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Spirit of the Eagle (1991)

PG | | Adventure, Drama | 16 May 1991 (USA)
A famous mapmaker and his eagle friend venture through the forests of America's Northwest territories.



(story), (story) (as Joseph P. Tidwell III)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Big Eli McDonaugh
... Hatchett
Trever Yarrish ... Little Eli
Jeri Arredondo ... Watawna
Taylor Lacher ... Weasel
... Jake
... Running Wolf
Jack Gamby ... Frenchy
Paul Booth ... Pierre
Priscilla Bettles ... Medicine Woman
Reed David ... Medicine Man
Bill Reid ... River Pirate Merchant
Bruce Sanders ... Pirate
Ivan Sherk ... Pirate
Suzette L. Canonizado ... Indian Woman


A famous mapmaker and his eagle friend venture through the forests of America's Northwest territories.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama



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Release Date:

16 May 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Abenteuer in den Rocky Mountains  »

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Spun-off from The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

sweet but idiotic
19 September 2014 | by See all my reviews

The plot lines in this movie are borrowed from the TV Lassie series of the 1950s, where the part of Lassie is played by an eagle. The eagle warns that some party needs rescue, then guides the rescue party to them. Most of the suspense comes from protracted recovery from bullet wounds. Theme and repetition.

There are a number of things that strain belief. The characters in the movie get basic provisions twice a year, yet most are as plump as Rob Ford. All the images I have seen from the period show men skinny as railway rails. The hero lives in the wilderness, but does nothing to earn a living, never grows food neither does he hunt, nor does he chop wood. The hero's cabin has three large unglazed openings for windows, but he seems baffled a raccoon could get in. The "wild" horses are exquisitely groomed as if for dressage at Buckingham palace. A pretty native American teenager follows the 50 year old, grossly overweight hero home, claiming she wants nothing more than to serve him and his son. The villains kill anyone they lure into trade and steal their furs. Yet word does not seem to get around about them and it takes a very long time for anyone to see to revenge.

The scene that annoyed me most was when the hero lied to his son (and the kids in the audience) that his mom was not really dead. She was floating on the clouds watching him. There are other heavy handed Christian messages.

Haggerty plays a gentle soul, and this is what carries the movie. Even if he is an idiot, he a sweet, well intentioned idiot. The villains really ham it up. They are great fun, comic and oh so wicked.

There is something I found a bit creepy. Especially in the early part of the film, our hero compulsively kept clutching at his son, and pulling him into a snuggle or kissing him even when the son was in no need of reassurance. The son passively put up with it. In real life he would have pushed the clutching parent away.

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