Hugh Glass … American Legend / Part 1

3 Dec

Rev·e·nant
– a person who has returned, especially from the dead.

Hugh Glass

Hugh Glass

“In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.”

bear bar

Tim (Tim Neath – Visual Artist https://timneath.wordpress.com/about-me/) was commenting that the upcoming film: “The Revenant”, is a remake of the 1971 film Man in the Wilderness”which starred Richard Harris and John Huston. We were both puzzled at the lack of acknowledgement about this ?

Looking at things a little closer, however, I see that the book “The Revenant” was written by Michael Punke and released in 2002. While “Man in the Wilderness” was a screenplay / script written by Jack DeWitt about 1970 – a novel was later released, named after the movie. In any event, it’s the same story – by different authors.

Man in the Wilderness script and novel

Man in the Wilderness script and novel

Above: The (blue) script for Man in the Wilderness (1971). A biopic loosely based on the life of American frontiersman Hugh Glass (1780-1833). I’m guessing it follows the factual events of Glass’s adventures more closely than The Revenant, but the theme of being a revenge movie seems accurate. In real life Glass didn’t follow through on his vengeance – after he confronted the men and accepted their reasons for abandoning him. In Man in the WildernessGlass’s name is changed to Zachary Bass (not sure why?) and played by Richard Harris. Captain Henry is the antagonist played by John Huston, as the leader of the expedition members who deserted him.

Though shot on location in Spain in the 1970’s, Man in the Wilderness has no feel of being a Spaghetti Western and I don’t personally qualify it as such. Others may differ.

Nor would you guess that the locations in the movie are anything other that the Appalachians or Adirondack’s of the Eastern US. The terrain seems amazingly similar/authentic.

Strangely enough, The Revenant is also shot outside of the US – in Alberta and Argentina. ??

The Revenant book covers

The Revenant book covers. Initial release 2002.

Glass and Grizzly

bear tracks

Hugh Glass – A Short Bio

What can we say? Hugh Glass seems to have been a hell of a man.

Wikipedia: “Despite his injuries, Glass regained consciousness, but found himself abandoned, without weapons or equipment. He had festering wounds, a broken leg, and cuts on his back that exposed bare ribs. Glass lay mutilated and alone, more than 200 miles (320 km) from the nearest American settlement at Fort Kiowa on the Missouri. Glass set his own leg, wrapped himself in the bear hide his companions had placed over him as a shroud, and began crawling. To prevent gangrene, Glass laid his wounded back on a rotting log and let maggots eat the dead flesh …”

from A Song of Hugh Glass

Excerpt from A Song of Hugh Glass

Plaque marker overlooking Shadehill Reservoir in northwestern South Dakota

Plaque marker overlooking Shadehill Reservoir in northwestern South Dakota

Hugh Glass monument 2

Hugh Glass - Charles M. Russell sketchHugh Glass – Sketch by the great Western Artist, Charles M. Russell 

bear bar 2

Hugh Glass Sculpture

South Dakota sculptor John Lopez stands next to his latest creation of Hugh Glass being mauled by a Grizzly Bear. Unveiled in February 2015

Hugh Glass Sculpture 2

Grizzly ... by John Lopez

Magnificent Grizzly sculpture … by John Lopez

bear bar

Hugh Glass Celebration ... Lemon, South Dakota

bear bar 2

Next:

Hugh Glass … American Legend / Part 2

10 Responses to “Hugh Glass … American Legend / Part 1”

  1. Cindy Bruchman December 4, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Very cool post! I like your historical slant. Can’t wait for the film in January!

    • jcalberta December 4, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

      Thank you Cindy. Interesting man.
      I’ve done some hiking in the Rockies – luckily never had a bear encounter. But it’s their home and we must tread carefully and respectfully.

  2. Marilyn Armstrong December 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    I hope this one is good too. It has been quite a while since any good new westerns were released.

    I think a lot of stuff gets shot up your neck of the woods because you have much more unspoiled countryside … and it’s gorgeous. A lot of stuff supposedly taking place in the 19th century is shot on PEI and the rest, well. You’ve got that great scenery 🙂

    • jcalberta December 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

      They used to shoot quite a few movies around southern Alberta. ‘Little Big Man’, ‘Legend of the Fall’, ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Open Range’ .. lots of stuff. But the government here stupidly made some changes that destroyed that incentive. And now many projects are shot around Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia instead.
      There seems to be a notion that there’s more unspoiled country up here for such projects, but believe me, there’s plenty of open space and great country in the US. But maybe it’s still cheaper to do it here.

      • Marilyn Armstrong December 5, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

        It’s almost always cheaper to shoot elsewhere, except in the UK and the EU countries where it might be MORE expensive. It think it’s a union thing.

  3. timneath December 7, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Never knew the films came from two different texts, will be interesting to see how the two films differ from the same subject matter.

    • jcalberta December 8, 2015 at 9:16 am #

      I’ve just watched Man in the WIlderness last night. Must say I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a much better film than I recalled from my previous viewing so many years ago. It’s me that’s changed for the better though – not the movie. Thus a greater appreciation.

      • timneath December 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

        Glad you like it, for me in its the minimalism of the film. Little dialogue. I can still remember the woman silently in labour, just wow, those scenes. And the boat on wheel is very much a products of the time for me. Wish I could watch it again

      • jcalberta December 9, 2015 at 7:06 am #

        I downloaded it off torrent. Got a good copy. Yes, that is a powerful, poignant scene. Harris seemed to have a fondness for films that depict Native culture in a human light.

      • timneath December 9, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

        Its something the genre is sadly lacking too. Yeah he sure did, three Horse films, showed he has a respect for them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: