A Man Called Horse


1h 54m 1970
A Man Called Horse

Brief Synopsis

A English lord kidnapped by Indians becomes a part of their tribe.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Western
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, opening: 23 Apr 1970
Production Company
Cinema Center Films; Sandy Howard Productions
Distribution Company
National General Pictures Corporation
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Man Called Horse" by Dorothy M. Johnson in Collier's (7 Jan 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Lord John Morgan, an aristocratic Englishman, is on a hunting expedition in the Dakotas in the early 19th century. The Sioux attack his camp and scalp his companions, but marvelling at Morgan's blonde hair, they capture him and drag him to their camp, where Chief Yellow Hand gives him to an old squaw, Buffalo Cow Head. When he is not being tortured or ridiculed, he serves as a beast of burden for the squaw. Warned by Frenchman Batise, who is also a slave to the Sioux, not to try to escape, Morgan decides to raise his status by learning the Sioux's speech and customs; later, by killing two scouts of a Shoshone war party, he proves himself to the tribe. Morgan and Running Deer, the daughter of Chief Yellow Hand, fall in love, despite Buffalo Cow Head's objections, and wish to marry; Morgan, however, must first endure the torture of the Sun Vow in which he is hung high above the ground by the skin of his chest. After performing this ritual, he and Running Deer are married. Yellow Hand is killed in a Shoshone attack, during which Morgan leads the defense of the Sioux and kills a Shoshone chief. Running Deer, who is pregnant, also dies as a result of wounds from the attack. After agreeing to become Buffalo Cow Head's son to prevent her from becoming an outcast, Morgan is named tribal chief for his bravery, but when the old woman dies, he leaves the Sioux and sadly returns to England.

Crew

Philip W. Anderson

Film Editor

Phil Barber

Art Director

Robert Beche

Unit Production Manager

Robert Briggs

Assistant film Editor

Frank Brill

Associate Producer

Charlsie Bryant

Script Supervisor

Yakima Canutt

2nd unit Director

Naomi Cavin

Hairstylist

Mario Cisneros

Assistant Director

Dennis Lynton Clark

Production Design

Richard Cobos

Makeup Artist

Lynn E. D'amato

Production Assistant

Frank Delmar

Costume Supervisor

Rafael Delong

Head grip

Jack Dewitt

Screenwriter

William Dietz

Props master

Clyde D. Dollar

Historical adv

Rafael Esparza

Sound

Federico Farfan

Special Effects

Gene Feldman

Supervisor Music Editor

Jack Finley

Supervisor Sound Editor

Howard Ford

Assistant Camera

Gene Fowler Jr.

Film Editor

Hugh Gagnier

Assistant Camera

Andy Gilmore

Mixer

Frank Griffin

Mr. Harris' makeup

Helen Grizuk

Hairstylist

Robert Hauser

Director of Photography

Sandy Howard

Producer

Don Johnson

Head Electrician

Gilbert Kurland

Production Manager

Ted Landon

Camera Operator

George Lane

Makeup Supervisor

Terry Leonard

Stunt coordinator

Agripina Lozada

Hairstyles

Edward Marks

Costumes

Jack Martell

Costumes

Terry Morse Jr.

Assistant Director

Charles O'reare

Stills

Lloyd One Star

Music & dance cons

Ted Parvin

Costumes

Thomas M. Patchett

Assistant film Editor

Olive Pretty Bird

Sioux lang cons

Jerome Rosenfeld

Title & optical production Designer

Leonard Rosenman

Music

Raul Serrano

Set Decoration

Sioux Indians Of The Rosebud Reservation

Coöp

Tim Smythe

Special Effects

Morton Stevens

Music Supervisor

Keester Sweeney

Makeup Artist

Robert Takati

Music Editor

Gabriel Torres

2nd unit Camera

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Western
Release Date
Jan 1970
Premiere Information
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, opening: 23 Apr 1970
Production Company
Cinema Center Films; Sandy Howard Productions
Distribution Company
National General Pictures Corporation
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "Man Called Horse" by Dorothy M. Johnson in Collier's (7 Jan 1950).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 54m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

A Man Called Horse -


Scratch the surface of an Elliot Silverstein film and you're likely to find a decent but untested protagonist having his or her mettle tested, if not forged outright, by an especially grueling trial by fire. This is true of the long-time TV director's 1965 feature film debut, Cat Ballou (1965), his 1973 rape-revenge drama Nightmare Honeymoon (a project picked up by Silverstein when original director Nicolas Roeg dropped out in the first week of shooting) and the 1977 cult favorite The Car, in which sleepy small town sheriff James Brolin must rise to the occasion of a killer automobile mowing down slow-moving members of his community. Never was this character arc more fully and brutally realized than in the controversial 1970 western A Man Called Horse.

