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Man in the Wilderness
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Man in the Wilderness More at IMDbPro »

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39 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Nature as hell

10/10
Author: tbyrne4 from United States
2 September 2006

Excellent period film, story of survival in the bleak, bleak wilderness. Richard Harris plays a fur trapper in 1820s America who is left for dead by his expedition party after surviving a bear attack. Harris (amazingly) manages to keep himself alive and catch up with the hunting party. Minimal dialogue and action. More a mood piece than anything else, but a very effective one.

I really enjoyed "Man in the Wilderness". It's fairly obscure, and its easy to see why. It basically presents nature as hellish and threatening in every way. It also (wonder of wonders) presents the situation realistically. Most films that take place in the 1800s look terrifically groomed and contemporary, as if the stars had spent the day filming and the night relaxing in a jacuzzi. Not so here. This is grimy and gritty. Lots of gray and black and brown. Harris looks dirty and beat-up. I love it.

I also love all the scenes of the expedition members pulling that big, muddy boat all over creation.

A really good film. Highly recommended if you like films that attempt a certain realism - like robert altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"

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41 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Excellent true saga of almost an almost unbelievable event

Author: smokehill retrievers from Chancellorsville VA
25 February 2002

Gritty, bloody saga of a man, left for dead by fellow trappers after being ripped to shreds by a bear, who drags himself through the winter wilderness to get his revenge on those who left him behind.

A true story, though if you want to look it up on the Internet, the mountain man's real name was Hugh Glass (not "Zachary Bass"). He managed (with no equipment or weapons) to get 200-300 miles to Fort Kiowa, and actually took no revenge on either of the two men who left him to die. One, interestingly enough, was a youth -- later very famous -- named Jim Bridger.

The movie leaves out a few details, such as his rolling in rotting logs so that maggots would clean out the infected wounds, since the real story defies belief, but Richard Harris does a superlative job in bringing this amazing character to life. Huston does his usual great job as the loony expedition leader, of course. I've seen this three times and still enjoy it. It leaves you with a rather unpleasant feeling that we modern men are a pretty sorry bunch of pussies by comparison

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36 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

Savage Compassion

10/10
Author: Chris. from Australia
5 December 2005

Savage and unrelenting, but, compassionate and immensely rewarding tale of a fur trapper, near-fatally mauled by a bear, surviving to exact revenge upon those who left him for dead. A distant and withdrawn character, Zachary Bass (Harris), who through a series of ordeals, recalls both the tumultuous and neglected events in his life that he is now compelled to resurrect. His quest is both a harrowing and moving experience, with a sincere, thoughtful performance by the late Richard Harris.

"Man in the Wilderness" boasts breathtaking scenery, a memorable score, and supporting performances played with conviction, particularly by John Huston and Percy Herbert. While it might draw parallels with Harris' "Horse" trilogy, this role is a more complex characterisation, developed without the benefit of dialogue, but through actions, expressions and emotions.

I've read reviews of this film that claim that the movie is uninvolving and gratuitously violent, but nothing, in my opinion, could be further from the truth. If ever there was a character with whom you could empathise, and follow to a poignant (and satisfying) conclusion, Zachary Bass is that character. A metaphoric journey from his own personal "wilderness" to a state of self consciousness in both his existence, and purpose. If ever there was a movie that could depict the challenges that he would face, and intertwine them with the complex motivations for his desire to survive, "Man in the Wilderness" is that movie. A rare gem.

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27 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

raw and gutsy

Author: dtucker86 from Germany
2 November 2002

I was very saddened to read that Richard Harris died. He was a very fine actor who left an outstanding body of work. Man In The Wilderness really showcases this remarkable actors talent. Its based on a true story about Hugh Glass (here called Zack Bass) a man on a trapping expedition torn apart by a bear and left for dead. He travels miles and miles to get revenge(Jim Bridger was one of the men who left him). I'm amazed this man lived after such a savage attack and being left to die. Bass did some unusual first aid on himself, he rolled in maggots so they would eat the dead flesh off his body. This film has got an outstanding opening score. Its one of the best I ever heard. Harris's challenge is that he doesn't have a lot of dialogue and has to act like he is crippled and in pain for most of the film. John Huston is also fine as the sinister leader of the expedition who leaves him for dead.

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26 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Based on a true story

10/10
Author: Michael Metz (michaelluvsgina@aol.com) from Minneapolis MN
6 May 2001

This film follows the trials of Zack Bass (Richard Harris), a hunter for an expedition led by Captian Henry (John Huston. He gets malled by a bear and left to die. The crew along with Captain Henry are faced with guilt and fear he is coming to haunt them. At one point even the indians believe he is dead. Zack survives the ordeal and uses his wits to survive. He encounters many things along the way back, that teach him just how precious life really is. The photography in this film is stunning. It is well directed and although there are very few lines in the movie, the soundtrack is beautiful. It is a pleasure to watch and you come out of this movie feeling wonderful. Highly recommended!

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22 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Not a WesternMovie but , a Movie about Human Endurance!

