7.5/10
7,599
60 user 23 critic

Never Cry Wolf (1983)

A government researcher, sent to research the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species.

Director:

Carroll Ballard

Writers:

Farley Mowat (based on the book by), Curtis Hanson (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Martin Smith ... Farley Mowat / Tyler
Brian Dennehy ... Rosie
Zachary Ittimangnaq Zachary Ittimangnaq ... Ootek
Samson Jorah Samson Jorah ... Mike
Hugh Webster Hugh Webster ... Drunk
Martha Ittimangnaq Martha Ittimangnaq ... Woman
Tom Dahlgren ... Hunter #1
Walker Stuart Walker Stuart ... Hunter #2
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Storyline

The researcher Tyler is assigned by his government to travel to the Arctic to study the wolves that they believe are responsible for the reduction of the caribou population. The reckless pilot Rosie takes him to the wilderness and he is left alone with his supply in an extremely cold spot. He is saved by the local Ootek that is traveling with his dog sledding. He builds a shelter for Tyler and organizes his supplies. Tyler finds two wolves that he calls George and Angeline and their three offspring and he examines his excrement to learn what they eat. Soon he discovers that the wolves eat only mice and Tyler decides to do the same to prove to the government that the wolves do not eat caribous. Ootek returns with his friend Mike that speaks English and translates what Ootek say. The trio stays together and Tyler learns that Mike is a hunter. Mike travels with Ootek by canoe to see a herd of caribou that is attacked by a pack of wolves. Tyler examines the bones and finds that the animal... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A True Story. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though not a werewolf movie, the film was released during an 1980s mini-cycle of werewolf films which included Wolfen (1981), The Howling (1981), Teen Wolf (1985), Full Moon High (1981), An American Werewolf in London (1981). See more »

Goofs

When Rosie is dumping Tyler's equipment out of his plane before taking off and leaving him, Tyler runs after him as he taxis down the ice. Rose then takes off, leaving Tyler. Since Tyler has run forward, all the equipment should be behind him (and us), but in the final shot of Rosie flying away, the stuff is in front of Tyler and stretching into the distance. See more »

Quotes

Tyler: [Opening lines: on the train, giving voice-over narration] I just jumped at the opportunity to go. Without even thinking about it, really. Because it opened the way to an old - and very naïve - childhood fantasy of mine: to go off into the wilderness, and test myself against all the dangerous things lurking there. And to find that basic animal that I secretly hoped was hidden somewhere inside myself. I imagined, at that point, I'd become a new man, with a strength and courage I'd never known ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Heavenly Bodies (1984) See more »

User Reviews

 
Never Cry Wolf portrays elements of wilderness most of us are oblivious to, silence and melancholy.
16 December 2001 | by rstubblefieldSee all my reviews

I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it over 15 years ago. But as I have read through numerous reviews, I find them missing a few elements that make this movie so wonderful.

There are two subtle elements of wilderness, that unless you have experienced them, you will probably miss in the movie, silence and melancholy.

When one experience solitude and wilderness as Tyler does, the first thing you notice is the silence that surrounds you. The only noises that can be heard are the ones you make, and simple actions like scratching your hand, striking a match, or the rustle of your nylon parka as you simply move all become a symphony of noises you never noticed before.

The director, Carroll Ballard, takes great pains to illustrate this in the beginning of the movie( knowing all the while most viewers will miss these subtleties) as Tyler is left on the a frozen lake with all his gear strewn about. Rosie guns the engine to his plane for the third time and finally gets to takes off. The sound of that single engine plane is deafening and overpowers everything within 25 miles, but the silence Tyler is left with as the last throb of the plane's engine disappears in the distance is even more so. All of Tyler's actions at this point center around the noise they make. Notice this when you watch.

The next element of wilderness and solitude the director so painstakingly portrays is melancholy. There is no better way to describe it. Melancholy is an intangible, an emotion, yet for any who have experienced wilderness on the level that Tyler does knows how overwhelmingly real it is. It is palpable. The melancholy not only comes from within but comes from all around. It is an element of wilderness that is there even if man is not.

The scene that best depicts this melancholy is when Tyler is out sitting on the rock, alone, with only creatures of the tundra to keep him company. It is twilight. His hair and glasses are wet from an earlier snow, and he sits and plays his oboe. Not a song but a phrase, an echoing phrase that sings out his loneliness to the empty expanse. And off in the distance is a kindred reply, the howl of a lone wolf, a cry that says I know, I understand.

Never Cry Wolf is a tremendous film and is equally underrated. In one sense it is a master piece, one that will never receive mass appeal or recognition. It speaks to us on multiple levels and with subtle intensity, but unfortunately most of us aren't able to hear the message.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Inuktitut

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Never Cry Wolf See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlin, British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$29,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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