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Man in the Wilderness [VHS] (1971)

Richard Harris , John Huston , Richard C. Sarafian  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Harris, John Huston, Henry Wilcoxon, Percy Herbert, Dennis Waterman
  • Directors: Richard C. Sarafian
  • Writers: Jack DeWitt
  • Producers: C.O. Erickson, Sandy Howard
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: July 22, 1994
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302751144
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,505 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

An abandoned fur trapper must fight for survival and revenge in the western wilderness.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unlikely Survival July 5, 2001
By Harv
Format:VHS Tape
The story of Zachary Bass (actual historical character named Hugh Glass) and his survival and ultimate return to civilization is an exceptional example of the endurance of the human spirit, and Richard Harris is simply phenomenal in his protrayal. Mauled and left for dead, Bass must not only survive his wounds, the elements, and hostile enemies, but he must also come to terms with the very thing that, in the end, is his reason for living; the child that he left behind following the death of his wife. At first a story of simple survival and then revenge against those who left him for dead, the story gradually becomes one of intense love and longing. Harris has certainly done great work before and since, but this honest and truly gritty performance is one of the very best of his long career. And the realism brought to the story by use of actual location filming, amidst all types of weather, helps to bring this story to the forefront of "survivalist" movies. Yes, there is a bit of violence and brutality, but life in the 1820's was not for the weak of heart, and that fact is very honestly portrayed here. In addition to the outstanding Richard Harris, John Huston's portrayal of the venemous and cowardly Captain Henry is absolutely perfect! And fans of the original Star Trek character Scotty, watch for James Doohan in a completely different kind of role in this one! This is simply an outstanding film, and actually has a message to it that goes far beyond the "I'm gonna get you for that" genre some have placed it into. It is ultimately a story of just how far and how much the heart can heal us if we give it a chance. Don't miss out on this one any longer!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoughtful, reflective adventure June 15, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
A fine, underrated film from 1971, starring Richard Harris as fur trapper Zachary Bass, who is attacked by a grizzly bear & left for dead by his companions. But he survives and sets out after those who abandoned him, driven by vengeance and an unquenchable will.
What struck me about this film is something I've been noting in a lot of films & TV shows from the late 1960s & early 1970s: there's a certain understatement, a certain philosophical & reflective streak, that simply wouldn't be found in a similar film made today. Zachary Bass, who saves himself & tracks down his companions across 600 miles of wilderness in 1820, would be a super-human hero in a contemporary version of this story. Instead, he's a formidable but human man, given insight by flashbacks to his earlier life. His self-imposed loneliness, his lack of faith in God & a benign universe (for good personal reasons), his inability to let anyone get too close to him, are all explored in a way that would be ignored today.
The necessary violence of the story is presented differently as well: no extended, almost fetishistic slo-mo savoring of fighting & dying. The violence is presented swiftly, brutally, realistically. Bass does what he must to survive, but he doesn't linger over the violence, he doesn't enjoy it, he doesn't seek it out. Again, very different from most of our contemporary action "heroes." In one scene, watching as a small band of characters slaughters another, his face has a look of appalled bewilderment, accepting that human beings can be so needlessly cruel, but wondering why they can be that way so easily, so pointlessly.
I won't spoil the ending -- of course he does catch up with those who left him to die -- but it's far more low-key than a contemporary film would be.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SURVIVAL AGAINST ALL ODDS... September 15, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is an excellent film with terrific performances by Richard Harris, as Zachary Bass, a frontier scout on an expedition in the Northwest territiories. The expedition is hauling a boat across some pretty rugged terrain and is led by a heartless old reprobate, Captain Henry, played with relish by John Huston. When Bass is badly mauled by a bear in a horrifying scene, Captain Henry orders two of his men to stay with Bass, whom he believes to be dying. He then orders them to shoot Bass, if he does not die within a specified time frame.
They stay with him, but Bass, seeing his life pass before him, refuses to die. As luck would have it, Indians are in the immediate vicinity, so the two men decide against shooting Bass, so as not to attract the attention of the Indians. Even though they know that Bass is struggling to live, they leave him to the vicissitudes of nature, and rejoin the expedition. They take his gun, as the venal Captain Henry had requested it, and leave Bass with nothing.
Bass struggles to stay alive. It is this struggle that grips the viewer. Bass has very little dialogue in this film. It is the strength of his will to live and to survive that dominates the screen. He prevails in his bid for survival. He fights to catch up with the expedition and the leader who had treated him so cruelly. When he does so, be prepared for the unexpected.
What happens to Bass is the story of the resilience of the human spirit and the indomitable will to survive against the odds. What is even more amazing is this film is actually based upon the true story of a folk hero of the Northwest named Hugh Glass. All in all, this an interesting and offbeat film with strong performances by Harris and Huston, as well as its supporting cast.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good buy
Published 1 month ago by Anthony Hannah
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Example of Perserverence and Transformation. A must see.
I had seen this movie years ago and like it even more this time. It speaks of a man's perseverance amidst extreme adversity, Mauled by a bear to near death and then deserted in the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles A Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure at is best
Excellent movie. Great storyline and adventure. I enjoyed John Huston also in this movie. This movie was a sleeper when it came out in the 70's.
Published 3 months ago by William Rhoads
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Harris classic
I have watched this movie over two dozen times over the years, I love it so much. It's a simple plot (no spoiler alerts here), but Richard Harris and John Huston are unforgettable... Read more
Published 6 months ago by TravelWarrior
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic portrayal
Richard Harris was as always extremely believable.
The story line and actors were factually and historically accurate .
I have already recommended this movie.
Published 9 months ago by Gary Skeen. ...........
4.0 out of 5 stars grat move
I have been looking for this tape for a long time I don't like the new CD we just are glad to find it
Published 14 months ago by SANDRA BROWN
3.0 out of 5 stars western
got to the part of the guy getting attacked by the bear and the movie shut off. could not get it back and was real disappointed to not see the ending...
Published 14 months ago by oday
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Though it's dated it still holds up to some of the films they are cranking out now. Besides, I am a Richard Harris fan.
Published 18 months ago by Raymond S. Trower
5.0 out of 5 stars Man in the Wilderness (VHS)
Husband is a western buff and enjoys it very much as it is a great movie. Would recommend it to everyone.
Published 19 months ago by Nellwyn Grilliette
4.0 out of 5 stars a classic tale based on a true story of Hugh Glass
for what ever reasons they found prudent, they changed his name, but still the same story. This is one of the very few movies ever done about a mountain man, real or fictional, and... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Aaron Boleyn
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