The project originated with a short story by Iowa-born writer Dorothy M. Johnson, whose tales of frontier life also inspired Delmer Daves' The Hanging Tree (1959) and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). The story had first been published in Colliers in 1950 and was later collected in the 1953 anthology Indian Country, reprinted in 1968.

The film belongs to a revisionist subgenre of the movie western, where it sits in the company of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Ralph Nelson's Soldier Blue (1970) and Robert Aldrich's Ulzana's Raid (1972). At the time of its release, critics short-listed A Man Called Horse with several films by Peckinpah (particularly 1971's Straw Dogs), as well as with Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) for the unflinching quality of its onscreen violence.

A precursor to Dances with Wolves (1990) in the way it invites viewers into the mysterious and seemingly cruel world of tribal Native Americans, A Man Called Horse follows the plight of British dandy John Morgan (Richard Harris) after being abducted by prairie aboriginals. Kept at first as a beast of burden but surviving every indignity heaped upon him, Morgan slowly wins the hearts and minds of his captors (in particular, former "Miss Universe" Corinna Tsopei as an alluring Sioux squaw), proving his bravery by defending the camp against a Shoshone attack and by undergoing the torturous "Vow to the Sun" - an initiation rite in which Morgan is suspended from bone daggers stuck through his pectorals and left to hang over night. Images from this set piece figured prominently in the film's advertising and fueled debates about the permissiveness of the so-called "New Hollywood," where depictions of sexuality and brutality were thought to be given free rein. In truth, westerns had long accommodated a high level of sadism and suffering. Vignettes of sickness and recovery were common in the novels of Zane Grey and in films the physical destruction of a hero or anti-hero (the public floggings of James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Charlton Heston's knifing/burning in Will Penny (1968), Franco Nero's broken hands in Django, 1966) was a necessary step toward his Christ-like rebirth. After the public taste shifted away from oaters in the 1980s, the torture torch was carried forward by such hard-bodied action stars as Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson, who as a director brought a Peckinpah-like hyperstylization to his Biblical blockbuster The Passion of the Christ (2004).

Thirty-five years ago, few A-list movie stars had the unbridled chutzpah of Richard Harris. One of eight children born to a Limerick, Ireland flour miller, Harris made a splash in the United Kingdom (and was nominated for an Academy Award®) for playing the angry young leading man of Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life (1963) but it was as the mercurial costar of Charlton Heston in Major Dundee (1965), Doris Day in Caprice (1967), Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot (1967) and Sean Connery in The Molly Maguires (1970) that his stardom reached meteoric heights. (Whether these projects exceeded studio expectations or tanked at the box office hardly mattered.)

By 1970, Harris was an in-demand actor and an award-winning recording artist... and his film choices just got weirder and weirder. Starring as "Old Ironsides" in Cromwell (1970) and playing Richard the Lionheart to Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn's Robin and Marian (1976) brought prestige to his resume but the decade was largely taken up with offbeat projects such as the snowbound survival tale Man in the Wilderness (1971), the downbeat revenge western The Deadly Trackers (1973), the comic book gangster romp 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974), the plague-on-a-train thriller The Cassandra Crossing (1976) and the killer whale box office flop Orca (1977). Poised somewhere between the ridiculous and the sublime was A Man Called Horse. Despite his high star wattage, Harris was not at the top of producer Sandy Howard's wish list. First choice Robert Redford declined the role and went on to star in the somewhat similar Jeremiah Johnson (1972).

Bronx-born independent producer Sandy Howard had happened upon Dorothy Johnson's collection of prairie tales while recuperating in Tokyo from dysentery he had contracted in India. In agony and unable to understand the Japanese doctors treating him, Howard lay in bed for three days reading any books he could find that were written in English. Acquiring the rights from Johnson for $250 and selling the deal to the CBS subsidiary Cinema Center Films, Howard assigned the adaptation to Jack DeWitt (who dreamed up the Sun Vow ceremony, not present in the original story) and direction to Elliot Silverstein. On location in Durango, Mexico, Richard Harris quarreled often with his director, who had really wanted Tom Courtenay to play John Morgan (with Buffy Saint-Marie as Morgan's Sioux love interest). For his part, Silverstein clashed with Sioux nation historian Clyde Dollar (who kept a running list of the mounting inaccuracies and anachronisms) and Sandy Howard. After a disastrous test screening in Oakland, Howard spent nearly a year and another $2 million to recut the film – an investment in time and sweat that paid off in a sizeable success on par with Camelot. Howard and Harris subsequently formed a friendly partnership, resulting in two sequels to A Man Called Horse, the similarly grueling Man in the Wilderness and the bittersweet Echoes of a Summer (1976), which featured Jodie Foster as a dying child and inspired John Hinckley to attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.

