Sunday, July 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Great Adventure

The Great Adventure (Il richiamo del lupo) a.k.a The Cry of the Wolf  
Dunamis Cinematografica, Estudios Cinematográficos Roma, Professional Films, Italy, Spain, 1975. 
This movie can be found in Ten Thousand Ways to Die The Spaghetti Western Collection 12 Movie Pack by Mill Creek Entertainment. 

This movie is loosely based on Jack London's book "The Call of the Wild." Quite many Jack London style dog themed gold rush movies were made in the 1970s Italy after American's made "The Call of the Wild" (1972) starring Charlton Heston. Even horror maestro Lucio Fulci filmed "White Fang" in 1973 followed by sequels "Challenge to White Fang" (1974), "White Fang to the Rescue" (1974), "The Sons of White Fang" (1974), "White Fang and the Hunter" (1975) and  "Zanna Bianca e il grande Kid" (1977) . 

Young boy Jim Chambers (Fernando E. Romero) frees a dog from a trap. He names him Buck. Buck was a member of wolf pack and Jim's father (Attilio Dottesio) claims that Buck is a wolf also. Buck saves Jim when wolves attack. Jim adopts the dog despite his sister Mary's (Elisabetta Virgili) opposition. 
Fernando E. Romero
Jim Chambers and Buck the Dog
Attilio Dottesio and Fernando A. Romero
Father and Jim
Elisabetta Virgili
Winter is harsh, so father must leave to get supplies from the nearest town Dawson. Indians shoot him dead with an arrow. Two McKenzie brothers Hank (Remo De Angelis) and John (Manuel de Blas) lose their dog sled in the wilderness. They reach Jim's cabin and spend a night there. Buck finds father's body and the McKenzies help burying him. 
Manuel de Blas and Remo De Angelis
John and Hank McKenzie
Indian attack
The McKenzies and kids decide to go to Dawson before Indians attack again. William Bates (Jack Palance) is the richest man in Dawson City and owns everything. Bar maid Sonia Kendall (Joan Collins) tells that Bates is a greedy card shark. Hank loses his money to Bates. 
Joan Collins
Sonia Kendall
Jack Palance
William Bates
Meanwhile Jim and Mary are being attacked by Indians. Buck goes to find the brothers, but Hank is killed by Bates' henchman. Buck goes after the killer, but gets knocked out. Meanwhile John flirts with Sonia and gets a new friend, bartender Charlie (Ricardo Palacios). 
Ricardo Palacios
Charlie and John treat wounded Buck
Then the script writer suddenly remembers that there were the kids also in the story. 

Jim, Mary and wounded ferryman Bart somehow survive to Dawson City. The newspaper press owned by Chambers family is taken over by Bates, so kids demand it back. However Bates decides what news can be printed in the paper. Bates wants Buck at any cost. However Buck helps the kids get the printing house ownership back. The kids start running the newspaper and John and Charlie go panning for gold. But Bates has evil plans.

Music score by Stelvio Cipriani and title song performed by Joseph Allegro are nostalgic. Although the heroes get into dangerous situations, Buck always saves them. Buck is like a Western hero or a tougher version of Lassie who comes to town, solves the problems and then leaves. Jack Palance does his usual bad guy role. The story is sloppily written and directed, and the scenes feel disconnected. The snowy scenery is nice and the dog is cool. Although there is some mild Western style violence, this is meant to be a family adventure film.

One of Bates' henchmen (José Canalejas) looks like Christian Bale. 
José Canalejas
Bates' henchman (José Canalejas)
Rating: Average

Starring: Jack Palance, Joan Collins, Fernando E. Romero (as Fred Romer), Manuel de Blas, Elisabetta Virgili, Remo De Angelis, Ricardo Palacios, José Canalejas, Mario De Barros, Attilio Dottesio, Oscar Lanve, Mike McKenzie, Emilio Mellado, Boris Zanardy 
Director: Gianfranco Baldanello


  1. Jack Palance tässäkin mukana. Ehtiväinen heppu oli hän....

    1. Niinpä, siinä toisessa Ten Thousand More Ways to Die- kokoelmassa on puolestaan Gordon Mitchell ja George Hilton hyvin edustettuina


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