7.8/10
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418 user 205 critic

Grizzly Man (2005)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
A devastating and heart-rending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzly bears in Alaska.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
21 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Credited cast:
Werner Herzog ... Self / Narrator / Interviewer (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carol Dexter Carol Dexter ... Self - Treadwell's Mother
Val Dexter Val Dexter ... Self - Treadwell's Father
Sam Egli Sam Egli ... Self - Egli Air Haul
Franc G. Fallico Franc G. Fallico ... Self - Coroner
Willy Fulton Willy Fulton ... Self - Pilot
Marc Gaede Marc Gaede ... Self - Ecologist
Marnie Gaede Marnie Gaede ... Self - Ecologist
Sven Haakanson Jr. Sven Haakanson Jr. ... Self - Alutiiq Museum Director
Amie Huguenard Amie Huguenard ... Self (archive footage)
David Letterman ... Self (archive footage)
Jewel Palovak ... Self
Kathleen Parker Kathleen Parker ... Self - Close Friend
Warren Queeney ... Self - Actor and Close Friend
Timothy Treadwell ... Self (archive footage)
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Storyline

A docudrama that centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell. He periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears. He was killed, along with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, by a rogue bear in October 2003. The films explores Treadwell's compassionate life as he found solace among these endangered animals. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One man spent the last 13 years of his life crossing them. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a BBC interview about the film, Werner Herzog was shot with an air rifle. The interview was resumed indoors and at the end Herzog was encouraged to check his wound. Though there was "a bruise the size of a snooker ball, with a hole in it." Herzog declared "It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid." See more »

Goofs

Werner Herzog describes Timothy Treadwell's last tape, while telling his friend never to listen to it, as always being "a White Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" is a different figure of speech from "Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" means an extravagant but useless project; "Elephant in the room" means something unspoken that is nevertheless obvious. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Timothy Treadwell: I'm out in the prime cut of big green. Behind me is Ed and Rowdy, members of an up-and-coming sub-adult gang. They're challenging everything, including me. Goes with the territory. If I show weakness, if I retreat, I may be hurt, I may be killed. I must hold my own if I'm gonna stay within this land. For once there is weakness they will exploit it, they will take me out, they will decapitate me, they will chop me into bits and pieces. I'm dead. But so far, I persevere. Persevere.
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Alternate Versions

The DVD from Lions Gate Home Entertainment opens with a disclaimer stating that the film has been changed from its theatrical version. The sole change is in the first ten minutes where Herzog explains that Treadwell had become a semi-celebrity. In the theatrical version a clip is shown of Treadwell on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." Treadwell comes out and explains what he has been doing and Letterman quips, "We're not going to open a newspaper one day and read about you being eaten by a bear are we?" In the DVD version this exchange is omitted and replaced with a NBC news segment of Treadwell being interviewed. When the interviewer asks if he would ever want a gun to protect himself, Treadwell states that he "would never, ever kill a bear even in the defense of my own life." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blue Collar Comedy Tour: One for the Road (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Coyotes
by McDill (as Bob McDill)
Performed by Don Edwards
Courtesy of Universal-Polygram Int. Publ., Inc.
On behalf of itself and Ranger Bob Music (ASCAP), Warner Bros. Records, Inc. by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
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User Reviews

 
Loved Herzog, but could not sympathize with Treadwell
25 September 2005 | by chosunkidSee all my reviews

***Possible Spoilers*** "Grizzly Man" is a documentary of Tim Treadwell who spends 13 summers in Alaska living amongst grizzly bears and eventually loses his life to the creatures to which he devoted all his heart.

I saw "Grizzly Man" without knowing anything about it. I first thought it would be a documentary about the beauty and behavior of grizzly bears. However, through Tim Treadwell's interaction with grizzly bears, Werner Herzog shows that this film is actually about the inadequacies and insecurities of human nature.

Tim Treadwell seems to be the culmination of many of the deficiencies that man possesses. I felt absolutely no sympathy for this individual, despite the fact that he suffered a tragic and horrible death. If it weren't bears that killed him, it probably would've been something else. He was definitely headed toward a downward spiral. I felt like he was a man who ran away from his demons because he could not face or overcome it. He developed high "ideals" and when he could not adjust his values and beliefs to that of society, he abandoned it and sought out for acceptance from creatures that are incapable of judging or criticizing Treadwell. Unfortunately, Treadwell mistakes the grizzly bears' indifference or incompetence as a sign of acceptance, and falls in love with them.

Treadwell displayed behavior suggestive of manic depressive disorder, or cyclothymic disorder, or histrionic personality disorder. His emotional reactions to incidents were over dramatic to the point that one questions whether it's genuine. I also thought that he was a closet homosexual who could not accept his sexual orientation. In the film, Treadwell talks about wishing he were gay because it would be easier, but he denies being gay. He also talks about how he has trouble with keeping relationships with girls. I know this is a big assumption, but I couldn't help but question whether he was running away from civilization hoping he didn't have to face the reality of his sexual orientation. Treadwell is a person who does not know himself, and is afraid to find out.

I also did not like the fact that Treadwell was on this unsubstantiated high horse. This self-proclaimed protector of animals and nature displays his hypocrisy in at least 2 scenes. When Treadwell stumbles upon poachers who throw rocks at a baby cub, all he does is hide behind a bush and criticizes the hunters for hurting the bear. Not quite what a "protector" would do. Also, when Treadwell discovers the dead fox, he gets angry for the destruction and death that exists in this world. However, he doesn't blink twice to try to swap a fly that is buzzing around the fox. Obviously he shows no respect for the fly, which is also a living organism.

Also, throughout the film, most of Treadwell's friends glorify all that he represented. It seems that his death has elevated him to a martyr, and I found that inappropriate. I don't believe one's achievements in life should be overblown and exaggerated because he or she suffered a tragic and violent death. Based on Treadwell's self-recordings, I find that he has done nothing to deserve any praise. The way he died is sad, but that should not have any bearing on what he did in life. If anything, Treadwell encroached upon the grizzly bears' territory, and abused their independence and way of life in order to hide behind the mask of his own demons. I find nothing altruistic about his actions because of that.

In the film, Herzog says that death and destruction is a unavoidable reality of nature, and he has done a brilliant job in portraying that. My take home message was that everything bad in this world exists because man is too weak and feeble-minded to transcend beyond our natural tendencies to destroy his surroundings and to self-destruct. And Treadwell is the perfect example. Great job Mr. Herzog.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 2005 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Grizzly Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Alaska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$269,131, 14 August 2005

Gross USA:

$3,178,403

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,064,179
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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