Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man

3.0 12
Director: Werner Herzog

Cast: Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard


Filmmaker Werner Herzog adds another real-life character to his growing pantheon of people who walk a fine line between visionary genius and madness in this documentary. Timothy Treadwell was a self-styled authority on bears who, starting in 1990, would spend as much time as possible each year in Alaska, camping out near a grizzly bear habitat. While Treadwell claimed… See more details below


Filmmaker Werner Herzog adds another real-life character to his growing pantheon of people who walk a fine line between visionary genius and madness in this documentary. Timothy Treadwell was a self-styled authority on bears who, starting in 1990, would spend as much time as possible each year in Alaska, camping out near a grizzly bear habitat. While Treadwell claimed to love the bears and felt as one with them, he had no formal training in their behavior, and while familiarizing himself with the creatures he would walk within a few feet of them with a video camera in hand. To many, Treadwell seemed part man of nature, part conjuror, and part self-promotion expert, but the part that guided his kinship with the bears failed him in 2003, when he and his girlfriend were killed in a grizzly attack. Treadwell shot hundreds of hours of footage of himself and the grizzlies, and Herzog has used this footage as the core of Grizzly Man, a documentary look at Treadwell's life and death, while also including interviews with people who knew him, animal experts, and scientists. Acclaimed British guitarist Richard Thompson composed and performed the film's musical score.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
For 13 years, Timothy Treadwell spent his summers on the Alaskan Peninsula, living among wild bears and, for the last five years, videotaping his life there. His winters were spent touring elementary schools and making television appearances, in an effort to educate people about the plight of the animals he loved. This continued until October 5, 2003, when Treadwell and his girlfriend were attacked and killed by a bear. Using Treadwell’s footage as well as interviews with his friends, family, and local authorities, director Werner Herzog crafts a fascinating documentary around his favorite themes: obsession, madness, and man’s place in nature. Herzog, who has an active role in the film, empathizes with Treadwell, even though their worldviews are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Addressing the camera, Treadwell, who had no formal training with animals, saw himself as a “kind warrior” who was there to protect the bears from poachers, developers, and others who would do them harm. But others saw him as a deluded kook, suffering at least from a naiveté about his role in the bears’ lives. (When Treadwell waxes poetic about a fresh pile of bear dung, it’s hard to disagree with them.) He saw the bears as friends. At the very least there is undeniable beauty in many of the images Treadwell captured -- some of his footage is magical, some frightening. Those recordings, Herzog posits, give meaning to Treadwell’s life and death. Watching Grizzly Man, it’s hard to disagree.
All Movie Guide
Grizzly Man is a fascinating nonfiction look at a character so brazen and bizarre, he must be fictional. Werner Herzog plays a more obtrusive role in this film than most documentarists would -- narrating and setting certain events in motion -- but he did not in fact create Timothy Treadwell, the ironically named crackpot who lived among bears in the Alaskan wilderness, eventually losing his life to them. There may have been no other way to do it, but Herzog reveals at the start that Treadwell died, which leaves his video footage as one of those priceless artifacts that charts the twists and turns on a path toward a known, inevitable outcome. Those in search of a snuff film will be disappointed, however; actual audio of Treadwell's mauling does exist, but Herzog refrains from playing it for the audience. He instead focuses on Treadwell's numerous episodes narrating to his camera, over years alongside the bears. These showcase all the ticks, irrationalities, bitter prejudices, manic highs, and depressive lows of this overwrought narcissist and self-proclaimed outcast, who resembles a longer-haired Aaron Eckhart. Less valuable are the interviews with Treadwell's eccentric former friends and acquaintances, whose contributions can border on the unintentionally comic. One particularly misguided scene involves Herzog presenting Treadwell's digital watch to an estranged (and strange) ex-girlfriend, and her getting lost in the profundity of an unsentimental object he didn't even own yet when she knew him. On average, though, Herzog has assembled a really telling portrait, giving the story a necessary spine, and smartly straddling the line between sympathy and criticism. Grizzly Man is one of the most vital documentaries of 2005, a film that reminds viewers that strange truth can be more engrossing than a writer's quirky fiction.
New York Times - Manohla Dargis
It is the rare documentary like Grizzly Man, which has beauty and passion often lacking in any type of film, that makes you want to grab its maker and head off to the nearest bar to discuss man's domination of nature and how Disney's cute critters reflect our profound alienation from the natural order.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; "In the Edges: The Grizzly Man Session," a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film's music; 16:9 widescreen version; 2.0 Dolby Surround; Scene selections; Englich closed captions; Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Timothy Treadwell Actor
Amie Huguenard Actor
Warren Queeney Participant
Willy Fulton Participant
Sam Egli Participant
Marnie Gaede Participant
Marc Gaede Participant
Larry Van Daele Participant
Franc Falico Participant
Jewel Palovak Participant
Val Dexter Participant
Carol Dexter Participant
Kathleen Parker Participant
Werner Herzog Narrator

Technical Credits
Werner Herzog Director
Kevin Beggs Executive Producer
Alana Berry Associate Producer
Joe Bini Editor
Billy Campbell Executive Producer
Jessica Dejong Production Manager
Phil Fairclough Executive Producer
Ken King Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Koykka Production Manager
Andrea Meditch Executive Producer
Erik Nelson Executive Producer
Tom Ortenberg Executive Producer
Spence Palermo Sound/Sound Designer
Peter Zeitlinger Cinematographer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Grizzly Man
1. Prime Cut [2:48]
2. Majestic Creatures [3:51]
3. Celebrity [1:31]
4. The Worst [1:00]
5. Willy Fulton [7:50]
6. Children of the Universe [5:35]
7. Foxes [4:51]
8. Boundaries [3:20]
9. Death Watch [3:25]
10. Grizzly People [2:12]
11. Filmmaker [4:15]
12. Confessional [5:54]
13. All Alone [5:34]
14. Audio Tape [1:53]
15. Bear Fight [5:22]
16. Into the Wild [1:09]
17. Parents [4:18]
18. Self Invention [2:22]
19. Love and Chaos [4:21]
20. Miracle Rain [5:30]
21. Poachers [2:45]
22. Park Rant [3:22]
23. Funeral [4:01]
24. Death Trip [3:36]
25. Bear 141 [3:48]
26. Last Frames [3:50]
27. Treadwell Is Gone [1:05]
1. Main Title/Convocation [9:33]
2. Set Your Foot Down [4:22]
3. Funeral [2:06]
4. Fox Hunt [3:51]
5. Drunken Cowboy [4:49]
6. Harmony of Man & Beast [2:43]
7. Prepared Piano [4:05]
8. Cello Duet [4:33]
9. Bear Fight [2:44]
10. Ghosts in the Maze [3:36]
11. Precision Work [5:46]
12. Pibrock [4:07]
13. End Credits [1:26]

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