- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- Susanne Cavendish
I've never read any accounts about the real Jeremiah Johnson, but I don't think the movie was about him, anyway. It was about the period, when made, something I despise in movie-makers, overlaying the present for the sake of giving meaning that never existed, in the past, at least not in the scope presented. One thing is true, in any period of time, the more you try to run away, escape or find something you think is different, the more you will find, it's the same. Wherever I go, there, I am? I found it quite perplexing, and another indication of overlaying the past with the present when Johnson burned the house he built with the help of Caleb and his wife. Some might say, it was a way to follow the Indian tradition of burning those who died, and others might say, the ground was frozen and Caleb and the wife couldn't be buried? I think it was an emotional response to something in line with what he left behind, wanting to obliterate a past. Inside Johnson was a raging revolution and like most revolutions. the one's revolting have no idea what will take the place, once it's over. I'm not sure Johnson was looking for the end, any end, he was just looking and what he found was everything he left behind. Bear Claw was given a good presentation of character by Will Geer and I thought the wife and son were presented well by the actors who played them. I got a little tired of Redford's performance, his looks and his non-verbal expressions of impatience, disagreement and annoyance. My God, could the character and Redford not see how religious was their life based on the religious pursuit of being away from what he must have despised. Any devout undertaking is an experience in religiosity, only the gods are different. I give it three and a half stars. One thing so wonderful about Newman, a sidekick of Redford's was how he never seemed to reveal his political persuasions, in movies, rather like Michael Jordan, who seldom expresses opinions about cultural and political beliefs
- Michael Whitty
This movie is mostly all Robert Redford as he plays a loner in the mountains with Crow Indians and other ranchers trying to spoil his fun. Directed by Redford's longtime director Sydney Pollack and with a good visual eye we stay glued to Redford and how he tries to survive in the wilderness. An interesting story as he seeks friendships and food as he battles the environment.
Hunky, Mountain,and Redford
- Graham Thomas
Try the book "Mountain Man", by Vardis Fisher, the source for the film. One of the best of this genre, somewhat sanitized, but highly entertaining. Good double feature with "Little Big Man".
Entertaining Hollywood Pseudo-History
- Glen Wishard
Jeremiah Johnson is one of the best Robert Redford films, and a very watchable example of the Hollywood tendency to repackage gruesome history as lightweight drama. The real Jeremiah Johnson ate the livers of his Crow enemies in order to destroy their souls; that's not in keeping with the need to present box office star Redford as a sympathetic character.The TCM synopsis states that Johnson went to the mountains to escape the Mexican-American War. Odd, since there was no draft during that war, and the film makes no reference to this motive. The real Johnson did desert from the Navy during the war after striking an officer, and this is perhaps alluded to by the historically dubious hat Redford wears in the opening scene. However, the real Johnson returned east to enlist and fight in the Union Army during the Civil War. Any anti-war pieties that the film might present are relics of 1972 and no part of Johnson's life.The film is pretty deft in presenting the touchy issue of Johnson's vendetta against the Crow. In real life, the Crow needed no excuse to kill a Flathead enemy like Johnson's wife, but the film softens their motive by making it revenge for a trespass on their sacred burial grounds. In turn, Johnson is exonerated by making it clear that he committed the trespass unwillingly.
- Jeff Boston
Jeremiah Johnson is a quality film I watched last night at 8 on TCM. It stands up two generations later. Even the unique "hippie/he-man" mixture of a song played in bits is not as dated as most songs of the Nixon era. The film has great period detail, believable 3-D characters (much realism), and is one of Redford's best films. It is not as overtly political as most of Redford's work (The Candidate came out the same year, The Way We Were the next, and All the President's Men before the '76 election, for instance). However, this is a political film. Johnson is weary of war (like most of America in 1972) and wants peace in the mountains, but finds strife there as well (with the mountains a substitute for the jungles of Vietnam), decides to possibly leave for Canada (to show even the battle-hardened wanted to escape from having to fight further, thus alleviating the rightful guilt of Vietnam draft dodgers) and making peace with the Crow leader after so much blood was shed (as we did with the communists in Vietnam less than a year after this movie was released). I believe Johnson not being religious to the point of being anti-Christian, yet having respect for the Crow burial ground, is standard far-left liberalism on standard display (sometimes overtly, sometimes more subtly) in standard Hollywood films since before Jeremiah Johnson was released. Watching the whole 2 hours, this film must have influenced the production of Dancing With Wolves.
Favorite Movie, but Puzzling
- David Rietze
"Jeremiah Johnson" is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I've watched it dozens of times. One of the things that's always puzzled me -- What is the film's message concerning religion? Jeremiah is clearly antireligious, or at least agnostic, when he first confronts his new wife's religious beliefs. Largely because of the pastor's pleading, and his wife's unspoken urging, Jeremiah agrees to help the expedition to rescue the snowbound settlers. During this trip he resists going through the Crow burial ground, ultimately yields, and then suffers the consequences of violating the Indians' religious beliefs. Insights anyone?
Very Captivating Movie!
- Linda Eastman
I am a movie buff, but this is the first time I've seen this movie. From beginning to end it surprised me. I like movies that I can't tell what is about to happen.