Thursday, January 19, 2023

Thursday Movie Picks- Wolves


I’m continuing weekly what Wandering Through The Shelves created but decided to go twice per month, except for February and October. I just enjoy this weekly event so I’m pushing on and since I wrote about big cats last time, I’m writing about wolves. I wolves and feel they are often mistreated because people think they are a menace or evil....dumb F#@&s. I’m not going the werewolf way or that wolves are evil but the way they truly are...a wild, majestic animal that do kill, but are loyal and quite family oriented. My dad loved the wolf and met up with a few during his life time and I loved his stories. Here are 3 films I decided to choose...

1. WHITE FANG-1973

This is an Italian film that became a big hit and one I saw way back in the 70s so it’s been a long time since I saw it but I remember loving this movie about  the love of a wolf by a boy and his dad. It comes from one of my favourite writers, Jack London, who loved everything up north and wolves. A boy befriends a wolf and vice versa. The dad, initially, distrusts the wolf until the wolf saves the boy. Along the way they end up in a corrupt town where they meet up with the luscious Virna Lisi as a nun and some angry townsfolk who want to do away with White Fang. It’s a heartwarming, sometimes, tense film but one that is worth a look. By the way, the trailer is for the sequel. I couldn't find a trailer for this film via my blog.


I saw this film in the theatre and was entranced by the cinematography, the acting of Charles Martin Smith, mainly known for “American Graffiti”, as a man, sent by the government, to get the proof that the wolves are hunting and killing caribou. When he is dropped down in the middle of nowhere, he’s rescued by an aboriginal who helps him learn how to live in the wild. He learns from a family of wolves that they eat mainly mice and only kill the sickly caribou which actually makes the herd stronger.  Due to this film, Smith decided to live near Vancouver loving the wild country and the wolf. Beautiful film!


This film has become much maligned over the years and to be honest, I just don’t get it. I do find Kevin Costner a bit wooden, but I thought he delivered a nice film about the plight of the Native Americans. Sure, nothing is 100% true, maybe not even 60% but he deals with the disappearing west with respect.  And how can you not love Graham Greene who plays a Sioux who ends up becoming a good friend of the weird white guy. Costner is a decorated Union soldier who wants to be sent to a desolate outpost. He is the only one there and befriends this friendly wolf he calls 2 Socks because of the wolf’s front paws. Over time he also befriends the Sioux and falls for the white gal who was raised by the tribe. His idyllic time ends when jerks  from the army come to find out what happened to him and believe he has turned his back on his army. To say I cried like a blithering idiot, at one point, would be an understatement and I do wish he would have not taken this wolf route but he did. I love the soundtrack which I own on CD. 

One final viewing about the wolf...

I hope you all watch this 9 minute piece about the wolves reintroduction to Yellowstone which explains how nature is resilient and we need to respect it.

Any wolf movies you can think of?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    I see that I scrambled the films in yesterday's Oscar quiz. Thanks for letting us know the correct order. I don't know if I can do any better today, because every wolf movie that comes to my warped mind, apart from Dances With Wolves, which you already reviewed, is about a werewolf. I will recommend Michael J. Fox as Teen Wolf (1985) just in case it counts in this category. Do I at least win a lifesize cardboard cut-out of BB? :)

    I'm very happy to know that your dad had an appreciation of wolves rather than an irrational fear of them, and that he was a positive influence on you in that regard. I remember my dad owning a hardbound edition of Jack London's White Fang when I was a boy, but I never read it, nor have I seen the movie.

    Yessum, I am familiar with actor Charles Martin Smith, having first seen him in the role of Terry "The Toad" in Graffiti. Mrs. Shady and I also appreciated his dramatic performance in another Kevin Costner film The Untouchables (1987). Never Cry Wolf looks excellent, and I will tell Mrs. S about it.

    Costner's Dances With Wolves is one of the first movies Mrs. Shady and I watched together as a couple. I agree with you 100% that the movie and Coster did not deserve so much criticism, most of it centered around a lack of authenticity, I take it. As for the criticism about Costner's allegedly wooden performance, I greatly appreciate a wooden acting style, because wooden is realistic, particularly in the character portrayal of a person who is feeling lost, depressed or quietly resolute. Therefore, the criticism of Dances With Wolves amounts to a "nothingburger," in my opinion, and "I call bullcrap."

    Recently, Mrs. S and I watched that documentary or a similar one about the wild wolves of Yellowstone National Park. She and I have a love and fascination with wolves, so all of your film and documentary picks are a good bet for us.

    Thanks for the entertainment and reviews. Take good care of yourself and my buddy Harley. I have a new post starting tomorrow morning and hope you can visit Shady's Place during its five-day run. Enjoy the rest of your week and have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!

    1. Good ole HARLEY saw a squirrel and took off after it with my hubby in tow. My poor hubby was dragged through the mud plus the poop bag opened and it went all over his pants! He was a bad boy. Hubby had some tingling in his arm but he seems to be OK.
      I think you will like Never Cry Wolf. I don't mind Kevin Costner but I get the wooden part but it's no biggie the reason for the backlash is that it's from the view of a white guy not a native and that he falls for a white woman, again, not a native.. .ughh. I'm surprised that he didn't fall for a native American, gay, non- binary person who loved to dress up in haute couture.
      I've seen the Michael J. Fox movie which was fun but an even better one was " I was a teenage werewolf" starring Little Joe aka PA Ingalls aka Michael Landon.
      I hope to be able to listen to your blog posting. See you tomorrow at your Shady place

  2. I've never seen White Fang, but it sounds good. My kids and I loved Never Cry Wolf. I think Dances With Wolves is an excellent movie. I've seen it twice, but it's not something I want to watch over and over because it's so sad. I can't think of any other good movies with wolves.


