A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians when he proves to be the match of their warriors in one-to-one combat on the early frontier.
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Nothing short of the creation of legend. The process of icon-making, the backstory. The lowly, unwieldy beginnings through great tragedy, and an eventual, persevering defense of one's own convictions and way of life.
Bucolic rather than tragic. Pollack is more inclined to romanticize the perils of Jeremiah Johnson in the wild rather than dealing with a crude reality on the ground. Redford is perhaps too much of a manicured blonde to be taken seriously. This is nothing more than a well-intended pastoral western with neat and tidy photography and sanitized action. Too much of a Sunday afternoon flick.
"Even the most devout person cannot live in peace, if his nasty neighbor won’t allow it.” (Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell). A man is fed-up with ordinary life, walks away, up to the mountains and wants to be left alone. But then everything turns out differently: violence, savagery and neverending bitter fights. No peace. Nethertheless, a very melancholic, poetic and calm movie, beautifully shot. Pollack & Redford!
Tourné à l'époque du grand frémissement écologique et du pseudo épanouissement dans le retour à la nature, cette oeuvre reste hautement remarquable et d'une beauté constante. Sydney Pollack est égal à lui-même... www.cinefiches.com
A nice little precursor to the likes of the Revenant. Some fine 70s cinematography and a celebration of the great out doors. Perhaps it's artful strength as negating narrative for image is also it's weakness as there lacks any concept to hold it compellingly together. Nevertheless a grand flick an a beautiful outlier in the 70s american western fare.
Overly-polished for a legit adventure film, it's basically relying on attractive scenery and a handful of peculiar characters to stage one man's alienation from society. During the time he's trying to fight his way through naive melodrama, keeping a continuously confused and/or bored face (and sleek haircut) just to end up in a dull full-circle of a plot.
A beautiful and calm film. Nothing is pressed. Just one happening flowing into the next. The quiet tone of it allows you to feel Johnson's cold and weary isolation. Another great 70's western exploring the true nature of the wild west. 4/5