Never Cry Wolf


1h 45m 1983
Never Cry Wolf

Brief Synopsis

A government researcher fights to survive when he's marooned in the Canadian wilderness.

Film Details

Also Known As
homme parmi les loups
Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m

Synopsis

A government researcher fights to survive when he's marooned in the Canadian wilderness.

Crew

Mark Adler

Music Producer

Mark Adler

Music Arranger

Lewis M Allen

Producer

Patti Allen

Production Coordinator

Kenneth Beebe

Animal Trainer

Sieuwke Bisletti

Animal Trainer

Todd Boekelheide

Music Supervisor

Todd Boekelheide

Music Producer

Fitch Cady

Unit Manager

Bayard Carey

Production Assistant

Michael Chandler

Editor

Debbie Coe

Animal Trainer

Anthony Cookson

Assistant Director

Eugene Corr

Other

Jack Couffer

Producer

Carrie Deruiter

Main Title Design

Karen Dew

Animal Trainer

Teresa Ekton

Sound Editor

Rob Fruchtman

Sound Editor

Gary Gero

Animal Trainer

Al Giddings

Photography

Sam Hamm

Screenplay

Curtis Hanson

Screenplay

Mark Hardin

Animal Trainer

Lamme Hemphill

Production Assistant

Madeline Holmes

Animal Trainer

John Houston

Assistant Director

Robert Hughes

Music

Mark Isham

Music Arranger

Mark Isham

Music

Trish Keating

Costumes

Gary Kenwood

Animal Trainer

Colin Michael Kitchens

Assistant Director

Richard Kletter

Screenplay

Gabriel Kruks

Key Grip

Claudette Laurencelle

Production Coordinator

Donna Loptsom

Animal Trainer

Harry Lowry

Other

Christina Luescher

Other

Scott Maitland

Assistant Director

Paul Marbury

Camera Operator

Peter Matthiessen

Consultant

H J Mccullough

Animal Trainer

Wayne Mclaughlin

Props

Ron Miller

Executive Producer

William Mizel

Production Assistant

Farley Mowat

Book As Source Material

Wanda Mull

Production Manager

Graeme Murray

Art Director

Hiro Narita

Director Of Photography

Peter Parasheles

Editor

Barbara Parker

Script Supervisor

David Parker

Sound

Kelley Pratt

Animal Trainer

Patty Proudfoot

Production Assistant

Ronald Raffler

Animal Trainer

Michael Rosenthal

Assistant Editor

Deborah Scott

Costume Designer

Cheryl Shawver

Animal Trainer

Robert Shoup

Sound Editor

Jennifer Shull

Casting

William Shumow

Art Department

C M Smith

Other

Alan Splet

Sound

Lane Starling

Production Assistant

Jenny Stein

Assistant Editor

Robert Steinbrecher

Production Manager

Joseph Strick

Producer

Walker Stuart

Associate Producer

Grant Swain

Props

Daniel Swanstrom

Other

Jules Sylvester

Animal Trainer

Randy Thom

Sound

John Thomas

Special Effects

John Wardlow

Stunt Coordinator

John Wardlow

Stunt Man

Douglas J White

Production

Richard Wilcox

Art Department

John Wright

Art Department

Film Details

Also Known As
homme parmi les loups
Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m

Award Nominations

Best Sound

1983

Articles

Never Cry Wolf


Carroll Ballard, who began his movie career as a documentarian, arrived with a splash when his first narrative feature, The Black Stallion (1979), turned out to be one of the most gorgeously photographed pictures in motion picture history. It should come as no surprise then that Ballard's follow-up Never Cry Wolf (1983) is equally memorable for its stunning imagery, though it is also unique for its quirky character development and offbeat sense of humor.

Ballard and his dedicated crew spent many difficult months in the Alaskan wilderness shooting the story of a studious research scientist (Charles Martin Smith) who finds himself in the adventure of his life when he agrees to record the impact wolf packs have on caribou that roam the frozen tundra.

Smith plays Tyler, a somewhat fictionalized version of Farley Mowat, a real-life naturalist who wrote the book that Never Cry Wolf is based on. Tyler has been sent to determine whether wolves are decimating the caribou population, but starts having second thoughts about the job during a perilous plane trip to his destination. The plane's pilot (Brian Dennehy) is forced to climb out on the wing in mid-flight to fix a broken engine, while Tyler holds the controls steady. A great deal of the film's kick comes from the incongruity of the especially nerdish Smith having to behave heroically.

