Jeremiah Johnson

Directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, this film is one of the few outstanding westerns made in the 1970’s (1972). It’s about courage, persistence, ingenuity and compared to others of the same genre, it’s also refreshing to watch. Pollack did a very good job creating a more believable hero here while adding one of his first gems to what would become an exceptional resume.

The director bring us the story of a man who wants to begin a new life in the mountains, away from civilization. Jeremiah is tempted by the beauty and solitude of life in the wilderness but finds himself fighting to survive the rough elements and the relentless attacks by Crow tribesmen on whose territory he is trespassing.

The movie stands out because of its different approach to the westerns of that period. The action is paced and unpredictable. Similar to the samurai sagas created by Kurosawa, while everything seems ordinary, in a blink of an eye, enemies attack and Jeremiah has to defend himself and fight for his life with the same determination he faces the unforgiving climate of the mountains.

The majestic vistas captured by Duke Callahan, director of photography, the cold winters, the snow surrounding the protagonist, make us appreciate the authenticity and fragility of this character and this story written by John Millius and Edward Anhalt. Same with the music by John Rubinstein and Tim McIntire, you’ ll feel transported to this time and place when hearing the melodies that make the background of this stunningly realistic western.

See also by director Sidney Pollack: The Firm (1993), The Three Days of the Condor (1975), The Yakuza (1974).

See also with Robert Redford: All Is Lost (2013), The Natural (1984), Brubaker (1980).

See also written by John Millius: Red Dawn (1984), Conan the Barbarian (1982), Apocalypse Now (1979)

2 thoughts on “Jeremiah Johnson

  1. Thanks for highlighting his movie. I have watched it twice in the past year. Will Geer did a great job in this also. The cinematography was great in this. You really feel for the guy, especially near the end.

    Liked by 2 people

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