MARA OF THE WILDERNESS (1965)
Article 3800 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-30-2011
Posting Date: 1-9-2012
Directed by Frank McDonald
Featuring Adam West, Lori Saunders, Lelia Walsh
What it is: Child raised by wolves yarn
When her parents are killed by a bear in the Alaskan wilderness, a young girl is raised by wild wolves. Years later, her presence is discovered by a trapper intent on capturing here. Can a government man save her?
At one point the trapper says to his Indian guide “Friday, you’ve got an apology coming. You’d get it if you weren’t an Indian.” This is the line that really convinced that the movie was trying way too hard to make the villain villainous. On top of the racism, the trapper is irresponsible in capturing animals (he uses traps that may kill the animals he captures under the excuse that a few dead animals don’t matter), maltreats and teases the animals he does capture, fails to maintain his camp safely, and that’s even before he tries to resort to murder; he’d probably have sexual designs on the wild woman as well if the movie wasn’t trying to keep on the right side of “family friendly” entertainment. Genre-wise, this only qualifies for the admittedly marginal “human raised by animal theme”, and most of the savagery comes from the trapper, though admittedly the bear is the only one that actually kills anything. All in all, this one is of minimal interest unless you’re a fan of Lori Saunders’s legs.
Oh, and on a side note, I notice that the trapper managed to capture two raccoons on his Alaskan hunt. Seems like a long way to go to me; I could set up traps on the deck outside my apartment and probably have better luck.