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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.



(as Fraser Clarke Heston)

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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 ...
Iron Belly
Danny Zapien ...
Blackfoot Chief
Whiskey clerk
Buckley Norris ...
Daniel Knapp ...


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


Adventure | Western


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wind River  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Directorial debut of Richard Lang. See more »


During the chase sequence, after Heavy Eagle passes a rock on the top of a ridge and goes to the left of the camera, a bush is moved violently at the bottom right of the screen, clearly by someone off camera. See more »


Bill Tyler: I heard you got in on the money end of this miserable business.
Henry Frapp: Yep. Packed in supplies, watered down the whiskey, jacked up the prices... and went to tradin' for beaver.
Bill Tyler: How'd ya do?
Henry Frapp: I lost my ass!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Keith Steals The Heston Project
5 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's always good to have a movie star father and young Fraser Clarke Heston was able to get father Charlton to star in a film adaptation of his script about The Mountain Men. Of course Dad was able to get friend Brian Keith into the film as well, they had worked together previously on a western called Arrowhead back in the salad days of both of them.

Charlton Heston has always been generous with praise of his colleagues so I don't think he begrudged Brian Keith a bit for totally stealing this film away from the Heston clan. Keith's portrayal of the rollicking, hard drinking, hard cussing, mountain man pal of Charlton Heston is the highlight of the film. It's the main reason to see The Mountain Men.

Another reason is the grand location cinematography in the Grand Teton mountains in Wyoming where this was filmed. This in fact is where the Kit Carsons, Jim Bridgers, Thomas Fitzpatricks and the rest of that hardy breed of men worked at their lonely occupation of trapping beaver pelts for sale.

They were indeed a hardy bunch. Unlike the post Civil War west these guys were in fact outnumbered by the Indians who with their bows and arrows were actually possessing weapon superiority to the muzzle loading single shot muskets the trappers had. You learned Indian ways and skills of all kinds or you did not survive.

The plot of this film has Heston rescuing an Indian princess, Victoria Racimo, a Crow away from her Blackfeet captors and earning the undying hatred of Stephen Macht, a chief among the Blackfeet. Very similar to the plot of Robert Redford's Jeremiah Johnson where Redford was also an object of Indian vengeance.

This film marked the farewell performance of that grand character actor Victor Jory. Jory plays a Crow chief who may look old but seems to have found Viagara long before the FDA approved it.

Unfortunately for The Mountain Men it got caught up in the wake of the approval for Jeremiah Johnson. It suffers unfairly in comparison to the Robert Redford film.

Yet The Mountain Men can definitely stand on its own critically and every other way. And Jeremiah does not have the fabulous Brian Keith in it.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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