THE CALL OF THE WILD (Theatrical Release West Germany 1972)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.9|5.0 Starsìì

The Call of the Wild does not serve actor Charlton Heston’s skills well. With a disjointed storyline that cannot be followed well, the movie becomes difficult to track. It further complicates itself with an unsatisfying conclusion that fails to give the proper signals that the story is getting ready to conclude and gives no sense of future. A further complication becomes the main character’s lack of life focus. Without that definitive, driven focus the movie seems a bit lost and wanders in its storyline. Audience may leave this film feeling empty and cheated in their investment of both time and money spent.

Storyline

A kidnapped dog finds itself in Alaska pulling dog sleds.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Ken Annakin for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Artur Brauner and Harry Alan Towers for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: John Thornton (Charlton Heston), Calliope Laurent (Michèle Mercier), Pete (Raimund Harmstorf), Black Burton (George Eastman), Mercedes (Maria Rohm), Seze (Juan Luis Galiardo), Taglish Charlie (Sancho Gracia), Charles (Friedhelm Lehmann), Hal (Horst Heuck), Dutch Harry (Rik Battaglia), Constantine (Alf Malland), Judge Miller (Alfredo Mayo), Colonel (Sverre Wilberg), and Red Sweater (Olov Pedersen).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. This movie fails to establish audience emotional involvement either with the dog’s story or with the main actor’s story. While Call of the Wild is a terrific, classic story, this movie waivers in and out of focus without a primary driver for its content. Neither the German Shepherd dog or Charlton Heston’s presence in the film can rescue it.

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Ben Meyers

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