Despite the greater degree of artistic control and profit-sharing written into his subsequent films, Harris' career faltered mid-decade, forcing him to take jobs abroad and in Canada while his outsized acting style became fodder for comedians and impressionists (most notably in the Second City TV sketch "The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes," which skewered Harris alongside Richard Burton and Sean Connery). Late life redemption came with choice supporting roles in Jim Sheridan's The Field (1990), which netted Harris his second Oscar® nomination, and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992). Shortly before his death, Harris was cast as warlock mentor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and its first sequel. Richard Harris died from complications of Hodgkin's lymphoma in October of 2002. After backing a string of disparate but memorable films, among them The Devil's Rain (1975), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), Vice Squad (1982) and The Boys Next Door (1985), Howard succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in May of 2008.

Producer: Sandy Howard
Director: Elliot Silverstein
Screenplay: Jack DeWitt; Dorothy M. Johnson (story)
Cinematography: Robert Hauser, Gabriel Torres
Art Direction: Phil Barber
Music: Lloyd One Star, Leonard Rosenman
Film Editing: Philip Anderson, Michael Kahn
Cast: Richard Harris (John Morgan), Dame Judith Anderson (Buffalo Cow Head), Jean Gascon (Batise), Manu Tupou (Yellow Hand), Corinna Tsopei (Running Deer), Dub Taylor (Joe), James Gammon (Ed), William Jordan (Bent), Eddie Little Sky (Black Eagle).
C-114m. Letterboxed.

by Richard Harland Smith

Sources:
Richard Harris: Sex, Death and the Movies by Michael Feeney Callan
Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film by Lee Clark Mitchell
Making the White Man's Indian: Native Americans and Hollywood Movies by Angela Aleiss
A Man Called Horse -

A Man Called Horse -

Scratch the surface of an Elliot Silverstein film and you're likely to find a decent but untested protagonist having his or her mettle tested, if not forged outright, by an especially grueling trial by fire. This is true of the long-time TV director's 1965 feature film debut, Cat Ballou (1965), his 1973 rape-revenge drama Nightmare Honeymoon (a project picked up by Silverstein when original director Nicolas Roeg dropped out in the first week of shooting) and the 1977 cult favorite The Car, in which sleepy small town sheriff James Brolin must rise to the occasion of a killer automobile mowing down slow-moving members of his community. Never was this character arc more fully and brutally realized than in the controversial 1970 western A Man Called Horse. The project originated with a short story by Iowa-born writer Dorothy M. Johnson, whose tales of frontier life also inspired Delmer Daves' The Hanging Tree (1959) and John Ford's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962). The story had first been published in Colliers in 1950 and was later collected in the 1953 anthology Indian Country, reprinted in 1968. The film belongs to a revisionist subgenre of the movie western, where it sits in the company of Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (1969), Ralph Nelson's Soldier Blue (1970) and Robert Aldrich's Ulzana's Raid (1972). At the time of its release, critics short-listed A Man Called Horse with several films by Peckinpah (particularly 1971's Straw Dogs), as well as with Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) for the unflinching quality of its onscreen violence. A precursor to Dances with Wolves (1990) in the way it invites viewers into the mysterious and seemingly cruel world of tribal Native Americans, A Man Called Horse follows the plight of British dandy John Morgan (Richard Harris) after being abducted by prairie aboriginals. Kept at first as a beast of burden but surviving every indignity heaped upon him, Morgan slowly wins the hearts and minds of his captors (in particular, former "Miss Universe" Corinna Tsopei as an alluring Sioux squaw), proving his bravery by defending the camp against a Shoshone attack and by undergoing the torturous "Vow to the Sun" - an initiation rite in which Morgan is suspended from bone daggers stuck through his pectorals and left to hang over night. Images from this set piece figured prominently in the film's advertising and fueled debates about the permissiveness of the so-called "New Hollywood," where depictions of sexuality and brutality were thought to be given free rein. In truth, westerns had long accommodated a high level of sadism and suffering. Vignettes of sickness and recovery were common in the novels of Zane Grey and in films the physical destruction of a hero or anti-hero (the public floggings of James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Marlon Brando in One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Charlton Heston's knifing/burning in Will Penny (1968), Franco Nero's broken hands in Django, 1966) was a necessary step toward his Christ-like rebirth. After the public taste shifted away from oaters in the 1980s, the torture torch was carried forward by such hard-bodied action stars as Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson, who as a director brought a Peckinpah-like hyperstylization to his Biblical blockbuster The Passion of the Christ (2004). Thirty-five years ago, few A-list movie stars had the unbridled chutzpah of Richard Harris. One of eight children born to a Limerick, Ireland flour miller, Harris made a splash in the United Kingdom (and was nominated for an Academy Award®) for playing the angry young leading man of Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life (1963) but it was as the mercurial costar of Charlton Heston in Major Dundee (1965), Doris Day in Caprice (1967), Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot (1967) and Sean Connery in The Molly Maguires (1970) that his stardom reached meteoric heights. (Whether these projects exceeded studio expectations or tanked at the box office hardly mattered.) By 1970, Harris was an in-demand actor and an award-winning recording artist... and his film choices just got weirder and weirder. Starring as "Old Ironsides" in Cromwell (1970) and playing Richard the Lionheart to Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn's Robin and Marian (1976) brought prestige to his resume but the decade was largely taken up with offbeat projects such as the snowbound survival tale Man in the Wilderness (1971), the downbeat revenge western The Deadly Trackers (1973), the comic book gangster romp 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974), the plague-on-a-train thriller The Cassandra Crossing (1976) and the killer whale box office flop Orca (1977). Poised somewhere between the ridiculous and the sublime was A Man Called Horse. Despite his high star wattage, Harris was not at the top of producer Sandy Howard's wish list. First choice Robert Redford declined the role and went on to star in the somewhat similar Jeremiah Johnson (1972). Bronx-born independent producer Sandy Howard had happened upon Dorothy Johnson's collection of prairie tales while recuperating in Tokyo from dysentery he had contracted in India. In agony and unable to understand the Japanese doctors treating him, Howard lay in bed for three days reading any books he could find that were written in English. Acquiring the rights from Johnson for $250 and selling the deal to the CBS subsidiary Cinema Center Films, Howard assigned the adaptation to Jack DeWitt (who dreamed up the Sun Vow ceremony, not present in the original story) and direction to Elliot Silverstein. On location in Durango, Mexico, Richard Harris quarreled often with his director, who had really wanted Tom Courtenay to play John Morgan (with Buffy Saint-Marie as Morgan's Sioux love interest). For his part, Silverstein clashed with Sioux nation historian Clyde Dollar (who kept a running list of the mounting inaccuracies and anachronisms) and Sandy Howard. After a disastrous test screening in Oakland, Howard spent nearly a year and another $2 million to recut the film – an investment in time and sweat that paid off in a sizeable success on par with Camelot. Howard and Harris subsequently formed a friendly partnership, resulting in two sequels to A Man Called Horse, the similarly grueling Man in the Wilderness and the bittersweet Echoes of a Summer (1976), which featured Jodie Foster as a dying child and inspired John Hinckley to attempt to assassinate President Ronald Reagan. Despite the greater degree of artistic control and profit-sharing written into his subsequent films, Harris' career faltered mid-decade, forcing him to take jobs abroad and in Canada while his outsized acting style became fodder for comedians and impressionists (most notably in the Second City TV sketch "The Man Who Would Be King of the Popes," which skewered Harris alongside Richard Burton and Sean Connery). Late life redemption came with choice supporting roles in Jim Sheridan's The Field (1990), which netted Harris his second Oscar® nomination, and Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven (1992). Shortly before his death, Harris was cast as warlock mentor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and its first sequel. Richard Harris died from complications of Hodgkin's lymphoma in October of 2002. After backing a string of disparate but memorable films, among them The Devil's Rain (1975), The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), Vice Squad (1982) and The Boys Next Door (1985), Howard succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in May of 2008. Producer: Sandy Howard Director: Elliot Silverstein Screenplay: Jack DeWitt; Dorothy M. Johnson (story) Cinematography: Robert Hauser, Gabriel Torres Art Direction: Phil Barber Music: Lloyd One Star, Leonard Rosenman Film Editing: Philip Anderson, Michael Kahn Cast: Richard Harris (John Morgan), Dame Judith Anderson (Buffalo Cow Head), Jean Gascon (Batise), Manu Tupou (Yellow Hand), Corinna Tsopei (Running Deer), Dub Taylor (Joe), James Gammon (Ed), William Jordan (Bent), Eddie Little Sky (Black Eagle). C-114m. Letterboxed. by Richard Harland Smith Sources: Richard Harris: Sex, Death and the Movies by Michael Feeney Callan Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film by Lee Clark Mitchell Making the White Man's Indian: Native Americans and Hollywood Movies by Angela Aleiss

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris


Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old.

Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).

Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.

Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You."

The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father.

Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000).

Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris.

by Michael T. Toole

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris

Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old. Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You." The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father. Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000). Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Durango, Mexico.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Spring April 1970

Re-released in United States on Video July 6, 1996

Irvin Kershner was initially to direct the film.

Released in United States Spring April 1970

Re-released in United States on Video July 6, 1996