Into the Wild

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Overview

Into the Wild is writer/director Sean Penn's adaptation of the popular book by Jon Krakauer, a nonfiction account of the post-collegiate wanderings of a young Virginia man, who divorces himself from his friends, family, and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Upon his 1990 graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) walks away from a loving if dysfunctional family and sends his nearly 25,000-dollar life savings to Oxfam ...
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Overview

Into the Wild is writer/director Sean Penn's adaptation of the popular book by Jon Krakauer, a nonfiction account of the post-collegiate wanderings of a young Virginia man, who divorces himself from his friends, family, and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Upon his 1990 graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) walks away from a loving if dysfunctional family and sends his nearly 25,000-dollar life savings to Oxfam International. Instead of the normal life his parents planned for him, Chris rechristens himself "Alexander Supertramp" and heads west in his beaten-up automobile until it no longer runs, at which point he takes up hitchhiking. The goal on the horizon? Alaska. By hook or by crook -- but without his limited cash, which he symbolically sets aflame -- Chris/Alexander determines to make it to his personal promised land, with stops along the way to experience America and its people. These adventures include a kayak trip down dangerous rapids, a gig working in a grain mill, extended stays with a hippie couple and a kindly old widower -- and enough cold, hunger, and exhaustion to leave him emotionally defeated more than once. Meanwhile, his parents (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden) and sister (Jena Malone) haven't received so much as a postcard from him, and begin to fear the worst. Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder composed the contemplative soundtrack.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
In Christopher McCandless, director Sean Penn has found a character that speaks to his own quest to find meaning in life. Instead of focusing on characters that are spiritually dead, as he did in his first three films, Penn gets to tell the story of a young man who is absolutely spiritually alive, and this spurs Penn the director onto a level of empathy equal to that of Penn the actor. One need not share McCandless' goals in order to appreciate Penn's movie -- this film is far from an endorsement to throw off the conventions of society and live off the land. The screenplay offers numerous reasons other than a romantic desire to lead a Thoreau-inspired life for McCandless to set off on his journey. There are painful psychological scars driving him, as well as an honest if occasionally petulant need simply to do what isn't expected of him. Emile Hirsch, the young actor playing McCandless, embodies all of these conflicting but powerful motivations in a performance that never once rings false. Hirsch succeeds grandly in the first rule of modern film acting -- he doesn't "act," he simply "is." The actor is so present in the part that the audience easily accepts how he changes the lives of those he meets during his journey. Catherine Keener delivers yet another vivid performance as Jan, a fellow tramp who, with her husband, Rainey Brian Dierker, provides the model for the ideal family Chris never had growing up. Keener and Dierker, in an outstanding movie debut, suggest the deep history between them in little more than loving if occasionally pained looks. These people have the emotions that Chris wants to feel -- even if he does not realize that is what he wants until the end of the movie. The story is structured in five acts, and at the end of each act Penn breaks typical movie convention and has McCandless look directly into the camera. The first time this happens it seems like a boneheaded choice -- as if the director didn't trust his audience enough to love the character on our own. But as these moments accumulate, one realizes that those looks into the camera aren't about gaining sympathy, but are about sharing intimacy. We are moved and affected by Chris' journey, just as the other characters in the film have been. When Chris learns his final lessons in Alaska, when he finally discovers the truth that he himself has been looking for, the film has the weight of Greek tragedy. But instead of devastation, one leaves the movie with a sense of exhilaration -- the sense of a life well-lived. With this film, Penn, who always seemed like an old soul trapped in a young man's body, shows that he has matured. Into the Wild is a grandly successful statement of purpose both as an artist and as a person.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/4/2008
  • UPC: 097363481249
  • Original Release: 2007
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 2:28:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Emile Hirsch Christopher McCandless
Marcia Gay Harden Billie McCandless
William Hurt Walt McCandless
Jena Malone Carine McCandless
Catherine Keener Jan Burres
Brian Dierker Rainey
Vince Vaughn Wayne Westerberger
Zach Galifianakis Kevin
Kristen Stewart Tracy
Hal Holbrook Ron Franz
Technical Credits
Sean Penn Director, Producer, Screenwriter
David Blocker Executive Producer
Michael Brook Score Composer
Jay Lash Cassidy Editor
Éric Gautier Cinematographer
Mary Claire Hannan Costumes/Costume Designer
Martin Hernandez Sound/Sound Designer
Frank Hildebrand Executive Producer
Derek R. Hill Production Designer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
John Kelly Executive Producer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Kaki King Score Composer
Art Linson Producer
Francine Maisler Casting
William Pohlad Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Into the Wild
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
4. Chapter 4
5. Chapter 5
6. Chapter 6
7. Chapter 7
8. Chapter 8
9. Chapter 9
10. Chapter 10
11. Chapter 11
12. Chapter 12
13. Chapter 13
14. Chapter 14
15. Chapter 15
16. Chapter 16
17. Chapter 17
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Into the Wild
   Play
   Set Up
      Audio Options
         English 5.1 Surround
         English 2.0 Surround
         Français
         Español
      Subtitle Options
         English
         Français
         Español
         None
   Scene Selection
   Previews
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Best Film of 2007

