The Savage Innocents

1960

Adventure / Crime / Drama

6
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 76%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1379

Synopsis


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Director

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Peter O'Toole as First Trooper
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789.95 MB
1280*534
English
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
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1.66 GB
1920*800
English
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 1 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 8 / 10

Untouched by our civilization

Other than Nanook Of The North from silent days the only other two films concerning the Eskimos and their culture are Shadow OF The Wolf that starred Lou Diamond Phillips and Toshiro Mifune and this one The Savage Innocents. Almost 60 years have passed since the making of The Savage Innocents and the present. Are there still Inuits like Anthony Quinn and Yoko Tani untouched by our civilization.

Envying another Inuit who has gotten a rifle and bullets, Quinn and his pregnant wife Yoko Tani travel months to a trading post to trade some skins for one. An encounter with a missionary played by Marco Guglielmi ends fatally for Guglielmi who is shocked by their sexual mores and for Quinn refusing Inuit hospitality is a grievous insult. Guglielmi is dead and Quinn and Tani are on the run back over the tundra.

Quinn is a Savage Innocent in our civilized ways, but he certainly knows how to survive in his environment so the Mounties learn who are sent after him, one of those Mounties being Peter O'Toole.

This must have been one rugged shoot for director Nicholas Ray and his cast and crew. But the result is some spectacular location footage of the Canadian and Greenland frozen north.

Some of the issues raised here are similar if not the same as those in the film Hawaii which is also about westerners and missionaries intruding on the customs of the native population of Hawaii and the other Pacific Islands.

I'd really recommend seeing The Savage Innocents with Shadow Of The Wolf and Hawaii. Or by itself, just see it.

Reviewed by clanciai 10 / 10

Anthony Quinn as an Eskimo grappling with fate and Peter O'Toole in a cultural clash of hopelessness: "You should bring your wives, not your laws."

Fascinating and amazing study in cultural clashes at their most basic level, in the face of the hard survival in an impossible world of practically only adversities and death - the first scene of the bear hunt sets the mood. The bears play a significant part of the drama, although their performance is minimal. The dialogue is absolutely ingenious in all its extreme primitivism - the characters have found themselves very well in this totally alien mentality of thinking in terms of extreme basics. The death scene of the old woman is one of the highlights in its wise philosophy beyond this world and so practical at the same time - this reminds you of some of the burial practices in old Japan; but the whole film is most akin of all to Robert J. Flaherty's epoch-making "Nanook of the North" of 1922 - Nicholas Ray must have studied this historical documentary in its minutest details to be able to make a modern version of it - the character of the film is more documentary than of a feature film. Of course, you can't help worrying all the time about something terrible to happen to these very simple people, and of course it does, but the only terrible scene is actually their visit to the white man's trade station. Asiak's horrible misgivings about the place are perfectly understandable and sound, her instinct is throughout the film wiser than anything else, and her worst forebodings come true with a vengeance. The most pitiable person in the drama is the poor missionary who is most misguided of all, and the first trooper, who makes everything go wrong. It's quite sensational to see Peter O'Toole in this mess before he was known at all. He and Anthony Quinn would soon play against each other again in "Lawrence of Arabia".

This is an amazingly wonderful and fascinating film in every aspect, unique in its kind, and the very appropriate Italian music adds to it, with intoxicating Greenland sceneries and a fabulous exposure of primitive psychology at its most natural and basic state of fortunately incurable innocence.

Reviewed by funkyfry 8 / 10

Unusual film sure to offend for all the right reasons

This film stands poised, as if between an iceberg and a deadly chill sea, between the condemnation of past and future. What I mean is, I'm sure when it was released it angered conservatives, and at this point in time I'm sure it will anger liberals. It tells the story of one Inuit man, played by Anthony Quinn ("Quinn the Eskimo"), who often refers to himself as "somebody" or "a man." We're told that this is the way Inuit people speak.... I don't know about that, any more than that they relish raw meat, but it certainly gives the film a universal quality that must frustrate all sorts of people who prefer to think politically.

The story is a bit rambling, as it takes about an hour to get to the real crisis: Quinn's character accidentally kills a white missionary, and is hunted by police even though he does not understand what he has done. In truth, he's sorry for killing the white man, but the white man was also guilty of breaking his own laws. Whose law is valid? As his wife, played excellently by Yoko Tani, says "when you come to someone's house, bring your wives, not your laws."

The movie is full of outrageous content, but the purpose of pushing the audience so far out of its comfort zone is to make us feel empathy for those who do not buy into our "civilization." What we take for granted certainly seems a luxury or even a trivial thing when it is contemplated in the midst of an environment where life and death are barely separable, where a slip into the water just means "he's dead", not "oh i better save him." As Quinn says when the one cop falls in the water, "he's dead, and you're stupid to try to save him." White values mean nothing in this environment, not because some liberal decided that it was so, but because survival is more real than white values.

I thought the performances were all excellent, with O'Toole being handed the difficult job of the sympathetic white man. I think it was brave for Nicholas Ray to depict white civilization in such a negative light. Like all his best movies, this film depicts a small community of outsiders, people who exist outside the normal law and morality but who create their own values and way of life. It is an admirable, if sometimes flawed, picture that will not leave your mind anytime soon.

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