Iron Will Movie Review Summary

Actors: Mackenzie Astin, Kevin Spacey, August Schellenberg, David Ogden Spiers, George Gerdes

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Iron Will

Will Stoneman and his father Jack are experienced dog sledders in South Dakota, 1917. One day Jack falls into a freezing river, and bravely cuts the rope to avoid dragging Will and the dogs in too. Without him, Will and his mother are in danger of losing the farm. She wants to sell the dogs to pay Will's college fees, but he decides to enter a dog sled race from Winnipeg to Saint Paul, Minnesota, for the prize money of $10,000. Ned Dodd, their Indian handyman, agrees to train him. He starts the training by waking Will early and dumping him in the snow. His mantra is "run longer, sleep less". Will must learn to run through the night to have a chance of winning. He trains by running, pulling the sled and throwing a medicine ball, to develop stamina, focus and balance. Ned gives him healing medicines and the final advice: "trust the dogs, trust yourself".
Click here to see the rest of this review

In Winnipeg, the organizer is reluctant to let a 17-year-old race, but an American newspaperman, Henry Kingsley, seeing Will as good copy, supports him, and reminds everyone that Will may be fighting in a war soon - is he not man enough to run a race? Will joins the other ten racers. Borg Guillarson, the Swedish champion, tries to intimidate him from the start, but Joe Macpherson from Montana befriends him. In their luxury train, the sponsors of the race are betting on how long Will will survive, while Kingsley tries to find new angles for his story.

The race through the snowy wilderness is tough and gets tougher when the blizzard starts. Borg's dirty tricks put Joe and one of the Canadians out of the race, and later he sets his fierce wolf-dog on Gus, Will's lead dog, injuring him badly. Will uses Ned's medicines to save his life, but Gus has to ride on the sled for the rest of the race. Kingsley comes up with the nickname "Iron Will". Will makes headlines across the country as a symbol of hope and determination, and he is amazed when he passes through a small town and is greeted as a hero.
The review of this Movie prepared by Maureen Evans

Script Analysis of Iron Will

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 50%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20% Time/Era of Movie:    -   1900-1920's Wilderness adventure    -   Yes Plotlets:    -   a race! Terrain    -   ice/snow

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   athlete Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   None If this is a kid's movie...    -   Ages 10-15

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Iron Will

Iron Will Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian