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The Legend of Bigfoot (1976)

3.4
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Ratings: 3.4/10 from 336 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 15 critic

A documentary about the legendary creature, Bigfoot, with emphasis on him being the missing link.

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(as Harry Stuart Winer)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Ivan Marx ...
Himself (uncredited)
Peggy Marx ...
Herself (uncredited)
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A documentary about the legendary creature, Bigfoot, with emphasis on him being the missing link.

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Startling new motion picture footage of the elusive creature See more »

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Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

January 1976 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws (2014) See more »

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Another perspective
13 October 2007 | by (Numerica) – See all my reviews

Nearly every point of the featured review by Gavin Schmitt (see main page for this movie) is amazingly shortsighted. Schmitt called this film "pointless and boring." In fact, the footage is stunningly beautiful. We see wildlife footage rarely seen. Most of it dating to the 1950s. Near the beginning of the film, we see Marx's wife turn a page on a calendar, it is 1951. Data point.

Ivan Marx has been all over North America, from the southwest desert to north of the arctic circle in both Alaska and the Yukon. He filmed spectacular scenes of wolves, mountain lions, musk ox, mountain goats eating dirt, and the biggest bull moose I have ever seen. I have seen a lot of moose, this one truly was the "monarch".

I think someone like Schmitt might be considered sensationalist, he's probably looking for closeups, DNA testing, incontrovertible proof. Beyond that, nature seems to actually bore him. How can you be, on the one hand, interested in the subject of a wild creature, as is the supposed big foot, but on the other hand find nature boring? I am reminded of a Japanese soldier who was discovered living on a South Pacific island in the 1970s, and hadn't quite realize the war had ended, though he suspected it. When he returned to Japan, he was startled by youth's loss of appreciation for nature. I think this movie shows a lot of the nature that probably doesn't exist any more. Even during the filming, Marx showed habitat loss in Alaska, with the beginning of the building of the Alaska Pipeline. Back to the Japanese soldier, who was saddened by a loss of sensitivity to nature. "Nature is never boring," he said, in a translated quotation.

Anyway, it seems to be a contradiction to be interested in the bigfoot, but disinterested in its living habitat.

What I am driving at is how remarkably Marx does what other bigfoot documentaries fail to do, and that is actually get to bigfoot by sensitizing himself to the habitat and living patterns of wild life, in general. Most bigfoot hunting documentaries seem disproportionately focused on the actual creature, which happens to exist within a wild context. The wild life, in other words, is almost always secondary and incidental. Marx's psychology is superb. Like a detective, he uncovers what makes the bigfoot tick, and maps out a probable migration pattern, follows it, and proves his hypothesis.

To those who blindly zero in on the bigfoot by isolating it from its relationship to wildlife, you remind me of another reviewer who said something about being an "armchair" sasquatch hunter. That armchair is the problem. This documentary has nothing to do with armchairs, it is a naturalist providing us with a naturalist's view of the nature; it is immersion journalism.

As for the actual bigfoot images we see, I am undecided, but in the main I think they are authentic. Here's why: Not a whole lot about this film seems staged. Marx gives me an impression of being the salt-of-the-earth type, an exemplary tracker. The style is that 1950's "Ward Clever" or Roy Rogers style of narration. While Marx is impassioned, albeit in a simple, country way, he is also anti-sensationalist. I can tell Marx is a genuine animal lover, as he stated in the beginning that he only tracked and shot animals that were real problems to ranchers and people. I can totally identify with this character, everything about him strikes me as reminiscent of such people I have met in my own life. The tons of footage on other animals is not only interesting and beautiful to look at, but relevant, as well. He wants us to see the bigfoot as we see other wild creatures. He's right!


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