by Jack Nilan            EMail :

The Savage Innocents (1960)

Jack   B+

IMDB    7.2

Tribe(s) : Inuit

Language : English



   Inuk, played by Anthony Quinn, is tired of being alone. When a couple of girls show up at his friends igloo, he buys one from the mother and now he has a mate.

   There are some great scenes about hunting seals, hunting walrus, and hunting polar bears. There are also some great looks inside of life in the igloo. I always wondered how someone could live this lifestyle, but after seeing this movie it is easy to understand. Their whole life is built around hunting and survival. In one scene Inuk and his new bride leave a bear seal meat with a whalebone inside as bait, then track it over several days until the bone causes such intestinal discomfort that Inuk can kill it.

   As he is about to spear the bear, it gets shot by a hunter who has just got a rifle from the white men. For one hundred fox skins he will be able to get a rifle of his own. When he gets them he travels almost a year. Inuk sees guns, alcohol and rock music.

When a missionary refuses his wife's hospitality, Inuk kills him by accident. Inkl is probably portrayed as a little too much of an innocent (simpleton). Inuk is taken into custody for the murder.

But overall a good movie that contrasts the modern culture with that of the "savage innocents". Bob Dylan wrote the song "Quinn the Eskimo Man" about his remembrances of this movie.