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Man in the Wilderness (1971) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (6)
Another version of this story, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead, called The Revenant (2015), which is based in part on the book by Michael Punke.
Zachary (Sir Richard Harris) is based on real-life mountain man Hugh Glass. One of the two men left behind to await Glass' death was a very young Jim Bridger.
The reason John Bindon has next to no screentime in the film, is because the producers had him fired in the early stages of shooting, after he and Sir Richard Harris had a fight. His lines were given to other actors.
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James Doohan was an eleventh hour casting choice. He replaced two actors who dropped out.
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The scenes with the nurse had to be re-shot, because the producers thought the sets were not up to standard. The original actress who played the nurse was unable to make the new dates for the re-shoot, so the role was re-cast.
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Walton Goggins has stated that Man in the Wilderness (1971) was one of several films that Quentin Tarantino had screened for his cast, in preparation for filming The Hateful Eight (2015).
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This movie often gets mistaken for a sequel to A Man Called Horse (1970). This is due to Sir Richard Harris starring in both films within a year of one another, and both films are similarly about men suffering and overcoming such tribulations in harsh environments.
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Zachary Bass, who is based on real-life mountain man Hugh Glass, is shown to have had a wife and son in this movie. Yet, there's no record of the noted historical figure ever being married and having any children. Similarly, in The Revenant (2015), Hugh Glass, who is also based on the noted historical figure of the same name, was shown to have had a wife and son as well.
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John Huston ended up joining this film two days after he had quit as director for The Last Run (1971) and was replaced by Richard Fleischer. The reason he left that production was due to onset fights he had with George C. Scott, whom he had previously worked with on The Bible: In the Beginning... (1966). Scott had even had fights with Tina Aumont, one of the film's actresses, which caused her to leave the film as well.
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On the possibles list for Grace were Jennifer Daniel and Suzanne Neve. Sharon Gurney was offered the role.
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Captain Henry (John Huston) often gets compared to Captain Ahab from "Moby Dick", due to similarities in terms of their wardrobe and obsessive personalities. Huston had directed and produced Moby Dick (1956).
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This film was one of the two films that was released in 1971 that's directed by Richard C. Sarafian. The first film released was Vanishing Point (1971).
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Screenwriter Jack DeWitt had also written scripts for A Man Called Horse (1970) and its two sequels, The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976) and Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983). All three movies starred Sir Richard Harris.
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Producer Sandy Howard also produced A Man Called Horse (1970).
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This film was mostly shot in Covaleda, Soria, Spain, which was one of the main preferred locations to shoot spaghetti westerns. Though, it's been said that this film is not technically a spaghetti western, due to its more philosophical and spiritual nature, and it wasn't produced by an Italian.
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Filmed in several locations in three different countries, Spain, Mexico, and the United States.
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This film was inspired by the 1954 biographical novel, "Lord Grizzly" by Frederick Manfred.
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Cinematographer Gerry Fisher also worked on two of John Huston's films, Wise Blood (1979) and Victory (1981).
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The Hollywood Reporter reported that Alexis Kanner was added to the cast, yet his appearance was never confirmed.
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The budget was reportedly less than two million dollars.
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The film was released on DVD, along with The Deadly Trackers (1973) as a Sir Richard Harris double-feature package, on May 20, 2008.
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The main reason why some of the names and the events were altered in this movie, was due to the filmmakers wanting to avoid paying rights fees to Frederick Manfred, whose 1954 novel, "Lord Grizzly", which is based on Hugh Glass' ordeal and journey, was a strong inspiration for the film. Manfred has stated that the film was not what he envisioned. He was so appalled by the lack of credit, that he threatened to sue the producers. They ended up settling out of court.
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Composer Johnny Harris previously composed the Sir Richard Harris directed film, The Hero (1971).
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On Christmas Day 1971, this movie was the first film shown in years at the historic Princess Theater, that was re-opened after several years of vacancy. Due to Towne Cinema Limited buying it out, the theater was renamed the Klondike Theater at the time, before eventually changing it back to its original moniker years later. The film was a "family friendly" feature attraction for the theater before it went into a more "seedy" direction, in terms of showing strictly adult mainstream films within the next year.
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This film was released when the Revisionist Western sub-genre was at its peak in the 1970s. The films that were released during this era included Soldier Blue (1970), this movie, Jeremiah Johnson (1972), Bad Company (1972), The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972), Ulzana's Raid (1972), Chato's Land (1972), and The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976).
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Zach Bass' name purposefully rhymes with Hugh Glass.
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The bear attack scene was shot using a combination of a real trained bear, and a stuntman in a bear suit.
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Some scenes were shot at Moro Studios in Madrid, Spain. It is also where another left-for-dead, revenge Western, Hannie Caulder (1971), starring Rachel Welch and Robert Culp, was filmed.
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This film is said to be about a man's spiritual journey through his own personal wilderness that parallels his physical journey through Mother Nature's wilderness.
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Johnny Harris and Sir Richard Harris (no relation) have collaborated on the latter's albums.
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This film was released during a cycle of "man vs. nature" survival films in the 1970s. These films included A Man Called Horse (1970), Walkabout (1971), this movie, Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), Deliverance (1972), Dersu Uzala (1975), Day of the Animals (1977), and Long Weekend (1978).
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Sandy Howard was Executive Producer on the Sir Richard Harris starring films, The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976), Echoes of a Summer (1976), and Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1983).
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Zach Bass' facial scar is similar to Captain Ahab's scar in Moby Dick (1956).
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The film takes place in 1820.
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The Muscovy ducks can be seen swimming in a lake in one of the early morning scenes. This breed is native to Mexico, Central and South America. One of the main filming locations was Mexico.
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Many of the winter scenes were shot in Spain.
