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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild (1975)

March. 17,1975
| Adventure Drama Action Western

John Thornton, is a fearless man who's after more than gold; he wants to do what's right. Thornton works for the U.S. mail and is the only person daring and smart enough to figure out how to travel the deadly 600 miles from Skagway to Dawson, Alaska in the icy winter. His incredibly dog Buck is by his side and part of how he survives.


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*Spoiler/plot- Call of the Wild, 1972. Two miners go to the North West territories during the gold strike there to get rich quick off the miners.*Special Stars- Charlton Heston.*Theme- Hard work is it's own best reward.*Trivia/location/goofs- TV show drama, Black & White.*Emotion- A rather slow version of the normally exciting tale about two guys and their special dog team in the frozen North country.*Based on- Jack London's story of the struggle to survive in snow North.


For a dog-lover, it is a moving and heart-touching story. For any other viewer, it is an old movie that features a bunch of sled dogs and Alaska. You really must read the book by Jack London before seeing the film. It follows the plot but it does confuse matters.The dog stunts do look very real and do tend do worry you. Fortunatly, you are assured before the movie begins that no animals were harmed in the making of the film. It was good quality for the time period with well-trained animals and nice camera shots. The soundtrack could have been improved but works for the general atmosphere. I was also disappointed by Buck's appearance. He was a German Shepherd mix as described in the book but was presented as a Newfoundland in the film. Curly was also the wrong breed. None of this honestly mattered once the film got started.It is no match for Disney's White Fang but Call of the Wild does come as its infamous partner.


If you've read the book it's not a spoiler.This movie doesn't work because too much focus is put on Charlton Heston. He's up in the Arctic, falling in love, delivering mail, and you begin to think that he is the main character. But in actuality, the dog is the main character. Jack London makes this clear. The story stays on Buck, the dog, throughout the whole book. While this movie does center on Buck, most of the movie also centers on Thornton, Heston's character.In the book, Buck is stolen from his home in California and sold up north, where sled dogs sell for top dollar. Buck is beaten and abused, but unlike most pets sold as sled dogs, Buck survives and grows strong. In the end, Buck is so mistreated and abused he can barely stand. This is when his one good master, and last master, Thornton, rescues him. They thrive together. But Buck keeps feeling the 'call of the wild,' but he wouldn't leave his beloved master. Eventually, Thornton is killed, and Buck answers the 'call of the wild.' With this story, it's obvious that the dog is the main character. After all, Thornton is only in the end, and he dies.But in this movie, Thornton is too much of a main character, and when he dies in the end, as he must, for the movie is, "The Call of the Wild," it leaves one angry at the movie if you haven't read the book and aren't expecting it.Aside from this, weird, creepy music plays throughout the whole film. The acting is mediocre and not terribly enjoyable. At this time, in the North, there were no airplanes or anything. If you wanted to get anywhere, it was either by boat or dogsled. There were dogs everywhere. At one point, Thornton and his team mush into a town where there are no sled dogs (so his dogs are stolen). This is absolutely ridiculous. A superior sled dog team may be stolen, but to find a town with no sled dogs?!? Ludicrous!Not one of Charlton Heston's best films. The dogs aren't given the best roles, but they are still a joy to watch.


Well, this is a typical 1970's-era film, with lots of suspicious animal action which makes you feel glad that films today are shot under the auspices of the ASPCA and the Humane Society. Shot under horrifyingly rough conditions, with Norway standing in for the Yukon, the film takes few liberties with Jack London's classic novel, but the bizarre casting of Charlton Heston as John Thornton makes the viewer want to scratch their head. Jaggedly edited and with a greater budget for snow than special effects, the viewer is implored to suspend belief as animal after animal is torn apart and shown drenched with fake blood, looking bewildered. Obviously, as befitting a movie of this era, the hordes of unwashed gold prospectors are as grungy a bunch as ever filmed, but the few women who surface are as impeccably dressed and made up as any model in a Vanity Fair shoot. Lots of bad sound and snow on the lens, but a nice job at portraying one man and one dog who love one another fiercely. Peculiar film, lots of cute dogs, lots of atrocious acting, and lots and lots and lots of snow.