Jeremiah Johnson

The Ballad of Jeremiah Johnson

Official Movie Trailer:

Jeremiah Johnson / Intro:

The Ballad of Jeremiah Johnson – Tim McIntire 

Jeremiah Johnson made his way into the mountains
Bettin’ on forgettin’ all  the troubles that he knew
The trail was wide and narrow
And the eagle  or the sparrow
Showed the path he was to follow as they flew.
A  mountain man’s a lonely man
And he leaves a life behind
It ought to  have been different, but oftimes you will find,
That the story doesn’t  always go that way you had in mind.
Jeremiah’s story was that kind. . .
Jeremiah’s story was that kind.

The Way that you Wander … Tim McIntire 

The way that you wander is the way  that you choose,
The day that you tarry is the day that you lose.
Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder.
Where the fair wind blows.

Jeremiah Johnson (Vocal Mix #2): Tim McIntire

An Indian says you search in vain for what you cannot find.
He says  you’ll find a thousand ways for runnin’ down your time.
An Indian didn’t  scream it, he said it in a song,
And he’s never been known to be wrong.
He’s never been known to be wrong.

15 thoughts on “Jeremiah Johnson”

  1. I really need to read Crow Killer, been on my list for a while now. I watched an interview with Redford yesterday, his role in All is Lost was compared to Johnson, made me think about the comparison a lot, It is practically the same film, just with people dotted in places. What would the film be like if he didn’t see another living soul?

    1. Crow Killer is worth a read. What you find is this: the TRUE story of Johnson would have been more interesting – even though I regard Jeremiah Johnson (the movie) as a classic. Guess you can’t have a hero eating people’s livers? – among other things? Some figure that Johnson probably invented that bit of myth to scare the natives though. ??
      Scares me.

      1. Now I have to read the book if that’s involved. It does sound a little extreme, it would suggests the “lengths” he went to survive on his own in the mountains.

      2. Well it’s like a lot of History Tim. We really don’t really know the truth! – and we have conflicting stories – Billy the Kid – The Earps – many of these Western Legends – we are uncertain what really happened. Even the best researchers often cannot agree. But we have all these books. ??

      3. I guess its a matter of reading through it all and finding the similarities, understand the people and make our own minds up.

  2. The entire story of Garrison/Johnson/Johnston is full of problems and inconsistencies. Did he make war on the Sioux (your timeline), or on the Crow (in the film), or on the Blackfeet tribes – or on nobody at all? If he made war on the Lakota Sioux, what were they doing in the Rockies (they were a Plains tribe who only ventured to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to collect lodgepole pines)? Again, if he made war on the Sioux, why is there a Crow term “Apsaaloka Dapesh” (Crow Killer) with reference to him? If his name was Garrison, why is the term “Liver Eating Johnson” applied to him?
    The Crows had a branch of their tribe called “Mountain Crow”, who frequented and hunted in the Rockies.
    As for the Crows going out individually to find and kill him, this flies in the face of genuine historical accounts of Crow warriors going to avenge the deaths of fellow tribesmen – see the published autobiographies of Plenty Coups and Two Leggings, who stated that war parties would normally be about 10 men, seldom as few as 3 and often 20 or more. Opportunities for individual warriors to demonstrate their bravery would still be encountered, and in fact these were ONLY acknowledged if they were witnessed by other Crows; a singleton counting coup or taking a scalp in the absence of witnesses would be dismissed as a liar (this actually happened in the case of Two Leggings).
    Mountain men were noted for being braggards (Del Cue encapsulates that concept) and full of very tall tales – perhaps the entire legend is simply that, not true history.

    1. Though I believe that truth is often stranger than fiction, I’m sure that much of what is believed about such men as Johnson(?) is inaccurate, untrue, or plainly made up. There is only word of mouth handed down on much of it. Lots of contradictions emerge. Yet I’m also sure that extraordinary men like this did exist and performed even greater feats. But … I doubt we’ll ever know for sure.
      Thanks for raising these questions and issues. I hope somebody can clear some of it up.

    1. You’re right … I have not seen ‘Last of the Dogmen’. I’ve heard it is good. Another lapse in my Western education. I’ll see if I can find that.
      ‘The Sacketts’ – and excellent mini series – which I have seen and covered. A good story with lots of good Actors. Thanks Jim.

  3. I understand your skepticism over Redford’s casting in this. You would think his matinee idol looks would not fit the role of a rugged mountain man and would expect someone like Charles Bronson or Lee Marvin in the role. To my surprise, Redford did a great job with the part.

    Did you know that when the movie was first proposed. it had Clint Eastwood as star to be directed by Sam Peckinpah. Can you image what that would have been like? Probably a totally different movie to say the least. As it tuned out, Clint didn’t get along with Sam and decided to drop out to make Dirty Harry instead.

    1. Redford did a great job. Surprised me. And I’ve read that the ‘Shoot’ was very difficult.
      Eastwood and Peck! Wow! That would have been different for sure. Likely pretty good though – if Sam could the damn cork in his bottle.

  4. This has always been one of my favorite films. The cinematography is gorgeous. Best of all Robert Redford, whom I admire as a human being, and who has had the good fortune to be in some great films, wasn’t challenged to act much.
    My own family, Garrison, goes back to the 18th century and I have a ancestor who married a cousin of Jefferson Davis, and Willam Loyd, the abolitionist, is also hangin out in the family tree. I wonder if John Garrison is also in there somewhere?

    1. Lots of Western fans love this movie. It has something special.
      I questioned casting Redford in this role, but he does a great job.

      That’s very interesting about your ancestors. Garrison ? I suppose you could investigate that. ??

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