Wester | English | 108 minutes
An emotionally bruised veteran of the Mexican-American War, Jeremiah Johnson renounces the civilized world and heads to the Rocky Mountains wilderness to find inner peace. He is struggling to survive when he encounters the elderly, wise Chris Lapp who mentors Jeremiah on the ways of surviving. Jeremiah comes across a cabin that was attacked by Blackfoot warriors, the only survivors being a woman crazed with grief and her uncommunicative son. The woman begs Jeremiah to take her son with him, which he does, calling him Caleb. When Jeremiah retrieves horses stolen from the Flathead tribe, in gratitude, Jeremiah is given the chief’s daughter, Swan, to be his wife. Jeremiah, Caleb, and Swan are now a family and he starts to build a cabin in a suitable location. But peace does not come to this family as Jeremiah must now defend his family from the feuding tribes. Johnson and Lapp meet a final time. Lapp is concerned as he sees his pupil, Jeremiah, lost and defeated. This realization occurs when Jeremiah asked Lapp, “You wouldn’t happen to know what month of the year it is?”
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 95%
- Metacritic Score: 75
Cannes Film Festival: Nominated, Best Director (Sydney Pollack)
Western Heritage Awards: Winner, Best Theatrical Motion Picture
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With generous use of white-capped panoramas, director Pollack and scriptwriter John Milius transform Vardis Fisher’s novel MOUNTAIN MAN into a gritty, cinematic tale that resonates across geography, time, and the loneliest regions of the solitary heart.
There are moments of great beauty and terror and deeply earned pathos. JEREMIAH JOHNSON stars Robert Redford in a role that must be very real to his own mind and feelings. It is a very attractive role, and Redford plays it with a reticence and directness that also seems as much a part of the man as of the performance.
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