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Gentle Giant (1967)

Approved | | Drama, Family | 25 October 1967 (USA)
A young boy befriends an orphaned bear and raises him from a cub. This fine family feature was the basis for the "Gentle Ben" television series. Based on Walt Morey's novel "Gentle Ben."

Director:

James Neilson

Writers:

Edward J. Lakso (screenplay), Andy White (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dennis Weaver ... Tom Wedloe
Vera Miles ... Ellen Wedloe
Ralph Meeker ... Fog Hanson
Clint Howard ... Mark Wedloe
Huntz Hall ... Dink Smith
Charles G. Martin ... Mike McDonaugh
Rance Howard ... Tater Coughlin
Frank Schuller Frank Schuller ... Charlie Mason
Robertson White Robertson White ... Swenson
Richard O'Barry ... Mate (as Ric O'Feldman)
James Riddle James Riddle ... Skipper
Jerry Newby Jerry Newby ... 1st Townsman
Frank Logan Frank Logan ... 2nd Townsman
Alfred Metz Alfred Metz ... Fisherman
Levirne DeBord Levirne DeBord ... Fisherman
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Storyline

A young boy befriends an orphaned bear and raises him from a cub. This fine family feature was the basis for the "Gentle Ben" television series. Based on Walt Morey's novel "Gentle Ben."

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A wisp of a boy...A ton of bear...And a whole angry town trying to tear them apart

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gentle Ben See more »

Filming Locations:

Port Salerno, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ivan Tors Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Followed by Gentle Ben 2: Black Gold (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
YOUNG LAD WITH HIS VERY OWN BEAR.
19 February 2003 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

Set in and filmed near Florida's Everglades, this motion picture, made essentially for children, stars Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron, as seven-year-old Mark Wedlow who, along with his father Tom (Dennis Weaver, a wildlife officer, and mother Ellen (Vera Miles) becomes involved in a series of emergency-based adventures concerning Ben, a young black bear. Mark's first contact with Ben takes place when the latter is a cub, as the boy watches from hiding as three poachers, played by veteran tough guy Ralph Meeker, ex-Bowery Boy Huntz Hall, and Clint's real-life father Rance, hunt down Ben's dam with Meeker's character killing her with a rifle shot, then capturing her offspring for future use as a source of lucrative bear meat. Based on the novel Gentle Ben by Walt Morey, this work inspired a spin-off popular late 1960's television series of the same name, also starring young Clint and Weaver, and features a series of incidents which showcases the remarkably uninhibited fondness which Mark displays toward one of the largest imaginable pets, seven feet and 750 pounds. Portrayed by an exceedingly well-trained animal, Bruno, big Ben is shipped to a zoo after an unfortunate occurrence, but escapes into the Everglades, and subsequent events, replete with family oriented scenes focussing upon a needed rapport between the youngster and animals, most non-ursine, presents cliches a-plenty but gives an opportunity to enjoy another solid performance from the fetching Miles.


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