Never Cry Wolf (1983)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  27 January 1984 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,970 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 19 critic

A government researcher, sent to research the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species.



(based on the book by), (screenplay), 6 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Farley Mowat / Tyler
Zachary Ittimangnaq ...
Samson Jorah ...
Hugh Webster ...
Martha Ittimangnaq ...
Tom Dahlgren ...
Hunter #1
Walker Stuart ...
Hunter #2


This film dramatizes the true story of Farley Mowat, when he was sent to the Canadian tundra area to collect evidence of the grievous harm the wolf population was allegedly doing to the caribou herds. In his struggle to survive in that difficult environment he studies the wolves, and realizes that the old beliefs about wolves and their supposed threat are almost totally false. Furthermore, he learns that humans represent a far greater threat to the land, and also to the wolves, a species which plays an important role in the ecosystem of the north. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They Thought He Couldn't Do the Job. That's Why They Chose Him. See more »


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los lobos no lloran  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was made and released about twenty years after its source novel of the same name by Farley Mowat had been first published in 1963. See more »


In separate scenes there can be heard the sound of crickets chirping and peepers singing (frogs); neither of which occur in the arctic. See more »


Tyler: [Narrating] I'd heard some of the tales about the Arctic: the mad trappers, Diamond Tooth Gertie, The Ice-Worm Cocktail and all that. So, I was prepared for things to be a little weird.
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User Reviews

Never Cry Wolf portrays elements of wilderness most of us are oblivious to, silence and melancholy.
16 December 2001 | by (Martinsville, VA) – See all my reviews

I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it over 15 years ago. But as I have read through numerous reviews, I find them missing a few elements that make this movie so wonderful.

There are two subtle elements of wilderness, that unless you have experienced them, you will probably miss in the movie, silence and melancholy.

When one experience solitude and wilderness as Tyler does, the first thing you notice is the silence that surrounds you. The only noises that can be heard are the ones you make, and simple actions like scratching your hand, striking a match, or the rustle of your nylon parka as you simply move all become a symphony of noises you never noticed before.

The director, Carroll Ballard, takes great pains to illustrate this in the beginning of the movie( knowing all the while most viewers will miss these subtleties) as Tyler is left on the a frozen lake with all his gear strewn about. Rosie guns the engine to his plane for the third time and finally gets to takes off. The sound of that single engine plane is deafening and overpowers everything within 25 miles, but the silence Tyler is left with as the last throb of the plane's engine disappears in the distance is even more so. All of Tyler's actions at this point center around the noise they make. Notice this when you watch.

The next element of wilderness and solitude the director so painstakingly portrays is melancholy. There is no better way to describe it. Melancholy is an intangible, an emotion, yet for any who have experienced wilderness on the level that Tyler does knows how overwhelmingly real it is. It is palpable. The melancholy not only comes from within but comes from all around. It is an element of wilderness that is there even if man is not.

The scene that best depicts this melancholy is when Tyler is out sitting on the rock, alone, with only creatures of the tundra to keep him company. It is twilight. His hair and glasses are wet from an earlier snow, and he sits and plays his oboe. Not a song but a phrase, an echoing phrase that sings out his loneliness to the empty expanse. And off in the distance is a kindred reply, the howl of a lone wolf, a cry that says I know, I understand.

Never Cry Wolf is a tremendous film and is equally underrated. In one sense it is a master piece, one that will never receive mass appeal or recognition. It speaks to us on multiple levels and with subtle intensity, but unfortunately most of us aren't able to hear the message.

71 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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