Jeremiah Johnson (1972) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 Huggo
  • An American soldier goes west to escape the Mexican War and becomes a mountain man. He is befriended by a wily old trapper who teaches him how to survive. After unavoidably violating an Indian burial ground, he loses his new Indian wife and their adopted child to the Indians' revenge, and a vendetta between him and the Crow tribe ruins his idyllic life as a fur trapper. Gorgeous scenery and a great role for Will Geer in a thoughtful meditation on the American West.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • This tale of isolation in the great rocky mountains, perhaps reflects America's mood as the Vietnam war was coming to a close as much as anything else. Johnson, seemingly war weary, yet with a sense of respect for indigenous cultures as if one informs the other. The only thing he seems to want is to share utopia with those who were there before him and perhaps leave his implied past behind. But even in the vacuum of an isolated life, Jeremiah Johnson seems doomed by threads to culture he cannot completely escape. As with "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," one can't help but feel that along with Indians and animals with which he shares the land, "A Brave New World will soon rush in and overrun them all.

    - Written by TR
  • 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.

    - Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>


The opening scene depicts an early Rocky Mountain riverside trading post bustling with activity. Indians...

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