    1. I cried so much about the wolf that it's still tough for me to see

  3. Hi Birgit,

    I haven't seen this version of White Fang but have seen the 1936 Hollywood B-movie with a better supporting cast (Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Ward Bond and Charles Winninger) than the lackluster leads (Michael Whalen & Jean Muir). It's a decent story though no Call of the Wild.

    When Never Cry Wolf came out it didn't really interest me but then both Siskel & Ebert gave it a big thumbs up on their show so I sought it out and ended up really enjoying it. Haven't seen it in years but if the opportunity presented itself I would definitely do so.

    The length of Dances with Wolves put me off but once they started beating the big drum for the movie and it became apparent it was going to be loaded with nominations I went to see it. I'll give it to Kevin Costner that the film was involving so it didn't feel long and told an interesting story. I don't however see it as a Best Picture winner (though my choice for that year "The Grifters" didn't even rate a nomination) though it's not the worst choice.

    I have nothing against wolves (my uncle had a shepherd/wolf mix years ago that he swore was the best most loyal pet he ever owned) but my thoughts went to wolves of a darker tone than your choices.

    First was The Company of Wolves, though to be honest even with the presence of Angela Lansbury in the cast I hated the film. Then there's the Jack Nicholson/ Michelle Pfeiffer costarrer "Wolf" which while not great was interestingly done and a nice change of pace for both of them. The last was another I wasn't terribly fond of the Liam Neesom flick "The Grey". Again not bad just arduous and bleak.

    I feel I would remiss if I didn't mention the 1971 TV movie "A Howling in the Woods" that reunited Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman that was marketed as a scare flick with inferences to wolves stalking said woods and showing Barbara looking at scratches on her back. That was a complete red herring it turned out to be a murder mystery. Not a bad flick for the period but I had to include it because it was actually the first thing that occurred to me when I saw your theme. :-)

    1. Most movies are dark when it comes to wolves which is sad. I, too, want to see Never Cry Wolf again. I'd love to see that 1936 film version and love the book Call of the Wild and saw a Canadian film on this but never the one with Gable and Young. Rin Tin Tin must have done a picture o this also.
      I'd like to see The Company of Wolves because of Lansbury. I dislike The Grey because the wolves were placed as so sinister that they seemed to be an evil entity.
      My dad recalled walking for about 1 0 miles back to camp once and he spotted a wolf walking Venice him. Not right beside but close enough. My dad had no bullets in his rifle so he wasn't sure what to do but he realized the wolf just wanted company and stayed with him until my dad was back at the lumber camp.
      That last gilm with Jeannie and the Astronaut sounds quite different. I never even heard of it.
      One day I gave to watch The Grifters

  4. I've only seen Dances with Wolves. I read a couple Jack London books in high school, hated them, and will not see movies based on them now. (It's a personal thing. I hate wilderness books, and London wrote wilderness books.)

  5. I've seen all three of those.
    I'll go with Brotherhood of the Wolf. Technically the monster is a lion, but the brotherhood is called that and everyone thinks it's a wolf killing people.

  6. Love Dances with Wolves, not seen the others, although I know Jack London's book. I do like Kevin Costner as an actor, and he was brilliant in this film, my opinion of course, and Graham Green was amazing, he always is, Kate x

  7. BIRGIT ~

    I have always liked wolves and think they are majestic looking animals.

    I don't think I ever saw the movie 'WHITE FANG', but I did read the book by Jack London when I was in my early twenties.

    I've enjoyed some Kevin Costner movies very much (e.g., 'Field Of Dreams', 'Bull Durham', 'The Untouchables'). My only complaint about Costner is that too often he thinks what he makes must be an epic, and so he tries to create (overly long) epic movies out of stories that simply aren't "epic" (e.g., 'The Postman', 'Open Range', 'Dances With Wolves').

    I saw 'DANCES WITH WOLVES' once and thought it was... OK.

    The first movie that came to my mind was 'NEVER CRY WOLF', which you also listed above. I believe I've seen it twice - the first time when it was playing in the theatres in 1983 - and I liked it more than I'd anticipated. It was interesting to see Charles Martin Smith in a more serious role. (I got the chance to meet him once, on the set of 'HERBIE GOES BANANAS', and he was a really nice guy who answered all of my questions about the making of 'MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI'.)

    ~ D-FensDogG

  8. I thought Dancing with Wolves was good.
    Hope you're having a great one.

  9. "Never Cry Wolf" was a great movie. I still laugh about the scene where he's marking his territory...

  10. I actually saw Dancing with Wolves. I was most impressed with Mary McDonald's and Graham Green's roles. I've never even heard of the others.

  11. You picked two movies I can't stand - White Fang and Dances With Wolves! LOL

  12. I can't think of any other wolf movies offhand, but my sister and I did go wolf tracking at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota many years ago.

  13. No movies, not being a huge movie person. I didn't see these movies, either. My husband loved White Fang and I loved Call of the Wild (the books). I'm trying to think of books I've read that included wolves but going blank right now. I was to Yellowstone, back around 1979 and attended a ranger talk on grizzly bears.

  14. Birgit,

    You come up with the most interesting films to share each week. We did in fact see "White Fang". It's really a good movie. The others, we haven't seen and I appreciate you sharing the trailers to these to view. :)

  15. I loved White Fang. The movie and the book. Take special care.