6.4/10
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34 user 10 critic

The Mountain Men (1980)

A pair of grizzled frontiersmen fight Indians, guzzle liquor, and steal squaws in their search for a legendary valley 'so full of beaver that they jump right into your traps' in this fanciful adventure.

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Writer:

(as Fraser Clarke Heston)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bill Tyler
...
Henry Frapp
...
Running Moon
...
Heavy Eagle
...
Nathan Wyeth
...
La Bont
David Ackroyd ...
Medicine Wolf
Cal Bellini ...
Cross Otter
...
Jim Walter (as Bill Lucking)
Ken Ruta ...
Fontenelle
...
Iron Belly
Danny Zapien ...
Blackfoot Chief
...
Whiskey clerk
Buckley Norris ...
Trapper
Daniel Knapp ...
Trapper
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Storyline

A pair of grizzled frontiersmen fight Indians, guzzle liquor, and steal squaws in their search for a legendary valley 'so full of beaver that they jump right into your traps' in this fanciful adventure.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wind River  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finding the hand written note at the site of the rendezvous mentioning white women actually happened in history and they should have said the women were missionaries traveling with their husbands to the Oregon Territory. They were the first white women to go that far west and cross the continental divide. Therefore finding the handwritten note can be considered a milestone in the history of the expansion of the American West. See more »

Goofs

A Mountain Man at the rendezvous (Charlton Heston) brags that he's been from "South Fork to Three Pass!" He should have said "Three Forks to South Pass." Three Forks is in Montana where three rivers come together and give the Missouri River its name and South Pass is in west central Wyoming where it is possible to cross the continental divide on horseback or with wagons. See more »

Quotes

Bill Tyler: Say, uh, Henry... ain't no need for you to fight your way into that village. We could join up after...
Henry Frapp: [Interrupting] I ever tell you about the time the 'Rapahos chased me up a canyon over in the Big Lost?
Bill Tyler: No, but I reckon you're gonna tell me.
Henry Frapp: Well, it was over on the Horse Prairie. This band of 'Rapahos had been chasing me three days. So I seen this canyon. I figured I'd whip in there, and then I'll slip out. Trouble was that there was a way in but there wasn't no way out at all. Nothin' but ...
[...]
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User Reviews

One can almost smell the wet fur.
28 July 2004 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

Maligned upon its release for its vivid violence, course language and questionable script, this film plays a bit better a quarter of a century later (now that vivid violence, course language and questionable scripts are almost all Hollywood has to offer!) Heston and Keith play feisty, rowdy, rugged trappers, swathed from head to toe in pelts and eking out a living selling their wares once a year or so to other frontiersmen. The action takes place in land occupied by warring Crow and Blackfoot Indians. When an enslaved Indian woman (Racimo) unsuccessfully tries to kill Heston and he brings her injured body back to his camp, a chain of events is kicked off that causes the deaths of dozens of people. Her captor, Blackfoot warrior Macht, wants his possession returned to him, more as a matter of pride than anything, and will stop at nothing to retrieve her. A variety of other characters turn up along the way including frontier newcomer Glover, old Indian friend Ackroyd and French Canadian trapper Cassel. Ultimately, Heston must go mano a mano with the ever-disgruntled Macht for the rights to Racimo. The rather cut-and-dried story is played out on a vast canvas of stunning Wyoming locations. The scenery is one of the chief attributes of the film. There is also a lovely score by Michel Legrand. Heston (along with many other people in the movie) has to contend with a horrendous fright wig - worse than his usual toupee! - a thick beard and a ton of heavy fur costuming. He gives a slightly more raucous portrayal than audiences may be used to but remains the granite-jawed, monument-like hero more often than not. Keith is wondrous. He completely abandons any and all refinement and sinks himself into his rough-and-tumble, foul-mouthed, earthy role. He and Heston share a significant amount of chemistry and the tale is almost more about their mutual affection than it is about the fight over Racimo. Surprisingly, for 1980, almost every Indian is portrayed by a white actor. Some are more successful than others. Jory and Ackroyd come across pretty authentically. Though he gives an intense portrayal, Macht brings all of the Native American sensibility, nuance and detail to his role as, say, a New York City writer moonlighting as a cab driver. He gives his role a far too contemporary and angst-ridden spin. Someone should have shown him Henry Brandon's work in "The Searchers" for inspiration. He also has an unintentionally amusing Snidley Whiplash moustache painted on his face for the bulk of the time. There's a raft of anachronistic-sounding vulgarity in the film, but it does aid in presenting the title characters as unsophisticated roughhousers. The violence is mostly very effective and gripping except for one really badly-handled beheading. Though fans of traditional (Randolph Scott?) westerns may balk at the film, it does offer some decent acting, action and cinematography. It also provides a vivid and rare glimpse into the world of the 19th century trappers. One quibble: Why do characters (often on foot!) keep running into each other in this expansive wilderness with the same frequency (or greater) than what would occur in Danville, Illinois??


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