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Never Cry Wolf (1983)

Charles Martin Smith , Brian Dennehy , Carroll Ballard  |  PG |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Martin Smith, Brian Dennehy, Zachary Ittimangnaq, Samson Jorah, Hugh Webster
  • Directors: Carroll Ballard
  • Writers: Based On The Book By Farley Mowat, Eugene Corr, And Narration Written By C.M. Smith
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55Y2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,323 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Never Cry Wolf" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Ironically, the main character in this Disney film eats mice in order to survive.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
187 of 195 people found the following review helpful
The first time I saw Never Cry Wolf on the big screen in 1983 is a day I'll never forget. When the credits started rolling and I came back down to earth, I could not remember where I was or what I had done that day up to that point. The film had so overwhelmed me that everything else seemed unimportant, and the film seemed like the only reality. That had never happened before and it's never happened since.

It took me many years and many more viewings to figure out why this film is so extraordinary. For the first 45 minutes or so, Never Cry Wolf is content to be a conventional "Man and Nature" film, with the "natives" being set up in the "noble savage" archetype--they are the ideal, the "good guys," the righteous ones, while White man is evil (except for our hero Tyler). It's a structure that's been used many times, and it's fine. Of course all this is beautifully-filmed and hauntingly beautiful, but the film was still fairly conventional, albeit extremely well-done.

But then it unleashes a surprise, which turns the story on its head. Tyler is talking to Mike, his Inuit friend, one of the "noble" ones, one of the "good guys." Mike reveals that he would like to kill wolves, and explains why. The reasons sound so much like the reasons of "White" man.

This casual revelation stuns Tyler--and us too. The film shatters the "noble savage" archetype in a brief, economic scene. (The penultimate scene, also between Tyler and Mike, which could be considered as an extension of this scene, is equally brief and economical. The script is a masterpiece of understated writing, almost like cinematic haiku.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I agree with everyone of the previous reviews. I too saw this film when I was very young, (only 11 years old) but I never forgot it. I've seen it several times since and it becomes more beautiful and important as I grow older. I've never been driven to search the web and the local movie stores for anything like I have in my frustrating search to aquire this film. Why is it I can find millions of copies of Judge Dread or The Beastmaster yet a film with such importants is allowed to virtually disappear? I've never seen scenery such as this before, or more noble truths displayed on film. Please Disney, put the mainstream insignificant eye-candy movies to rest, and allow all the people I know who have never even heard of this movie to view it's inspiring, intelligent and unforgettable story. Many of us will be waiting.
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75 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine fictionalized documentary ahead of its time July 28, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This fictionalization of the Farley Mowat book about his Arctic adventures studying wolves is amazingly enough perhaps the most controversial film Disney studios ever made. How sad is that? The reasons for the controversy would seem minor: first, the movie is not entirely true to Mowat's book; two, it's lightly plotted; and three, a man is seen running around naked in the tundra. To which I say, so what? so what? and gee, how offensive. (Maybe they should have clothed the wolves.)
The latter complaint is the major reason for all the ranting by some "reviewers." To them a Disney film showing human nakedness seems a sacrilege and they want their bowdlerized world returned to them, and they want Disney censured and made to promise never to do anything like that again! The complaint that there wasn't enough tension in the film is also off base since this is a contemplative, even spiritual film, not a slick thriller. People with sound-bite attention spans who need to mainline exploding cars and ripped flesh to keep them interested need not apply.
The criticism that Director Carroll Ballard's film is not entirely true to the book is legitimate, but I would point out that movies are seldom if ever entirely true to their source material. A film is one kind of media with its particular demands while a book is another. It is impossible to completely translate a book into a movie. Something is always inevitably lost, but something is often gained. Here the cinematography and the beautiful musical score by Mark Isham are fine compensations.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cry WOLF its worth it August 20, 2006
To survive we must learn by nature-Anon.

Never Cry Wolf is a dramatization of the expierences of naturalist Farley Mowat who investigate why wolves were killing arctic caribou herds in the Artic Wildeness of Northern Canada

Disney was always great for true life nature films...and this one is no exception. With gived direction from noted filmmaker Carroll Ballard, this film is artist poetry on film. You can breathe the cool mountain air . The filmmaker's eyes of what you see are breathtaking views.

As I stated before, this is a dramazation, so Mowat's character is named Tyler (played careful by Charles Martin Smith-who you may have seen as Toad in the film American Graffitti). You see the wonderment and the adventure thru his eyes...and believe every frame this film shows. Brian Dennehy has a small role as a bush pilot/hunter. However, this is Smith's film..well Smith's and mother nature bounty itself.

This film is from 1983, but it does not date itself and worth every cent to get this movie.It is worth it to view such a visual treat for the eyes. With all the kiddy garbage out there lately, even from Disney itself, this treat from the past is something you may want

One can only wish they would do an update now..showing Tyler's world 20 years later-one would hope with the wolves

Bennet Pomerantz, AUDIOIWORLD
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best
Love this movie. have bought it for friends and relatives as a gift. It is so dear, funny and beautiful.
Published 2 days ago by Sharon Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars
Great film and incredible photography of the Canadian north. Wonderful film for families, and there aren't enough of those out there. I would highly recommend it.
Published 18 days ago by Anne Barlow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for scenery alone
We had seen this movie years ago when it first came out. We bought it for our granddaughter who is very interested in animals. We loved it the second time around also.
Published 22 days ago by Anne Boyle
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Movie!
I love these kinds of movies. This has awesome scenery and a great story that really puts you in the wilderness. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie rating.
Great film with very little dialogue and only a few, well performed roles with incredible scenery throughout. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Scott Merrill
5.0 out of 5 stars Really heartwarming and funny film
Based on the autobiographical novel of the same title by Farley Mowat, this is a wonderful film for all ages. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Joel Beeson
4.0 out of 5 stars Family review
Our family of 5 loved this movie - it made us want to read the journals he did while out in the wild.
Published 2 months ago by Sylvia Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
This is a great movie. I don't buy movies anymore. I now use Netflix almost exclusively. I don't like writing reviews.
Published 2 months ago by F. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film - a true and funny adventure - great family film...!!
I'd seen this film at the movies when it first came to the silver screen many years ago. A friend of mine had already seen it and was so impressed that he wanted to go back and see... Read more
Published 3 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars All time favorite ;)
We watched this when it first came out. It was as enjoyable this time as it was 30 years ago!
Published 3 months ago by L. Armstrong
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