6.3/10
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Wild America (1997)

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Three brothers who are obsessed with animals are given permission from their parents to travel around America with a camera documenting wildlife.

Director:

William Dear
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas ... Marshall
Devon Sawa ... Mark
Scott Bairstow ... Marty
Frances Fisher ... Agnes
Jamey Sheridan ... Marty Sr.
Tracey Walter ... Leon
Don Stroud ... Stango
Zack Ward ... D.C.
Claudia Stedelin ... Annie
Anastasia Spivey Anastasia Spivey ... Donna Jo
Leighanne Littrell Leighanne Littrell ... Tanna (as Leighanne Wallace)
Amy Lee Douglas Amy Lee Douglas ... Julie Anne
Sonny Shroyer ... Bud
Rachel Fowler Rachel Fowler ... Sarah
Jennifer Crumbley ... Betsy
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Storyline

Three brothers - Marshall, Marty and Mark dream of becoming naturalists and portraying animal life of America. One summer their dream comes true, they travel through America, filming alligators, bears and moose. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

take a ride on the wild side.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and some adventure peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

América Selvagem See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,875,117, 6 July 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,324,662, 17 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Fisher plays Jonathan Taylor Thomas' character's mother in this film. In 1991, she was cast as his character's mother in the show Home Improvement (1991), but was replaced due to poor early audience reaction to her. See more »

Goofs

In the cave, one of the snakes is clearly a fake one on a stick. See more »

Quotes

Sarah, a British Hippy Girl: [gesturing her body in a sexy behavior] Devonshire cream: The creamiest cream.
Mark Stouffer: They paid you for that.
Sarah, a British Hippy Girl: It's not so easy. You try it with a camera in your face, and a cow sniffing around your bum.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Right before the credits roll: On April 6, 1977 "The Predators" aired on NBC narrated by Robert Redford. Marty went on to produce the acclaimed series "Wild America". Mark became an Emmy award winner and one of the foremost wildlife filmmakers in the world. Marshall recently complete a documentary about endangered snails. He is now looking for bigger game. (Then a postcard of "Mom and Dad" saying "Greetings from Hawaii) And Agnes spent two glorious weeks on the beaches of Hawaii while Marty Sr. combed the island for car parts. See more »

Connections

References Wild America (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Incense and Peppermints
Performed by The Strawberry Alarm Clock
Words and Music by John Carter and Tim Gilbert
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
Published by Claridge Music Company, A Division of MPL Communications, Inc. (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't expect a teenage version of "The Edge"
5 February 2017 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

Released in 1997 and directed by William Dear, "Wild America" is a family adventure about three Arkansas brothers in the late 60s, Marshall, Marty and Mark Stouffer (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Scott Bairstow and Devon Sawa respectively), who dream of becoming nature filmmakers. Their dream comes true when their parents (Jamey Sheridan and Frances Fisher) allow them to travel America, filming alligators, moose, grizzly bears and more. Don Stroud, Tracey Walter, Zack Ward and Claudia Stedelin have peripheral roles.

The movie's based on the true-life story of the brothers who went on to become big-time nature photographers, particularly Marty Stouffer, who directed the Wild America TV series (I even have a couple of those VHS tapes somewhere). The movie was released two months before the excellent "The Edge" was released, but don't expect anything within the realm of quality as that movie. Don't get me wrong, there is some good in "Wild America," it's just offset by the BAD.

The good includes an effective cast and stellar locations, not to mention a glorified cameo by an actor whom I'm not going to name, but he was a fairly big-time actor at the time. There's also some quality animal photography. Unfortunately, the kinks weren't worked out in the script. For instance, near the end the youngest brother has some mature dialogue that no kid his age would ever speak (both my wife and I thought this). Furthermore, the story has no narrative drive and so when the plane sequence occurs in the third act it's simply not moving or believable (although I enjoyed the sky photography). Speaking of unbelievable, there are three animal sequences that utterly destroy any suspension of disbelief: The moose sequence, the snake scene and, the worst, the entire bear cave episode, which almost single-handedly ruins the movie. Then there's the boys' film that was shown at their school. While this may have really happened I can guarantee you that the film looked nothing like what is shown.

Bottom Line: "Wild America" might be good for pubescent girls who are fond of the teenage protagonists and entertained by the fun antics, but adults will be turned-off by the lack of story drive and realism.

The film runs 106 minutes and was shot in South Carolina (Jasper County), Georgia (Rincon & Tybee Island), Arkansas (Fort Smith), Utah (Monument Valley), Arizona (Sedona) and Alberta, Canada.

GRADE: C-


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