A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the early frontier.
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During the mid-nineteenth century, Jeremiah Johnson, after a stint in the US Army, decides that he would prefer a life of solitude and more importantly peace by living with nature in the mountains of the frontier of the American west. This plan entails finding a piece of land upon which to build a house. This quest ends up being not quite what he envisioned as he does require the assistance of others to find his footing, and in turn he amasses friends and acquaintances along the way, some who become more a part of his life than he would have imagined. Perhaps most importantly, some of those people provide him with the knowledge of how to co-exist with some of the many Indian tribes, most importantly the Crow, on whose land in Colorado Jeremiah ultimately decides to build his home. But an act by Jeremiah upon a request by the US Cavalry leads to a chain of events that may forever change the peaceful relationship he worked so hard to achieve with his neighbors and their land. Written by
Liver Eatin' Johnston's wife (who was pregnant at the time) was actually killed by a random raiding party of Blackfeet not in revenge for a violation of their burial grounds. She was killed in the Spring while Johnston was off trapping and he didn't return to find her body until several months later. He identified the band that had killed her because he recognized a Tennessee rifle he had given her in the possession of a Blackfeet warrior. Also, rather than isolated incidents as shown in the movie, Johnston often recruited other mountain men as well as Indians (particularly Flatheads) to help him with his vendetta. The part about the warriors sent to kill him and told not to return without his scalp was true. See more »
Throughout the film gunshots are heard as a modern high velocity (crack sound as the bullet is supersonic) rather than the boom of a subsonic blackpowder firearm. Also, the firearm smoke is minimal (modern smokeless powder) modern smokless powder wasn't available until about 1890. See more »
His name was Jeremiah Johnson, and they say he wanted to be a mountain man. The story goes that he was a man of proper wit and adventurous spirit, suited to the mountains. Nobody knows whereabouts he come from and don't seem to matter much. He was a young man and ghosty stories about the tall hills didn't scare him none. He was looking for a Hawken gun, .50 caliber or better. He settled for a .30, but damn, it was a genuine Hawken, and you couldn't go no better. Bought him a good ...
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In shooting his character as a solitary figure against a field of white, Pollack turned Johnson into something bordering on a spiritual experience
Filmed in the snow-covered vastness of the Utah Rocky Mountains, Robert Redford plays well a deserter from the Mexican War who wages a bitter struggle against the elements and Indians in order to lead a life of solitude
He heads into the mountains, only to find that there is the wind that never seems to stop Sometimes he swears he is going insane while the storms that he has never seen screech booming with their thunder Around him, snow squalls that kill everything that is unprepared Jeremiah's first winter proves almost fatal because of his inexperience in coping with the harsh Rockies Fortunately, he meets a real mountain man seasoned to the ways of the wild Bear Claw takes Johnson in and shares his knowledge with him
Travelling the untamed wilderness, Jeremiah finds out that it is a land fit only for the savages, and he has seen what they are like But he has seen worse when he happens upon an Indian massacre of a settler's family or upon a bald man buried to his neck in sand by Blackfeet Indians And much worse after violating the Crow sacred burial ground while helping cavalry men find some lost settlers
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