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Sir Richard Harris insisted that Johnny Harris, his friend and collaborator in music, produce and conduct the film's score.
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Sir Richard Harris has only a few of lines of dialogue in this film.
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The wolves in the movie are actually trained German Shepherds made-up to look like wild wolves.
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Part of two Richard C. Sarafian's film and television projects released in the same year. These projects include: Vanishing Point (1971) and this movie, Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) and The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973), The African Queen (1977) and A Killing Affair (1977), Sunburn (1979) and Disaster on the Coastliner (1979), Gangster Wars (1981) and Splendor in the Grass (1981), and Liberty (1986) and Eye of the Tiger (1986).
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Zach Bass has very few lines of dialogue in the present day. This is shown during the beginning, when he's reading the Bible, and at the end. Three scenes in total.
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Director Richard C. Sarafian directed an hour long pilot for a proposed television series called The African Queen (1977).
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Even though the actual events took place in 1823, this film takes place in 1820.
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Sir Richard Harris starred in another film in which a grizzly bear is featured, Grizzly Falls (1999).
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Due to the success of The Revenant (2015), which sparked a growing interest for this film, Warner Brothers released this movie on Blu-ray on August 16, 2016, as part of their Warner Archive Collection.
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Prunella Ransome (Grace) is billed fourth behind Sir Richard Harris, John Huston, and Henry Wilcoxon, even though she has only one scene in the film.
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This was James Doohan's last non-Star Trek film until Double Trouble (1992).
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This film was released in the re-opened Princess Theater (named Klondike Theater at the time) a few weeks after its theatrical release on Christmas Day 1971. The Revenant (2015), was released on Christmas Day 2015 in limited release, a few weeks before its theatrical release.
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Wendy Hiller was announced as Zachary's (Sir Richard Harris's) mother-in-law, but the role never materialized.
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Pat Nye was on the shortlist for the nurse role which ultimately ended up going to Judith Furse.
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Among the actors considered for various roles in this project were Nosher Powell, Nicholas Smith, Brandon Brady, and Jack Smethurst.
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This movie and The Revenant (2015), two films that are loosely based off of the life of Hugh Glass, each featured a cast member that appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise. Sir Richard Harris, who portrayed Zachary Bass in this movie, portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), before he passed away in late 2002, and was replaced by Michael Gambon for the rest of the franchise. And Domhnall Gleeson, who portrayed Captain Andrew Henry in The Revenant (2015), portrayed Bill Weasley in the final two Harry Potter films.
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After the film's release, a novel version of the film was released, which was written by Jack DeWitt.
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Production lasted from early February to April in 1971.
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This film was shot in the rugged highlands of Soria, Spain, which is where David Lean had shot some scenes for Doctor Zhivago (1965).
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The second collaboration of Sir Richard Harris, Sandy Howard, and Jack DeWitt, after A Man Called Horse (1970).
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Originally shot in 1971 as well, Apache Blood (1975) had similar plot points to this film, including details such as the main character being attacked by a bear, left for dead, and seeking revenge.
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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and this film were the two films released in 1971 that are precursors to the second adaptations, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and The Revenant (2015), respectively.
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A forty thousand dollar replica of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was constructed for this movie, but was destroyed by fire on the first day of shooting.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Although based on true events, the film has taken many liberties. One of biggest ones is changing the names of the historical figures portrayed in this film. Hugh Glass was changed to Zach Bass, mainly for legal reasons. While the Captain Henry character largely retains his name, the characters of Fogarty and Lowrie are representative stand-ins for John Fitzgerald and Jim Bridger, respectively. Nonetheless, this film puts Henry more into the position of John Fitzgerald, than Fogarty. Also, even though Lowrie dies in this film, his real-life counterpart, Jim Bridger, inspired by Hugh Glass and his ordeal, went on to become a respected trapper and frontiersman in his own right. This movie was BASED on a true story. It was never declared to BE a true story.
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Like The Revenant (2015), the plot is inspired by true events, but often strays from the historical truth, which is why the film was never declared to BE a true story. Zachary Bass is based on real-life fur trapper, Hugh Glass, who was in fact attacked by a bear and left for dead out in the wilderness by his two fellow trappers. After setting his broken leg, Glass spent six weeks crawling two hundred miles and didn't get to his feet until the end of his journey.
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In the script, the ending was quite different. Originally, the ending involved Henry begging for mercy when Bass approaches him with the intention of carrying out his revenge. Bass tells him, "Settle the matter with your God. I've found mine." Instead, it ended up being as to where Bass approaches Henry to retrieve his gun and simply walks away without any threat of violence. It was never determined at what point when the ending was changed.
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The Bible passages that Zach reads to his animal companion are from the Book of Job. He doesn't read the verses in chronological order, yet he reads them within the same chapter. Job 14:14, he reads: "If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." He then reads, Job 14:7-8: "For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground..." These passages serve as a testament as to how one can be underestimated when it comes to his or her resilience and will to live when death is on the horizon. This notion signifies Zach Bass' shear will to survive and his spiritual rebirth.
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Though both films are technologically shot and rendered in different formats, this film and The Revenant (2015) have some similar cinematographic techniques. These include the uses of low angles, canted/Dutch Tilt angles, extreme long shots, handheld shots, and worm's eye view shots. Despite the differing tones, these techniques were used to give each film a visceral, mysterious, abstract, and disoriented feel to express the main character's struggle for survival.
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Though not technically a Christian movie, this film has many Christian and religious themes, including the concern of atheism and blasphemy. The main character in particular is shown to be at odds with God and religion in general. Yet, eventually starts to transform spiritually as he truly gets acquainted with Him in the midst of his harrowing journey within Mother Nature.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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