Never Cry Wolf (1983)

“In the end there were no simple answers, no heroes or villains; only silence.”

A government researcher (Charles Martin Smith) is sent into the Arctic wilderness to investigate the effect of wolves on the caribou population.


Response to Peary’s Review:
Carroll Ballard’s cinematic adaptation of Farley Mowat’s bestselling semi-fictional memoir features stunning cinematography, a slow yet compelling narrative, plenty of unexpected humor, and “the rare opportunity to witness scientific methodology in practice.” As Peary notes, Smith was “an inspired choice” to play Mowat’s character (here named Tyler); his natural pluck and good cheer make Tyler’s survival in the seemingly barren environment plausible. It’s incredibly exciting to watch Tyler interacting with the wolves, gradually understanding more about their way of life; and his naked run with the caribou pack — while perhaps a bit cliched — nonetheless effectively shows the transformation he’s undergone during his months in the Arctic.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Beautiful cinematography
  • A fascinating look at the little-understood culture of wolves
  • A respectfully authentic treatment of Arctic natives
  • Charles Martin Smith as the tenacious biologist who learns to survive and thrive in the wilderness
  • Smith learning to eat mice as nonchalantly as popcorn
    Eating mice
  • Smith’s hair-raising airplane ride with pilot Brian Dennehy
    Plane ride

Must See?
Yes. This enjoyable film merits at least one viewing, and may become a repeat favorite.



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