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Never Cry Wolf (1983)

A government researcher, sent to research the "menace" of wolves in the north, learns about the true beneficial and positive nature of the species.

Director:

Carroll Ballard

Writers:

Farley Mowat (based on the book by), Curtis Hanson (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Martin Smith ... Farley Mowat / Tyler
Brian Dennehy ... Rosie
Zachary Ittimangnaq Zachary Ittimangnaq ... Ootek
Samson Jorah Samson Jorah ... Mike
Hugh Webster Hugh Webster ... Drunk
Martha Ittimangnaq Martha Ittimangnaq ... Woman
Tom Dahlgren ... Hunter #1
Walker Stuart Walker Stuart ... Hunter #2
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Storyline

The researcher Tyler is assigned by his government to travel to the Arctic to study the wolves that they believe are responsible for the reduction of the caribou population. The reckless pilot Rosie takes him to the wilderness and he is left alone with his supply in an extremely cold spot. He is saved by the local Ootek that is traveling with his dog sledding. He builds a shelter for Tyler and organizes his supplies. Tyler finds two wolves that he calls George and Angeline and their three offspring and he examines his excrement to learn what they eat. Soon he discovers that the wolves eat only mice and Tyler decides to do the same to prove to the government that the wolves do not eat caribous. Ootek returns with his friend Mike that speaks English and translates what Ootek say. The trio stays together and Tyler learns that Mike is a hunter. Mike travels with Ootek by canoe to see a herd of caribou that is attacked by a pack of wolves. Tyler examines the bones and finds that the animal... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Assignment: The Lupus Project. Purpose: To study Alaskan wolves and determine if they were destroying the vanishing caribou deer. The man they chose expected to confront danger, adventure, solitude, and, he hoped, the truth. But he never expected to embark upon a voyage of self-discovery. One that would ultimately transform his life. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Inuktitut

Release Date:

27 January 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Never Cry Wolf See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlin, British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$29,600,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$29,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

A number of the activities that lead actor Charles Martin Smith had to perform included getting chased by a hungry pack of wolves, diving into an ice-covered lake and running naked through a herd of caribou in freezing conditions. See more »

Goofs

In separate scenes there can be heard the sound of crickets chirping and peepers singing (frogs); neither of which occur in the arctic. See more »

Quotes

Rosie: [Sitting with some hunters at a canopied camp table] All together, one thousand four hundred acres, top of the mountain down to the lake. Including mineral rights. But... the real ace in the hole, right now, is the hot spring, right up there. Amazing. Incredible: steaming hot water coming right out of the ground. When I say "hot water," what do you think?
Rosie: [the other two men are silent] Sitting in the bathtub?... Japanese! A little bit of advertising, plenty of raw fish...
Hunter #1: [Chuckling] It's a ...
[...]
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding.
16 February 2008 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

For my money Carroll Ballard is one of the all time great directors, and his effort in "Never Cry Wolf" only reinforces my conviction. Magnificent outdoor cinematography of breathtaking locations and wildlife action, captivate the viewer in this highly narrative tale about a man on an assignment to discover what's happening to the local fauna.

I've never read the book. I'll admit to that right now. But, from what I understand, the book is driven more by plot than by the main characters self exploration, which is what drives the filmic version of the story. This is where fans of the book will diverge from the cinematic portrayal Tyler, a government naturalist. In both story versions he's assigned to discover what's happening with the caribou population, and specifically how the wolves in this predator-prey relationship, are effecting the balance.

The film shows some of the short sighted and over thought preparation for Tyler's mission, and shows us his isolation and how he copes with combating loneliness and the nature's environment. We see his struggle (more often humorous than not) as he comes to terms with creating his own predator-prey relationship, and further comes to an understanding with the "locals" to balance himself with their existence. In this way it's a conservationist message, though not one driven by some political agenda. It's a story about man fitting in with the rest of creation, and how he can learn to live and adapt in the natural environment without disrupting the existence of others.

The film veers a little to Robinson Crusoe kind of theme, and shows us imbalance after balance, and the transformation of Tyler's character. It's somewhat forced near the end, but Tyler and story both pull through, though not without some profound consequences and outcomes.

Definitely one to rent and watch. If your family has taboos against nudity, there are some ever so brief scenes of Tyler (played by Charles Martin Smith) in the "altogether". They're meant to capture the spirit of man in the element from which he came, and imbue us with a sense of what we were so many eons ago.

Enjoy :-)


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