914) (story)
  159. The Dream Girl (1914) (screenplay) (story)
  160. Four Minutes Late (1914) (writer)
  161. The Fifth Man (1914) (story)
  162. The Eugenic Girl (1914) (screenplay) (story)
  163. Ye Vengeful Vagabonds (1914) (story)
  164. The White Mouse (1914) (story)
  165. The Speck on the Wall (1914) (story)
  166. Polishing Up (1914) (story)
  167. The Skull and the Crown (1914) (story)
  168. The Ordeal (1914/II) (screenplay) (story)
  169. The Wilderness Mail (1914) (writer)
  170. His Fight (1914) (story)
  171. Caryl of the Mountains (1914) (story)
  172. Hearts of Men (1914) (story)
  173. In Defiance of the Law (1914) (story “Trail’s End”)
  174. Love’s Western Flight (1914) (story)
  175. Second Childhood (1914) (story)
  176. A Flirt’s Repentance (1914) (story)
  177. Memories That Haunt (1914) (story)
  178. The Midnight Call (1914) (story)
  179. Venus and Adonis (1914) (story)
  180. Betty in the Lions’ Den (1913) (story)
  181. Why I Am Here (1913) (story)
  182. Their Wives’ Indiscretion (1913) (story)
  183. Thor, Lord of the Jungles (1913) (story)
  184. The Warmakers (1913) (writer)
  185. The Pirates (1913) (writer)
  186. The Mystery of the Silver Skull (1913) (story)
  187. The Treasure of Desert Isle (1913) (story)
  188. The Lost Millionaire (1913) (story)
  189. Fortune’s Turn (1913) (story)
  190. The Wheels of Fate (1913) (story)
  191. When Women Go on the Warpath; or, Why Jonesville Went Dry (1913) (story)
  192. His Lordship Billy Smoke (1913) (story)
  193. The Feudists (1913) (story)
  194. A Fighting Chance (1913) (writer)
  195. Diamond Cut Diamond (1913/I) (story)
  196. The Strength of Men (1913) (story)
  197. Duty and the Man (1913) (novel)
  198. Prejudice of Pierre Marie (1911) (story)
  199. Looking Forward (1910) (story)
As Producer:
  1. Nomads of the North (1920)
  2. Back to God’s Country (1919)