Ben Campbell, a 22 year old gas station attendant in a small desert town, is looking to make some extra money. He is surprised when Madec, a wealthy lawyer, asks him to be his guide in a ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Horton Madec
Ben Campbell
George Whiting (as Noah Beery)
Sheriff Bert Hamilton
Deputy Dickie Haycroft
Deputy Les Hanford
James Chandler ...
The Doctor (as Jim Chandler)


Ben Campbell, a 22 year old gas station attendant in a small desert town, is looking to make some extra money. He is surprised when Madec, a wealthy lawyer, asks him to be his guide in a hunting trip in the desert. When Madec accidentally shoots a prospector, he is fearful of what it will do his reputation, and decides to eliminate the only witness, Ben, who is forced to go on the run. In addition to being hunted by Madec, Ben must also contend with the harsh desert elements. But if he does make it back to town alive, will anyone believe his story? Written by Ronos

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hunting | murder | based on novel | See All (3) »


He's found the perfect prey...a young defenseless human







Release Date:

11 September 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chasse tragique  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on the novel "Deathwatch", in which the hunted man is actually forced to run around in the desert naked. See more »


Horton Maddock: [after trying to shoot Ben] Advantage here!
Ben Campbell: Like hell, Madec!
See more »


Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Mayberry was never like this!!!
18 November 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nineteen year old Sam Bottoms is made to wander miserably

through the desert without food, water, shoes, or clothes (save a

pair of shorts). He's been forced to surrender his belongings to a

sadistic, rifle-wielding adversary -- Andy Griffith (yes, ANDY

GRIFFITH -- no kidding!!!). Griffith gets sick kicks from hunting

people instead of "conventional" prey, and will track Bottoms down

for the big kill unless the youngster can outwit him...

Folks familiar with the fine 1930s suspense film "The Most

Dangerous Game" will see distinct plot parallels. "The Most

Dangerous Game" possesses one of the most regurgitated plot

devices in Hollywood history: that of the demented hunter with a

penchant for tracking down human prey. It's turned up on "Fantasy

Island" as well as "Gilligan's Island" and for all we know may one

day make up the plot of a reality-based TV show (God forbid!).

However, for any familiarity the material may present, "Savages"

gets high marks for offering a fresh retelling of this fable. Full of

urgency, this is highly charged, suspenseful, top flight

entertainment turned out by a solid, committed cast.

Rugged locales and spare production values enhance what is a

lurid melodrama full of tension between the principal actors. There

are even a couple genuine scares that may make you jump out of

your seat!

Andy Griffith is truly arch in his role as villain, brilliantly cast against

type. He seems to relish this opportunity to stretch every moment

he's on screen (and who can blame him after so many years

playing the Good Guy in dreary, old Mayberry?!?).

Likable young pup Sam Bottoms appears sincerely vulnerable and

sympathetic, trudging barefoot through rugged desert terrain and

tumbling down treacherous ravines. He turns in an earnest and

athletic performance and for all he goes through, and with the help

of some excellent make-up effects, it's difficult not to imagine

some of his wounds being legit!

It winds up being tough to decide who is more fun to watch:

Griffith, grinning lasciviously from ear to ear as he harasses and

torments his young prey...the sadistic overtones of his character

barely restrained... ...or golden-boy hottie Bottoms, the bewildered but stalwart hero,

first degraded at gunpoint to strip for the camera, then forced to

subject his lithe, attractive body to any number of physical

humiliations brought about by the punishing landscape... all, it's a pretty tasty couple hours of entertainment!

"Savages" should inform film enthusiasts and TV-viewers of the

21st century (particularly those born in the 70s, 80s, and 90s) that

some excellent productions were crafted for television way back in

the 1970s. The Movie Of The Week format often proved itself: fresh,

young talent was given a place to shine, and veteran performers

received some choice opportunities to expand their repertoire.

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