Never Cry Wolf.

I was driving home from the gym this morning when a piece of music came on the radio that kindled a long lost memory. It was a piece of music by the composer Mark Isham, from the soundtrack to the movie Never Cry Wolf.

Back in 1983, I was soon to start my nursing training. The world was a very different place back then and I remember this movie had a profound impact on me. I first watched it at the local cinema and later at least another six times at home rented out on VHS.

It was the year of ‘Flashdance’ and Risky Business’ and ‘Blue Thunder’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode VI’.
Never Cry Wolf was released by Disney studios, but it is not at all a typical Disney movie.
It is bleak and sparce. A slow, quiet study of wilderness, the human condition and our impact on the environment. I now remember feeling a deep affinity to the main character, a research scientist named Tyler who is sent to a remote location in the Canadian tundra to study the local wolf population.

It’s been at least 38 years since I watched Never Cry Wolf, and in the interim, I have somehow completely forgotten about it and the impact it had on me. Until today. Weird.

I think over again my small adventures,
… My fears,
Those small ones that seemed so big.
For all the vital things I had to get and to reach.
And yet there is only one great thing,
The only thing.
To live to see … the great day that dawns
And the light that fills the world.

inuit song

Of course time has a habit of distorting recollections, and I fear if this waaaay post-1983 Ian watched it again it might appear lame and dated and boring. Completely spoiling my feeling of it and the wash of accompanying memories.

Yet I was surprised to find out that on the movie rating site Rotten Tomatoes it scored a whopping 100% aggregated score from 19 official reviews, and a decent 83% audience score.

Perhaps I will seek it out for another viewing after all.

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One response to “Never Cry Wolf.”

  1. Stuart Bullock Avatar

    I saw it at the drive-in (Sundown) some time in the 80s before moving to Sydney. I remember thinking it was an excellent movie at the time, but haven’t watched it since. My favourite scene was after the plane takes off and leaves Tyler in the remotest ice lake with nothing but crates. The other is where he is explaining his job, via a translator, to an Inuit Elder who keeps replying something like ‘that makes sense’. When asked, by the Elder, why he was cooking and eating mice, he replied that he wanted to see if a large mammal (himself and wolves) could exist on the diet. As the Elder watches him bit into a mouse (sandwich?), he replies something like, ‘that makes sense.’

    A movie that was under promoted at the time, although I do recall the wonderful poster.

    Thank you – I hadn’t thought of that movie in years.


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