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The Bear (1988)

L'ours (original title)
0:59 | Trailer
An orphan bear cub hooks up with an adult male as they try to dodge human hunters.


James Oliver Curwood (novel), Gérard Brach (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Bart the Bear ... The Kodiak Bear
Youk the Bear ... The Bear Cub
Tchéky Karyo ... Tom
Jack Wallace ... Bill
André Lacombe André Lacombe ... Le chasseur aux chiens


The director of Quest for Fire (1981) creates yet another film in nature with almost no human dialogue in this picturesque story of an orphaned bear cub who is adopted by an adult male bear and must avoid hunters. Bart the Bear stars in this anthropomorphic fantasy. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's an orphan... at the start of a journey. A journey to survive.


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Although Brach began writing the screenplay in late 1981, Annaud took on another project, that of directing a film adaptation of Umberto Eco's book The Name of the Rose. Between preparing for and filming his next film, Annaud traveled and visited zoos in order to research animal behavior. In an interview he later gave with the American Humane Association, Annaud stated: "Each time I was fascinated with the tigers, to a point that I thought to do a movie called The Tiger instead of The Bear. In those days I felt that the bear, because they're so often vertical, would give me a better identification, or would provide more instant identification from the viewers." The finished script was presented to Berri in early 1983. See more »


After the bear attacks the hunters' horses, and one of the hunters has tracked down his hurt horse and has it cornered in a small rock enclosure, rocks are visible being thrown from the left side of the shot to stir the horse up. See more »


[first lines]
Bill: [examining bear tracks] That's a huge male; bet he's more'n fifteen hundred pounds.
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Referenced in Jumanji (1995) See more »


End Title Theme
Music adapted from "June: Barcarolle"
by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (uncredited), from "The Seasons"
Played by Orchestra
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User Reviews

A Rare Bear
16 February 1999 | by zeus-2See all my reviews

I hate Grizzly Bears. I hate them because I'm terrified of them. Nothing in the woods is gonna set you free like confronting a bear (well, maybe the Zodiac killer). Whenever you're out there, away from it all, there is the looming threat of The Bear. He is nature raw; he's a wake-up call, saying, "it's time to prove who you are and where you belong, now!"

Imagine loving a film from the point of view of your worst enemy. Think about feeling empathy and compassion for your most horrible nightmare. That's this film for me.

Sure it helps that the narrator is an innocent child, abandoned in the woods. Sure, he has dreams just like you do. He even chews mushrooms and trips around like you did as a teenager. He learns, he grows up, he faces trials, he is loved and protected.

The Indians say that when you kill an animal, you must respect his living soul. His rights are the same as yours. Maybe you had the edge this time, maybe you live a little longer. But, in the end, you are one in the same. Only the arrogance of man makes you think you're more important. The hunter supplicates because he's out-brawned. It's only later that he realizes that he is The Bear. Maybe not now, or before, but sometime. What would happen if everyone thought of themselves as an integral part of it all? That the trees, the rocks, the animals, the clouds, hell, everything of the earth was impossible to separate from humanity's own lifeforce?

It is rare when a work or art can change a perspective that's been locked in for a lifetime or re-enforced by centuries of civilization. But, for one magical moment, I was The Bear.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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France | USA


English | French

Release Date:

27 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bear See more »

Filming Locations:

Austria See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,676,530, 29 October 1989

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Price, Renn Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


| (uncut) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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