A rugged expedition of hunters and trappers traveling across the American northwest early in the 1800's is using a boat on wheels pulled by horses as they collect pelts and skins from the game they kill. Leading the group is hardened, relentless, and unstable Captain Filmore Henry (Huston). When a guide for the hunting party named Zachary Bass (Harris) is savagely mauled by a bear he is left for dead. Actually he is clinging to life by a thread. Bass is able to crawl to water and then stave off a pair of wolves for the right to eat a fistful of raw buffalo meat. Stitching up his gaping wounds, he is able to fashion adequate clothing from animals he encounters and fashion a crutch to lean on.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Slowly Bass gains more strength and begins the long walk to confront the men who abandoned him. Driven in his quest for revenge Bass endures encounters with Indians, wild animals, the harsh winter weather, and a scarcity of food but relentlessly he forges on. While alone at rest his mind takes him back to the events of his prior life as a husband to Grace (Ransome) and as a father. As Bass gets close to the expedition Henry can sense that he is tracking them. When the ship on wheels is mired in the mud of a river wash, Bass approaches the crew of disbelieving men as Henry is screaming for them to shoot. The ending shows the strength of character that Bass has gained as a result of his grueling ordeal.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Fletcher