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Gentle Giant (1967)

 -  Drama | Family  -  25 October 1967 (USA)
6.2
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A young boy befriends an orphaned bear and raises him from a cub. This fine family feature was the basis for the "Gentle Ben" television series. Based on Walt Morey's novel "Gentle Ben."

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Fog Hanson
...
Huntz Hall ...
Dink Smith
Charles Martin ...
Mike McDonaugh
...
Tater Coughlin
Frank Schuller ...
Charlie Mason
Robertson White ...
Swenson
...
Mate (as Ric O'Feldman)
James Riddle ...
Skipper
Jerry Newby ...
1st Townsman
Frank Logan ...
2nd Townsman
Alfred Metz ...
Fisherman
Levirne DeBord ...
Fisherman
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Storyline

A young boy befriends an orphaned bear and raises him from a cub. This fine family feature was the basis for the "Gentle Ben" television series. Based on Walt Morey's novel "Gentle Ben."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A wisp of a boy...A ton of bear...And a whole angry town trying to tear them apart

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Drama | Family

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Release Date:

25 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gentle Ben  »

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User Reviews

 
You really should read the book first
25 March 2014 | by (In a Chair in my room) – See all my reviews

Back in the 1960's, there were a couple of TV shows and movies that bonded animals and young people together as friends. When It was Lassie or flipper, that was OK, because border collies and Dolphins usually won't kill people. Now make a show where an 8 year old boy befriends a massively sized bear while avoiding the town drunk. Ivan Tors did just that.

Set in a small Florida Fishing town, Father Tom Wedloe makes his living as a pilot spotting fish in the sea for fisherman to catch for export. however, due to a bad season, Some local residents grow so desperate, they dare to hunt on the local nature reserve...Which is where 8-year old Mark Wedloe likes to visit, despite all the dangerous animals that live there. One day, He spots the town drunk and his 2 fishing buddies shoot a mother bear, killing her, and taking her helpless cub away. Throughout the movie, Mark sneaks scraps of food to the helpless cub, who is kept chained up in a shed, and befriends him, thus turning him into a gentle giant.

I have seen this movie many times since I was about 4 or 5 and eventually, in the 6th grade, took the time to read the novel, and was kind of mad how the movie didn't follow the novel entirely. For example, Mark wasn't 8 in the novel, he was much older. His dad wasn't a pilot, he was a fisherman, and finally, Fog Hanson was named Fog Benson. Maybe the name was changed for legal reasons, but who knows.

Regardless, this is definitely a movie worth watching if you can find a copy. With a young Clint Howard, and the legendary Ralph meeker, it's a family movie with fighting, an animal attack, and a plane crash. enjoy.


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