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Grizzly Man

1,129 customer reviews

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(Dec 26, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

In this mesmerizing new film, acclaimed director Werner Herzog explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell, who lived unarmed among grizzlies for 13 summers.

Special Features

  • "In the Edges: The Grizzly Man Session," a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film's music

Product Details

  • Actors: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter, Val Dexter
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Writers: Werner Herzog
  • Producers: Alana Berry, Andrea Meditch, Billy Campbell, Erik Nelson, Jewel Palovak
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: December 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BMY2NS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,594 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Grizzly Man" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Ellis on February 22, 2006
Format: DVD
Before I saw Werner Herzog's documentary, I couldn't understand why the commentary on Timothy Treadwell's grizzly bear project was so negative. After all, he put himself in danger to protect and photograph these creatures whom he obviously loved to obsession. Others will certainly have different reactions, but the film certainly changed my mind about Treadwell. Unfortunately, he comes across, at least as I saw him, as immature, paranoid, self-centered (his girlfriend Amie hardly even figures in his many hours of filming), somewhat psychotic and lacking even the basics of any scientific standards for research. As the movie progresses, skillful editing brings out what I believe to be Herzog's justifiably critical attitude. Treadwell's rants against the Park Service, non-existent poachers (the grizzlys actually have to be "trimmed" down each year), a large "enemies" list, and worst of all, at least aesthically, his romantic sentimentalization of the bears, and giving them cutsey names, reveals an advanced case of severe anthropomorphism. Herzog lets Treadwell indict himself on all these counts, which he does only too well. The project ended in two tragic human deaths, as well as two bears who also had to be shot. However, the film is not structured as simply an indictment of Treadwell, as vestiges of Herzog's admiration for the man do come through now and again. I think the merits of the film rest largely on this openness and reluctance to simply condemn Treadwell, as well as the well-justified reluctance of Herzog to sensationalize the story (for instance by not playing the tape recording of the mauling of Treadwell and his girlfriend). The film can lead reasonable people to many different interpretations of Treadwell's behavior, some very different than mine, and I think this nuanced ambiguity and refusal to make snap judgments is at the heart of why I think this is a very important film.
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99 of 108 people found the following review helpful By The JuRK on February 26, 2006
Format: DVD
I liked this movie but I have to agree with all the reviews (who rate it both good and bad) that say Timothy Treadwell is emotionally and mentally ill. It's true: the most amazing thing about his story was that he wasn't killed and eaten any sooner.

I sympathize with the family and friends for their loss, but I can't gloss over what a crazy, grandstanding and ultimately suicidal "mission" this was. He wasn't exactly Diane Fossey, who literally fought poachers off the mountain gorillas in Rwanda--these bears were in a state park.

Absolutely NOTHING in science or life tells Treadway or anyone else that it's safe to live with bears. He ventures into the wild and lives in a constant state of delusion, even as the bears kill and eat each other, his cute little foxes, the adorable little cubs. As Herzog points out, there's nothing to support Treadway's fantasy world of harmony in the bloody Alaskan wilderness.

GRIZZLY MAN is a fascinating story but I have to agree with the reviews which compare the interviews with BEST IN SHOW or A MIGHTY WIND.

(If you were fascinated by this story, check out the book INTO THE WILD, about another young man who disappeared and died in the Alaskan bush in an attempt to live off the land. GORILLAS IN THE MIST is both a book and a movie about Diane Fossey, another controversial person who fought on behalf of endangered animals).
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Dave Stagner on August 15, 2006
Format: DVD
Unfortunately, this movie is brought down by many one-star reviews that are attacks on Timothy Treadwell, not comments on the movie itself. Hopefully, this review will balance the scales a bit, and discourage such abuse of reviews in the future...

This is really a film by two filmmakers... Werner Herzog, and Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell is the infamous "grizzly man" who lived among the grizzly bears of Alaska for 13 years, until he and his girlfriend were killed and eaten by a bear. For the last five years, he brought video equipment along and shot movies of the bears, and himself. He saw himself making a movie about the bears, but really, he was making it about himself.

Herzog is also making two films, in a way. First, he is assembling and sharing Treadwell's work. As a filmmaker, Herzog admired Treadwell as a "methodical" and dedicated filmmaker who captured exquisite and deeply moving images of the bears he loved. Second, Herzog created a character study of Treadwell as a person. What many reviewers here fail to comprehend is that Herzog feels no sympathy for Treadwell. He considers Treadwell to be a delusional romantic, descending into paranoia and madness from the cognitive dissonance of his romantic imagination colliding with reality. Herzog, being a stoic German existentialist, sees both bears and humans as heartless killers in an uncaring universe. Herzog, however, is too good a filmmaker to be completely judgemental. He balances the opinions of various people who knew Treadwell, along with Treadwell's self-filmed footage, and lets the viewer judge the goodness or badness of Treadwell's life personally.

The combination of Treadwell's own footage, Herzog's editing, and Herzog's interviews make for an extraordinarily beautiful and moving film.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Berman on February 25, 2006
Format: DVD
After reading some remarkable reviews of Grizzly Man and catching much of it on Discovery Channel, I was very interested in seeing the DVD. The film first appears to be a documentary about the misguided naturalist Timothy Treadwell who befriended grizzly bears in Alaska and was eaten alive in 2003 by one. As a local native points out, what Treadwell did was irresponsible in that he crossed the line that had been drawn 7,000 years ago between humans and grizzlies - that is to avoid one another and maintain a respect for the danger one another poses. Treadwell also claimed that he was protecting the bears but his death resulted in the doom of the bear that killed him. When Herzog samples the tape of Treadwell's last moments (along with his girlfriend's), Herzog advises one of Treadwell's surviving ex-girlfriends to destroy the tape and never view the coroner's photographic evidence - just the coroner's descriptions are enough to chill one to the bone.

The director, Werner Herzog demonstrates again what a master filmmaker he truly is. Herzog also created the film that Treadwell never made by editing hundreds of hours of footage into a film that tells the story Treadwell would have himself made. But Herzog does not allow the audience to be seduced into the sentimentalism that caused Treadwell's death - Herzog indeed interrupts Treadwell's narration and explicitly disagrees with the notion that animals and humans can live in a harmonious relationship and indeed shows the fact that the worlds of humans and bears are separate and there is little room for the intersection of the two.

The extended on the DVD is even more remarkable as Herzog demonstrates his depth of understanding as the soundtrack is scored.
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treadwell was a psychotic nut
His girlfriend had her own brain and no one forced her to go there with Treadwell. She knew perfectly well where she was going. I am amazed how people keep laying her death on Treadwell (whom I consider a very misguided nutcase, of course). I mean, if your boyfriend decided to go hang out with... Read More
Oct 1, 2007 by Ellie |  See all 7 posts
ONE STAR? Are you stupid?
Yes, we read that. Got it.
May 18, 2011 by Kubricker |  See all 8 posts
music from "Grizzly Man"
That's probably because it's actually by Don Edwards. The song is "Coyotes" though. I found it on iTunes. Hope that helps.
Nov 21, 2007 by D. Arnold |  See all 2 posts
yes, this IS a five star movie!
Jan 9, 2009 by Amazon Customer |  See all 8 posts
A detailed report on the Attack (they were dumber than you think).
Thank you for the link--excellent discussion by what seems to be a decent bear-loving guy doing his best to tease out what happened. What has niggled at me about both Treadwell and McCandless is a mystery behind why they both seemed off-kilter. Why did McCandless renounce so much, take being... Read More
Aug 30, 2009 by monica |  See all 5 posts
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