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Never Cry Wolf (1983)

 -  Adventure | Drama  -  7 October 1983 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,467 users  
Reviews: 51 user | 17 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.

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(based on the book by), (screenplay), 6 more credits »
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Title: Never Cry Wolf (1983)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Assignment: The Lupus Project. Purpose: To study Alaskan wolves and determine if they were destroying the vanishing caribou deer. The man they chose expected to confront danger, adventure, solitude, and, he hoped, the truth. But he never expected to embark upon a voyage of self-discovery. One that would ultimately transform his life. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los lobos no lloran  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's opening prologue states: "In recent years, the Arctic region has been the scene of biological catastrophe. The great caribou herds that only a few years ago numbered in the millions have all but vanished. A Government agency orders a biological report be prepared that would scientifically justify the extermination of the suspected culprit - a creature known from story, myth and legend as a ferocious killer. Canis lupis - the wolf. Because of the extreme difficulties involved, no scientist had actually observed wolves in the act of attacking and killing caribou. So the major task of "The Lupine Project" was for someone to travel to the Arctic, track down a pack of wolves and observe this behavior in detail". See more »

Goofs

According to Tyler's background narrations, it is early April when the snow melts and the lake is completely unfrozen by early May. In reality, snow in the Arctic doesn't melt until June. See more »

Quotes

Tyler: [Narrating] The only plane in Nootsak belonged to a part-time bush pilot, gambler, and real estate tycoon named Rosie Little. While we were negotiating our deal, he introduced me to this drink that he'd invented. Known locally as "Moose Juice," it consisted of equal parts Moose Brand Beer and ethyl alcohol. Before I knew it, my old fear of flying evaporated, and I spent all the money I had left... on 24 cases of beer.
See more »

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Featured in The Sopranos: Unidentified Black Males (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A voyeuristic pleasure with a valuable message
3 June 2003 | by (Redmond, WA) – See all my reviews

This movie premiered at an age in my life when I was fascinated with wolves and their impact on nature - at 10 years old, I met a researcher while on a trip with my parents who actually lived with wolves for 9 months out of the year. On his recommendation I read Farley Mowat's "Never Cry Wolf" and finagled my theater-phobic parents into taking me to see the film shortly thereafter.

Its impact on me, partially because of my love for the subject matter, has been lifelong.

Although the film does not always capture the humor of Mowat's narrative, it does a brilliant job of portraying, with patience that may grate on the nerves of blockbuster-seasoned moviegoers, the experience of its protagonist. Complaints that the film does not focus enough on the wolves are understandable, but the book and the movie are about one man's journey to understanding the wolf's place in a natural ecosystem. He must learn to be like them, understand their behavior (which mirrors humans' in so many ways), and ultimately choose a loyalty to one or the other species.

It is advisable that the viewer adopt expectations similar to those for a National Geographic documentary, although the story is only loosely based in fact. Sometimes things happen slowly in the arctic. Sometimes they don't happen at all, or the things that happen are not what you'd want out of the "plot". Cinematography and the environment are stunning. Charles Martin Smith's Tyler is a regular guy, without spectacular heroics (but brave enough to tackle activities "Fear Factor" contestants won't touch for a pile of money).

Because it was filmed entirely on location and without pretense of special effects, its visuals stand up very well in comparison to the films of today. Its pace is the sticking point that will make it unpalatable to some viewers, but I give it a rarely-awarded 9 rating for its beauty, social conscience and thorough enjoyability, taking away 1 point only for its somewhat heavy-handed finale that is less palatable than Mowat's original message.


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