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Grizzly Man (2005)

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A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
21 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

In nature, there are boundaries. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A grizzlyember See more »

Filming Locations:

Alaska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$269,131, 14 August 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,174,085, 20 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD's extra-feature section about the documentary's music-recording sessions with Richard Thompson and fellow musicians, Werner Herzog explains his vision for the material he asked the musicians to improvise. For instance, underneath the slow fight of two bears, cello and the upright bass are heard menacing. Also when Treadwell swims near a bear, Herzog explains that this is not the kind of harmony it appears to be, but instead it's a situation of dangerous foreshadowing. 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Best of the Worst: Wheel of the Worst #13 (2016) 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Portrait of a Man Unable to Bear the World he Lived In
13 January 2006 | by troy-125See all my reviews

Herzog's "Grizzly Man" is a miraculous documentary. He started by collecting hundreds of hours of video tape shot by the movie's subject, Timothy Treadwell. The director then culls through the footage and assembles a fascinating portrait of this uniquely bold (and clearly troubled) human being: Treadwell spent 13 summers living amongst grizzly bears in the wilds of Alaska, before being killed by one in the summer of 2003.

Treadwell's footage is gorgeous, and at times heart-stopping: a grizzly battle caught on tape is the stuff Animal Planet would kill for. But the footage goes beyond simply revealing the harsh yet beautiful reality of the Alaskan wilderness. The camera soon becomes a silent confidant to Treadwell's self-obsessed confessions. For one, he sees himself as the singular savior of the wildlife preserve he camps at and the creatures that reside there. But he also sees himself becoming increasingly less connected to the real world he lives in 9 months out of the year. The footage here is most poignant, revealing Treadwell's inner struggles. It paints a picture of a lonely man searching, perhaps desperately, for purpose in a world he feels has rejected him. Most eerily prescient are Treadwell's repeated remarks about how he would die for the bears, though his eventual death does not appear to be the martyrdom he so clearly sought.

This is where the film is most riveting - in Treadwell's footage, focused on the man, the bears, and the force of nature around them. Less compelling are Herzog's talking head interviews with Treadwell's friends and family - although they do help to solve (as much as possible) the puzzle of where Timothy came from, what lead him to the bears, and why he was killed.

It would not be a Herzog film with the director's own philosophical palette framing the story. Herzog's commentary reveals his longstanding view that nature is cruel and that chaos is the constant in our life experience, not harmony. That Treadwell saw beauty and soul in the bears seems to be beside the point, since ultimately their need for sustenance made them turn on their self-appointed protector.


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