The Call of the Wild: Dog of the Yukon (TV Movie 1997) Poster

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10/10
Best movie based on London's book so far
irfant1 December 1999
It is a pity that we have yet to see good movies doing justice to Jack London's "Call of the Wild" and "The Sea Wolf" novels. This movie is the best I have seen for the former. The background music is great, scenery is spectacular, acting is good, and Jack London's great story is well narrated. The novel remains the best dog story ever told (I don't have any pets), but this movie should appeal to all who love outdoors. Besides, there is plenty of depth in this movie, dealing with nature and nurture, survival of the fittest etc. I give it 9 out of 10.
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9/10
Better representation of the book!
karylash12 October 2005
Having seen several versions of "Call of the Wild," I must say that this version is my favorite. It follows the book well and the narration by Richard Dreyfuss helps move the story along. One drawback is the dog that portrays Buck does not look like he should based on the description in the book. Overall though, this was an enjoyable movie. It has great scenery and a good cast. I used this movie for an English class that was reading Call of the Wild. We watched two versions of the movie, the Charleton Heston version and this one. All my students agreed that this version followed the book much better and was more enjoyable to watch.
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10/10
True to the book, and hardly a Children's movie.
dietrich872 February 2007
Jack London's story about man and dog is very finely rendered in this cinema version. The book is usually found in the Children's section of the library, but the theme is hardly kid-stuff, and this movie version is true the book. London went to Skagway and soaked up the gold-rush fever that led thousands of desperate fortune-hunters to venture into the Arctic in 1898. The film recreates that historic setting. If you have never read the book, get it and read it before viewing this film. London wrote a lot of books set in the frozen north, but my favorite is his short "story" entitled "To Build a Fire". Start with that, if you can find it, as an introduction to this prolific and great American writer.
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An unforgettalbe film by Jack London
eddy-288 January 2000
I enjoyed this film alot what I hated was that the people harmed the dogs. The film is about a dog named Buck taken to ben trained with other dogs. The film is also hosted by Richard Dreyfuss. This was a great film and also made me cry like I am today after I saw it. Watch the film or read the novel by Jack London.
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7/10
A good movie for dog lovers.
hallian28 December 1998
I would have loved the movie if I was 15-18, but still liked it. I still like dogs. And if you like the dogs, and life in the wilderness, you'll like the movie. Bit similar to "White Fang".
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9/10
Most faithful to the book...
banana_sandwich248 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
There have been a number of film/TV adaptations of this Jack London classic. But this is the only adaptation that remains faithful to the book, and for that it deserves praise. As a result, it could also be used in schools and classrooms. In this adaptation (as in the book), the dog - Buck - is the star, not the human character - John Thornton. The book is about Buck's journey from domesticated pet to creature of the wild. And this excellent adaptation mirrors the same journey. Well done.
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6/10
Mercy Was A Thing Reserved For Gentler Climes
ShootingShark15 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Buck is a strong young dog growing up in California in 1897 when he is stolen and taken to the Yukon territory to work pulling sleds. He passes from owner to owner, surviving harsh adventures, but starts to feel an instinctual impulse to run free ...

This relatively low-budget Canadian TV movie is a fabulous adaptation of Jack London's classic 1903 novel about the hardships of nature in the frozen wastes of Alaska during the Gold Rush. What makes it particularly impressive is London's book is hard to translate to the screen; it's episodic, cerebral, theme-laden and takes place entirely from Buck's point of view. The film carefully balances landscapes, atmosphere, performances and narration to maintain a smooth transition through Buck's life; the camera frequently low to see the world as he sees it and the human actors often playing second fiddle to the canine ones. It really brings out the essence of London's writing, such as in the middle sequence where the ill-prepared prospectors don't learn or adapt quickly enough to the hard surroundings, whilst Buck has the intelligence and strength to do so. It's a great story for kids, but it never shies away from honesty, such as the heartbreaking moment when Dave gets shot out of the sight of the other dogs, but they all know what has happened to him. Dreyfuss' exceptional narration brings this to the fore with some of London's most beautiful and poetic passages, describing Buck's yearning for something elemental and inexplicable in his soul. The human cast are good, particularly Hauer, one of the few actors who doesn't look out of place in this environment, but the dogs are even better. Buck is played by a Leonberger (in the book he is a St Bernard / Collie cross) with a deeply expressive face and amazing physicality, but all the animal actors are simply terrific. The movie was shot in Quebec Province on the other side of the continent from where it's set, but in equally fantastic and inhospitable locations. There's also a great score from Alan Reeves. There are at least six movie/TV versions of this tale, notably the 1935 William Wellman / Clark Gable one, but I think this is probably the best and the most authentic. What I love most about it (other than Buck) is that it looks timeless - it was made seventeen years ago but it could be seventy years ago. It's a story which transcends time. I watched it with my own dog sleeping next to me, which is undoubtedly the best way to see it.
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6/10
A great book sadly diluted.
allyatherton21 July 2016
Starring Rutger Hauer and Richard Dreyfuss ( Narrator).

Written by Jack London ( Novel), Graham Ludlow ( Screenplay.) Directed by Peter Svatek.

This is a case of a really good book being totally diluted.

Jack London's classic was beautifully written from the dog's perspective and was an incredible read. Sadly everything that made the book great has been lost in this film adaptation. It just felt like I was watching a trailer for the actual book. The beauty of the book simply didn't come across and we are left with something that is threadbare. The narration was probably an honest attempt to see the movie through the ayes of Buck but it was quite irritating.

Not great.

6/10
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