10/10
Author: danandsuer from United States
5 February 2006

Filmed in Spain, this movie provides Richard Harris a platform to show the deepest of human emotions. In what might arguably be his most outstanding performance, MITW loosely depicts the actual hunting expedition lead by Capt. Andrew Henry expedition in the 1823. The character Harris portrays was, in reality, Hugh Glass although for reasons that are unclear, the name "Sam Bass" is used in MITW. This expedition was attacked and harassed by Arikara ("Rees")Indians. While hunting deer for the rest of the expedition, Harris' character is attacked by a grizzly bear and severely mauled. Not expected to live, he is given what crude medical care is available on the expedition being "sewn up" by another hunter. Then, when he does not die, Captn. Henry persuades two other hunters to stay with him "until he dies". According to the diaries of men on the expedition,one of the two was a young man of 19 who went on to become famous in his own right - Jim Bridger. The fact that he does not die although deserted by the other two hunters, is the basis for the movie. In one of the most famous stories of human survival, he is left alone without his rifle which is taken together with his other possessions as "proof" to the other members of the expedition that he has died. How he persevered though badly wounded, is one of the classic stories of bravery and persistence. For those interested, there are many books about this event. One of the best is The Saga of Hugh Glass by John Myers.

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Richard Harris at his best

Author: jan-conant2 from Haverhill, MA
28 February 2004

I can't say it any better than Jeremiah did. "In the dark trials of wilderness God's grace could still be found working in the heart of a wounded man. I first saw this film in 71 and had to sit through it again. In those days you could do that. You follow Zack from his early years of losing his mother to having God's love forced on him by a vicious minister. Zack never found much use in God in his life. An island of a man he is well respected tracker on the John Henry Expedition. As told by other commentators he is mauled by a grizzly (an amazing feat in movie making) even my kids had to admit that, and left to die alone by cowardly men. I was blown away by his ability to survive. He is just another animal when he manages to grab raw meat from a dying buffalo. Imagine finding a human now with the endurance and fortitude to be so resourceful as Zackery Bass. Richard Harris gives one of his best performances that I've seen and I've seen them all. My favorite scene is when he reads the bible to one of God's creatures and finds solace in the words. I recommend this film highly to just about everyone. If you think you're having a bad day just .remember what Zack had to do in order to see another day. The soundtrack too is another reason is see it. They just can't make 'em like this anymore.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating outdoors and Richard Harris fighting enemies and wildlife

7/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
17 June 2005

The movie narrates how Richard Harris is attacked by a bear and is abandoned by his mates who are carrying a boat with furs to civilization . The misfit group is commanded by the paranoid John Huston and they are pursued by Indians . Harris survives and will face down lots of risks , dangers and adventures and he then sets off in pursuit his previous colleagues , trying to execute his revenge .

In the picture there is western action , thrills , tension , spectacular struggles and riveting landscapes . The movie belongs to the Western sub-genre that had been made during the 70s as central theme 'the fight of a man against natural environment' , such as : ¨Jeremiah Johnson (by Sidney Pollack)¨, ¨The man called horse (by Eliott Silverstein and also starred by Richard Harris)¨ and ¨Return of a man called Horse (Irwin Keshner)¨. Harris' character is based on actual mountain man Hugh Glass , one of the two men left behind to await Glass' death was a very young Jim Bridger . The highlights of the movie are the surrealist trip of the ship amongst the snowy land with a mast in cross-shape under an impressive musical background by Johnny Harris and the survival fight , facing off wolves , bear and Indians . Interpretation of actors is top notch , but especially John Huston is frankly well . The supporting cast is formed by important secondaries as the veteran Henry Wilcoxon (The Crusades) , James Dooham (Star Trek) , Percy Herbert (Tobruk) , Dennis Waterman (Sweeney) and Prunella Ramsome (Island of the damned) , among others .

Gerry Fisher cinematography is awesome , like are marvelously reflected on the glimmer and breathtaking scenarios . Wonderful production design by Dennis Clark , being filmed on location in Almeria , Andalucia , Spain , where in the fifties and sixties had been shot a lot of Spaghetti/Paella Western . The picture was well produced by Sandy Howard and compellingly directed by Richard C. Sarafian . The flick will appeal to natural sets enthusiasts and Richard Harris fans . Rating: 6,5 . Good , worthwhile seeing.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Mountianman overcomes unbelievable odds to seek revenge in early American West

10/10
Author: Sordaplay from United States
21 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a highly accurate portrayal of what life was like in this cold and inhospitable world. The way the Arikiree Indians are filmed is very authentic to the period. SPOILER ALERT Thankfully they are speaking in their native tongue. The Captain, played by John Huston is a hard man driven and determined by a belief that he will discover the Northwest Passage. This portrayal helps us understand why Zack Bass(based on real life Mountianman Hugh Glass) played by Richard Harris, was abandoned by the Captain and his mates. That Hugh was able to survive is a testimony to the human spirit. SPOILER DONE

If you like authentic action movies like LAST OF THE MOHICANS, BRAVEHEART, ZULU, or ROB ROY than you are in for a treat. Adventure, love, action and guts. This movie delivers.

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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Man in the Wilderness, a great film.

Author: natrayger from United States
9 January 2007

This movie is based on a true incident that occurred in the life of mountain man Jim Bridger. He was a young man on a fur trading trip when an older mountain man, Hugh Glass, was attacked by a grizzly bear and left for dead. Glass lived and did not seek revenge but forgave Bridger. In this movie Hugh Glass is called Zach Bass.

I think this film is a glimpse into a world of the loneliness and adventure from a different time. Zach Bass secretly watches an Indian woman give birth while her husband waits. The joy that the husband shows upon the birth of his son is a contrast with Zach's own memories of how his own wife died in childbirth. Zach has given his child to his dead wife's mother to raise. At the end of the film it is clear that Zach is going to see his son.

The other scene that stands out is when he catches a rabbit in a snare and treats it as a pet and companion but later has to eat the rabbit to survive.

The soundtrack is perfect. This is a great film that deserves to be seen.

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