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Never Cry Wolf (1983)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  27 January 1984 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,858 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.

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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:

27 January 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los lobos no lloran  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Smiling wolves were a problem during filming. The smileys were not actually grimaces but wolves panting. To stop the unwanted look on the camera, animal expert Debbie Coe brought a female Malemute dog to the set, which soon changed the look of the wolves from a smile to a fierce intensity of a mating stealth look. See more »

Goofs

The lead claims the wolves eat mice, which he proceeds to eat, but they are voles, not mice (which don't occur in the arctic). See more »

Quotes

Tyler: In the end there were no simple answers. No heroes or villians; only silence.
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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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