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The Tender Warrior (1971)

 -  Adventure  -  April 1971 (USA)
5.0
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The sheriff of a small Georgia town on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp does nothing to stop a family of white-trash moonshiners from trapping and killing defenseless animals. But Sammy, a ... See full summary »

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cal
Charles Lee ...
Sammy
Liston Elkins ...
Pa Lucas
David DaLie
Johnny Hickox
Marie Braitley
Bobby Spikes
Clifford Thomas
Clarance Callahan
William Hall
Boley the Bear ...
Bear
Iron Jaw the Alligator ...
Alligator
Chuck Chimp ...
Chimp
Sweet Pea the Skunk ...
Skunk
Old Owl ...
An Old Owl
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Storyline

The sheriff of a small Georgia town on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp does nothing to stop a family of white-trash moonshiners from trapping and killing defenseless animals. But Sammy, a young swamp-boy, takes matters into his own hands. Assisted by his pet chimp, Chuck, Sammy launches a campaign to free the trapped animals. "Pa" Lucas and his idiot sons don't take kindly to Sammy's scheme of beating them out of butter-and-egg money, and are soon chasing Sammy and Chuck over swamp and quagmire. As if young Sammy didn't have enough troubles eluding the Lucas family, he soon finds himself being hotly pursed by a leopard, an escapee from a circus. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Starring: BOLEY THE BEAR, IRON JAW THE ALLIGATOR, CHUCK THE CHIMP, SWEET PEA THESKUNK, OLD OWL and SPOTS THE LEOPARD (one-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

G
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1971 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Tender Warrior
Written by Jimmy Walker
Sung by Jimmy Walker
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User Reviews

One where you root for the rattlesnake.

The Florida-based father-son team of animal trainers, Joseph Raffill and Stewart Taffill, shot this film in the Okefenokee National Park in Georgia. The Traffill's, both born in England, were the trainers and suppliers of animals used in "Dr. Doolittle," "Lt. Robinson Crusoe," "Monkeys Go Home," "Harem Holiday" and three bad Tarzan features (not their fault), as well as supplying the animals for television shows "Tarzan,", "Daniel Boone," "Cowboy in Africa" and "Lassie." The father was also a stunt-double for actors working with animals and did the honors for Rex Harrison in "Dr. Doolittle." This one begins when the sheriff of a small Georgia town on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp does nothing to stop a family of white-trash moonshiners from trapping and killing defenseless animals. But Sammy (Charles Lee), a young swamp-boy, takes matters into his own hands. Assisted by his pet chimp, Chuck (played by Chuck the Chimp according to the poster billing and a better choice for the role would be hard to find), Sammy launches a campaign to free the trapped animals. Just how and where a Georgia swamp-kid acquired a pet chimp isn't explained, but the odds are high he rented it from Safari Animal Rentals, Inc., one of the many turn-key companies the Raffills had for renting equipment---and animals--- to movie companies.

"Pa" Lucas (Liston Elkins) and his idiot sons (including DAN Rafferty as Cal) don't take kindly to Sammy's scheme of beating them out of butter-and-aig money, and are soon chasing Sammy and Chuck over hill and dale...or, swamp and quagmire in this instance. (I put DAN in all uppercase letters for the benefit of the contributor who goes about changing the acting credits for the un-related Dan and Don Haggerty in hully-gully fashion.It's Dan in this one and while he seems to not know one from the other by face, the keyword is 'acting.' Don could and DAN couldn't.) As if young Sammy didn't have enough troubles eluding the Lucas family, he soon finds himself being hotly pursed by a leopard. This is a development that catches Sammy somewhat by surprise as every Georgia swamp-kid knows there ain't no leopards in the Okefenokee. That this one turns out to be an escapee from a circus is a valid explanation, but offers little comfort to the hotly-pursued Sammy.

A cast of unknowns with the exception of the relative-known Dan (not Don) Haggerty come in second behind the animals and the photography of Gerardo H. Wenziner. The uncredited rattlesnake (with no name) out-performs the rest of the credited animals, all of who have role names except for a tortoise who is just an extra anyway.

The film was a 1971 Moscow Film Festival entry.


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