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The Mountain Men (1980)

R  |   |  Adventure, Western  |  1 June 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 1,377 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 10 critic

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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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Victor Jory. 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: [aiming their rifles] Don't miss.
Henry Frapp: I never miss.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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??

22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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