|The Call of the Wild|
|Directed by||Ken Annakin|
|Written by||Peter Yeldham|
Tíbor Reves (uncredited)
Harry Alan Towers (as Peter Welbeck)
Win Wells (as Wyn Wells)
|Produced by||Artur Brauner|
Harry Alan Towers
|Edited by||Thelma Connell|
|Music by||Carlo Rustichelli|
|Distributed by||Intercontinental Releasing Corp.|
|30 November 1972 (Italy)|
1 March 1975 (United States)
The Call of the Wild is a 1972 family adventure film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier, Raimund Harmstorf, George Eastman, and Maria Rohm.
Based on Jack London's 1903 novel The Call of the Wild, the film follows the adventures of a dog that is brought north to Canada to be used as a sled dog.
John Thornton (Charlton Heston) a prospector in the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush is trying to eke out a living in the harsh conditions of the bitterly cold Yukon region of Canada, with Buck the German Shepherd dog he befriends. Thornton struggles against unscrupulous rivals and natural hazards in the extreme conditions and is greatly helped by Buck who has his own story to tell: he was abducted from a family home and taken north to become a working sled dog. Man and dog forge a true bond of friendship, working together to survive life in the treacherous frozen North. Thornton is killed by Yeehat Indians, but Buck kills the men to avenge John Thornton. At the end of the film, Buck comes to the White River to mourn the place where he died.
The film was shot on location in Finland, Norway, and Spain.
Charlton Heston in his autobiography In the Arena: An Autobiography made it very clear how unhappy he was with this film and asked people to not watch it.[page needed] Although it was poorly received upon release, and was not released in the United States until 1975, today the film is seen in a better light. Contemporary British and Irish Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide described it as a "swinging back to action-adventure", starring "Charlton Heston at his best", another in the "long line of Annakin's panoramic films featuring a myriad of beautiful locations".
Incidentally, of the former film, its star, Charlton Heston said, 'The worst film I ever made was The Call of the Wild.