Grizzly Adams

Grizzly Adams is a 1974 movie based on the life of frontiersman James Adams, who earned his nickname by training grizzly bears and other wild animals. The film is a solo narration by the character, Grizzly Adams, who leaves his home and young daughter in 1853, because he is accused of murder. In the wilderness, he is surprised that a deer, a marmot, a raccoon, and some skunks gently approach him and are unafraid. He remembers that, ever since he was a child, animals did not find him threatening.

Grizzly Adams rescues a grizzly-bear cub that is trapped on a mountain ledge. Since the cub is orphaned, the frontiersman adopts him and names the bear Benjamin Franklin or Ben. As Grizzly Adams explores a canyon, he discovers an Indian being attacked by a crazed cougar. Adams scares the fierce cat away by firing a shot into the sky, and then saves the man by bringing him safely to his camp. As they become friends, Nakoma the Indian, teaches Grizzly Adams how to tame Ben, as well as many other fascinating frontier skills. In time, Nakoma becomes homesick, but before he departs, he performs a blood ritual that makes the two men blood brothers.

As the years pass, Grizzly Adams and the adult Ben have many gripping adventures involving wild animals, a wild ride on a handcrafted raft, and several other calamities of frontier life. They settle into a hand-hewn cabin near a valley and are visited once again by Nakoma, who repays Grizzly by saving his life. In time, Nakoma reunites Grizzly Adams with his now grown-up daughter, Peg, who reports that her father has been exonerated of any crime. It turns out that she, too, has a gift with animals, and they share some hair-raising adventures. Finally, Grizzly Adams has to make a heart-wrenching decision, which leads to a bittersweet ending.

| 1974 | 1 hr 33 min
Dan Haggerty, Ben the Bear, Don Shanks, Lisa Jones, Marjorie Harper
Richard Friedenberg
Grizzly Adams
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Also directed by Richard Friedenberg