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A Cry in the Wild (1990)

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13-year-old Brian is the sole survivor of an unreported plane crash. Alone in the Yukon wilderness, Brian must learn to survive by his wits, find food and shelter, and brave wild, hungry ... See full summary »



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Title: A Cry in the Wild (1990)

A Cry in the Wild (1990) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Complete credited cast:
Terence H. Winkless ...
Louise Baker ...
Woman at picnic
Store Clerk
John Jakes ...
Rescue plane pilot
Lois Mallory ...
Ollie Mann ...


13-year-old Brian is the sole survivor of an unreported plane crash. Alone in the Yukon wilderness, Brian must learn to survive by his wits, find food and shelter, and brave wild, hungry animals until or if he is found. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

survivor | wilderness | yukon | boy | pilot | See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 June 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hatchet  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,494,969 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Based on the book "Hatchet" written by Gary Paulsen. See more »


51 minutes into the film, when the bear walks past Brian's camp at night, an inverted reflection of the campfire appears, rising up and then floating in mid air at center screen. See more »


Rescue plane pilot: Hey, I picked up your emergency transmission. Who are you?
Brian Robeson: I'm Brian Robenson. Want something to eat?
See more »


References The Worm Eaters (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

28 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I came away from this movie with the feeling that it could have been so much better. Instead of what should be a gripping, tense story of a boy's fight for survival in the wilderness, it comes off as a National Geographic documentary meets Columbia sportswear ad.

The film begins with Brian (Jared Rushton) preparing for a journey by plane to see his father. His mother fortuitously gives him the curious choice of a hatchet as a going-away gift (what's wrong with a Rubik's Cube?), little knowing how badly he will soon need it. Once in the air, the plane's pilot (a blink-and-you'll-miss-him cameo by Ned Beatty) suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving Brian helpless as the plane crashes into a lake. Extremely lucky to walk (or rather swim) away virtually unscathed, Brian must find shelter, food and hope for rescue.

Here is where the main problem with the movie begins. By the very nature of Brian's solitude, Jared has very few lines to speak, and so the film ought to have compensated by ratcheting up the tension of each scene. Instead, he is shown walking around, sitting around, and so on, with only a minimal sense of danger. As a result, too much reliance is placed on flashbacks to the parents' troubled marriage as the source of tension. These scenes merely get in the way and don't particularly add much to the story. Even worse, occasionally Jared – his face covered with mud - lets out a primal scream or two, which conjures up unfortunate parallels to `Predator.' Speaking of unfortunate, we could have done with being spared the sight of his mullet, but it presumably helped keep him warm at night.

Another disappointment is Pamela Sue Martin in a totally ineffectual performance as the mother. Both she and the father have very little impact in the movie. For instance, we are never shown how they react to news of Brian's disappearance, how they might be organizing rescue attempts, and so on. This is just one source of tension the film-makers would have done well to explore instead of spending so much time on events that happened before Brian embarked on his journey.

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