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The Bear (1988)

L'ours (original title)
1:54 | Trailer

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An orphan bear cub hooks up with an adult male as they try to dodge human hunters.


(novel), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Youk the Bear ...
The Bear Cub
André Lacombe ...
Le chasseur aux chiens


The director of _Quest for Fire_ creates yet another film in nature with almost no human dialogue in this picturesque story of an orphaned bear cub who is adopted by an adult male bear and must avoid hunters. Bart the Bear stars in this anthropomorphic fantasy. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's an orphan... at the start of a journey. A journey to survive.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bear  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$31,753,898 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because in the wild, male bears usually eat bear cubs if they can, the filmmakers prepared the adult Bart the Bear for the cub by having him play with a teddy bear the size and fur color of the cub. When the trainers felt he was ready, he was introduced to the cub and he greeted the cub affectionately. See more »


After the bear attacks the hunters' horses, and one of the hunters has tracked down his hurt horse and has it cornered in a small rock enclosure, rocks are visible being thrown from the left side of the shot to stir the horse up. See more »


[first lines]
Bill: [examining bear tracks] That's a huge male; bet he's more'n fifteen hundred pounds.
See more »


Referenced in Une américaine à Paris (2005) See more »


End Title Theme
Music adapted from "June: Barcarolle"
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (uncredited), from "The Seasons"
Played by Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

the first movie that really impressed me
16 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

A difficult bet to make a movie with animals as actors. And however, Jean-Jacques Annaud managed to take up the challenge with guts and determination. His efforts were rewarded because his movie won three oscars in France in 1989 including the Best Director.

The story of the film is plain and simple and the movie succeeds in creating an intense emotion thanks partly to Philippe Sarde's music and the strength of a few sequences. I think notably about the death of the bear cub's mother at the beginning of the movie. It's a very harrowing and touching sequence and it's difficult to refrain his tears.

Landscapes are so gorgeous that they're taking the breath away (the movie was shot in Canada) and they confer to the movie a sensation of big and wild.

It's just a pity that Jean-Jacques Annaud's movie is spoiled by an easy and conventional moral: "you mustn't kill but live and let live".

Nevertheless, "l'ours" is a daring movie which was highly successful when it was released in France in 1988.

17 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This Movie makes me cry Prez316
Human sounds for the bears? rolf_jp
What ever became of Youk? rispoli
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