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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 (231 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: Multiple Formats, 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 (231 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I55Y2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,912 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Never Cry Wolf" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Filmed amid spectacular wilderness vistas, NEVER CRY WOLF reveals a world of hypnotic beauty and breathtaking cinematic imagery. An unforgettable adventure begins as Tyler, a young inexperienced biologist, is deposited alone onto the desolate Arctic terrain. Once settled, he struggles to endure the forces of nature as he documents the mysterious habits of the wolves he has been sent to study. An odyssey of self-discovery told through captivating drama, NEVER CRY WOLF is a haunting, lyrical film from the director of THE BLACK STALLION.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
189 of 197 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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42 of 44 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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77 of 85 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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney's BEST non-animated feature! February 24, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
When I visited for the first time, and discovered this movie was becoming available, I ordered it so fast I left skid marks on my credit card! It's always been a special movie for me; my folks took me to see it when I graduated Navy boot camp, during its original theatrical release in 1984. And I have managed to view it from time to time on a bad copy of a "Disney Channel free weekend" (all the "to subscribe, call now" captions getting in the way of all that natural beauty) I never hesitated to recommend this movie to anyone who will listen, because it has the rare ability to appeal to virtually anyone, a movie with true universal appeal. Sadly, many people have never heard of it, and come back glowing with wonder after viewing it, even with the Disney Channel copy. I cannot think of a film director who has managed to translate to screen existing popular literature into such a moving and masterful pieces of celluloid art; one of my other favorite movies is the 1979 version of The Black Stallion (wish it were available widescreen; is any body listening? )These are what movies are supposed to be like, and I never tire of watching either of these two American masterpieces, as they grow more wonderous and comfortable at the same time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very boring
Published 1 day ago by Tlsix
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An oldie but a Goodie. Interesting Adult Disney
Published 15 days ago by TRUEMc1R
4.0 out of 5 stars hard times can show the true character of a person!
If you like drama in real life - you'll like this movie! CMS has always intrigued me. But he really shines as the character he portrays in this film.
Published 16 days ago by Nate the Snake
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love this movie! It's a great story, funny at times and beautifully told.
Published 16 days ago by E. Klauss
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST-SEE FAMILY EVENT
This is an awesome movie for anyone who loves wolves and Alaska/Northern Territory! Great humor, wilderness scenes, videography! You won't be disappointed with this one!
Published 26 days ago by Tim Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorit movie of all time
One of the few movies I can watch over and over. I watch it about once a year. Farley Mowatt's original book of the same name is very interesting, but this movie really brings the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by pencilpusher
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
I loved this movie when it was first released, and it was really fun to see it again. Great message, great scenery, good cast, well acted.
Published 1 month ago by Shade
5.0 out of 5 stars very good.
One of those movies that take you to places in the mind,history,places and the soul.very well made not realistic in every thing but poetry seldom is.
Published 1 month ago by Gustavo Henao
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic.
Anyone who has any love for nature or wildlife, or has ever loved the idea of a life of solitude should see this. Read more
Published 1 month ago by k-day
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
I was enamored with this film as a child and wanted to share it with my own children. Happy to report the apple does not fall far from the tree.
Published 1 month ago by shannon libecap
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