During his stay in the wild, Tyler befriends an aging Inuit Indian named Ootek (Zachary Ittimangnaq), and the man's adopted son, Mike (Samson Jorah.) But the most compelling relationship in the picture is certainly the one that develops between Tyler and the wolves, who turn out to be far less damaging to the caribou than he was led to believe.

Never Cry Wolf in the vicinity of Nome, Alaska, where it's so cold the ground is frozen solid to depths of almost 200 feet! Throughout shooting, he realized that the most significant scene in the film – the image that would sell the picture to audiences – would be a caribou stampede that Tyler finds himself in the middle of after falling asleep and stumbling naked out of his tent.

This small detail made an already extraordinarily difficult scene all the harder to take for poor Charles Martin Smith, who had to repeatedly strip down and pursue a pack of animals that could have easily trampled him to death. It was a whole lot easier when Smith just had to park a moped in front of a hamburger joint while playing "Terry the Toad" in American Graffiti (1973). However, Smith reportedly met Ballard's challenge with something approaching good humor.

"We had to do the scene outside of Nome," Ballard told Rolling Stone writer Tim Cahill at the time of the picture's release. "In no other place in the world except maybe Siberia, could you get the caribou in a place where you could control them."

Well, theoretically, anyway. Ballard quickly learned that anything having to do with caribou was easier said than done. For one thing, he had to film the animals before they were brought down by local hunters who sell their ground horns as an aphrodisiac in Japan, where an ounce of the stuff cost as much as an ounce of cocaine. Simply getting the caribou to stay in one place was almost impossible. At one point, after the people of Nome gathered and fenced in 4,000 of the animals, the entire herd swam away under the cover of fog! Planes eventually found the creatures spread over 50 miles of land.

After that disastrous false start, Ballard, and Smith in all his naked glory, managed to film a very memorable sequence. "The studio had already spent ten times more than anyone in his right mind would on such a scene," Ballard told Cahill. "So we talked about mechanical caribou, electronic caribou, caribou made out of clay, animated caribou, men running around in caribou suits. We thought about finding the biggest caribou herd we could find and parachuting everyone right into the middle of it."

In the end, Ballard and the crew had to return the following year to the peninsula where the previous herd of caribou managed to escape. The six minutes of footage that appears in the finished film of Never Cry Wolf came to define the picture in most people's minds, as Ballard suspected, and used up a full one-third of the budget.

Director: Carroll Ballard
Producer: Lewis Allen, Jack Couffer, Joseph Strick
Screenplay: Curtis Hanson, Sam Hamm, Richard Kletter (based on the book by Farley Mowat)
Editor: Peter Parasheles, Michael Chandler
Cinematographer: Hiro Narita
Music: Mark Isham
Art Direction: Graeme Murray Cast: Charles Martin Smith (Tyler), Brian Dennehy (Rosie), Zachary Ittimangnaq (Ootek), Samson Jorah (Mike), Martha Ittimangnaq (Ootek's Wife).
C-105m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Paul Tatara
Never Cry Wolf

Never Cry Wolf

Carroll Ballard, who began his movie career as a documentarian, arrived with a splash when his first narrative feature, The Black Stallion (1979), turned out to be one of the most gorgeously photographed pictures in motion picture history. It should come as no surprise then that Ballard's follow-up Never Cry Wolf (1983) is equally memorable for its stunning imagery, though it is also unique for its quirky character development and offbeat sense of humor. Ballard and his dedicated crew spent many difficult months in the Alaskan wilderness shooting the story of a studious research scientist (Charles Martin Smith) who finds himself in the adventure of his life when he agrees to record the impact wolf packs have on caribou that roam the frozen tundra. Smith plays Tyler, a somewhat fictionalized version of Farley Mowat, a real-life naturalist who wrote the book that Never Cry Wolf is based on. Tyler has been sent to determine whether wolves are decimating the caribou population, but starts having second thoughts about the job during a perilous plane trip to his destination. The plane's pilot (Brian Dennehy) is forced to climb out on the wing in mid-flight to fix a broken engine, while Tyler holds the controls steady. A great deal of the film's kick comes from the incongruity of the especially nerdish Smith having to behave heroically. During his stay in the wild, Tyler befriends an aging Inuit Indian named Ootek (Zachary Ittimangnaq), and the man's adopted son, Mike (Samson Jorah.) But the most compelling relationship in the picture is certainly the one that develops between Tyler and the wolves, who turn out to be far less damaging to the caribou than he was led to believe.

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall October 1, 1983

Released in United States Fall October 1, 1983