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Death Hunt (1981)

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In 1931 Canada, Yukon trapper Johnson has a feud with a dog owner who later retaliates by publicly accusing Johnson of murder and thus triggering a police manhunt in the wilderness.

Director:

Peter R. Hunt (as Peter Hunt)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Albert Johnson
Lee Marvin ... Millen
Andrew Stevens ... Alvin
Carl Weathers ... Sundog
Ed Lauter ... Hazel
Scott Hylands ... The Pilot
Angie Dickinson ... Vanessa McBride
Henry Beckman ... Bill Luce
William Sanderson ... Ned Warren
Jon Cedar ... Hawkins
James O'Connell James O'Connell ... Hurley
Len Lesser ... Lewis
Richard Davalos ... Beeler (as Dick Davalos)
Maury Chaykin ... Clarence
August Schellenberg ... Deak De Bleargue
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Storyline

Canada 1931: The unsociable trapper Johnson lives for himself in the ice-cold mountains near the Yukon river. During a visit in the town he witnesses a dog-fight. He interrupts the game and buys one of the dogs - almost dead already - for $200 against the owner's will. When the owner Hasel complains to Mountie Sergeant Millen, he refuses to take action. But then the loathing breeder and his friends accuse Johnson of murder. So Millen, although sympathetic, has to try to take him under arrest - but Johnson defends his freedom in every way possible. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Saga Of Two Rivals Who Clash As Enemies And Triumph As Heroes. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Hong Kong

Language:

English

Release Date:

1981 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

Arctic Rampage See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,000,000, 31 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie's opening prologue states: "This motion picture is based on a true story." See more »

Goofs

The Alsatian (German Shepherd) dogs used to track Johnson early on in the film clearly have their barking sounds dubbed-over by Huskies or similar sled dog breeds which have a more distinct identifying bark or howl. Sled-pulling Huskies do appear later on in the film, however. See more »

Quotes

Sergeant Edgar Millen: [to Alvin] I'm going in after him. Shoot anything that moves.
[pauses and looks at Alvin]
Sergeant Edgar Millen: Except for me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The King of Comedy (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

For You
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Music by Joseph A. Burke (as Joe Burke)
(c) 1930 Warner Bros. Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well done action/adventure
10 February 2006 | by funnygySee all my reviews

With a lurid title like "Death Hunt" and lead actors like Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin, it would be easy to dismiss this film as just another shoot-'em-up run through the mill to capitalize on the marquee names (particularly Bronson). To do so, however, would be to overlook a well-made gem of an adventure film.

The problem, of course, with most films of this ilk is that they offer a minimum set-up and characters and then set the guns a-blazin'. Not so here. The premise is established well, with Bronson as the noble loner and Marvin as the gruff, weary Canadian Mountie. The themes and plot devices are familiar, to be sure - the sense of honor, the anti-hero, the wet behind the ears rookie lawman, even a little bit of a love story.

I had seen most of this film on cable and thought I understood it. Recently I rented it so I could finally see the first half hour and my feelings about it changed. Seeing the film from start to finish, I realized I had misjudged the intentions of the Marvin character. I thought the character was just another "honorable to the point of dishonorable" hero, when in fact he's a conflicted man. During the film, you can see that he knows he's as much responsible for what has happened, and he's not so much interested in "doing the right thing" as he is in covering his own rear end.

I was surprised to see in the beginning that the film is set in 1931; it seems much like a Western. But then you realize that this was still a very isolated area and that, unlike the southwest, civilization hadn't quite caught up with this part of the world yet - particularly with lawmen like Marvin on duty.

"Death Hunt" delivers all the goods. There is plenty of action and excitement, yet also a lot of substance as the story unfolds. It's a notch above most films of its kind. I enjoyed it so much that I'm considering adding it to my own DVD library, and I'd also like to learn more about the real story that it is based on.


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