    This film was a complete surprise to me. For those of us who remember the unrealistic, impossible, yet absolute ideals of youth, this film is a revelation which is sometimes painful to watch. When they are reviewing his notes at the end and he finally concludes the importance of sharing the beauty of life and experiences with others, I literally broke down in the theater and wept. No other film I've seen this year has moved me this deeply. The Screen Actors Guild got this one right, giving it the most nominations of any film The Academy got it totally wrong. This film deserved at least nominations for Film, Actor, Supporting Actor & Actress (Keener was superb), Director, Cinematography, and Screenplay. Penn did a great job with the screenplay, omitting the book's extraneous material and the author's insertion of 2 chapters which seemed to be simply an attempt at self-aggrandizement instead, he concentrated on the actual story of Christopher McCandless, skillfully fitting all the pieces together. A truly terrific, moving, and inspirational film.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing quality

    If possible get the HDDVD version and experience it in Hi Def. Also buy HDMI cables to get the best Hi Def experience for this movie with amazing details and clarity.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Life altering story!

    After seeing the movie, I read the book. Although they are completely different they both relay a message about a young man who was looking for more in life. Some believed he was a fool and some believed him a hero. Regardless this story makes you think about your own life. Do you take risks and live each day to the fullest? This movie is so touching, Sean Penn did an amazing job turning the book into a screenplay. The imagery is amazing and the acting is superb. I highly recommend this to anyone who has ever wondered about the meaning of life. Of course you won't find the answer but in a way this story shows one mans adventure to find his own meaning and happiness.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I am forever changed. The book and film are both excellent.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    Life-changing movie

    I remembered reading about the real Christopher McCandless, and was disturbed and touched by the true story. This movie tells the story of this young doomed man in a lyrical, beautiful way that really moved me. Sean Penn outdid himself, and the cast members were universally excellent. Emile Hirsch is a revelation. Even the soundtrack is superb. Highly recommended!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Masterful Feat of Storytelling and Filmmaking

    Before I tell you about this movie, let me tell you something about myself first: I choose my words wisely, and with great consideration. I don't say I love something if I don't truly love it, and I won't say something is the best unless it truly is better than everything else. I say that to inform you that there is no superfluousness when I say that this movie is an absolute masterpiece, and the best film I've seen in ten years, at least. It is visually beautiful, emotionally gripping and heartfelt, well-acted, directed, and scored. Sean Penn did his film a wonderful favor by sticking closely to Jon Krakauer's source material, so closely in fact that he shot every scene on location, taking every consideration to allow the viewer to travel along with Christopher McCandless on his soul-searching journey. It is masterfully cast, and it is clear that each actor greatly respected the task of telling this story. I simply can't say enough about this film. It is without a doubt a must-see.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    An insightful, honest, painful look at a young man's life/death. No judgment, just perspective. The actors were perfect and the story was beautiful--sorrow & happiness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    This movie passed my expectations. I was eleven when I first saw

    This movie passed my expectations. I was eleven when I first saw it and I was completely immersed in it, and my mother gave me the book for Christmas that year and I loved it also. If you haven't watched or read Into the Wild I recommend it to anyone who loves true stories and cross-country adventures.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Into the Wild is definitely one my favorite movies of 2007.

    I love this movie. It made me cry; it isn't what I would consider a forgettable movie. Its message(s) are thought-provoking, and it HAS a message, something that is missing from so many phisophical-esque films. It might make you look at life a little differently; it might not. I definitely like that Into the Wild is based on a true story, because that makes it more interesting. As a general rule, I don't like to see GOOD movies without reading the book first, and I wish I had read Into the Wild before seeing the movie, so I would advise any serious reader to consider reading the book first, although the movie is worth watching, regardless of whether or not you've seen the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best.....

    I saw this movie 3 times already, you want more. Plus this movie is actually true, this movie isnt a waste of money. I can truely say that all of you who read this, would love the movie, get it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Extraordinary and Life Changing!

    When I saw the preview for this movie, I was already in awe and attached somehow.At first "after I watched the movie" I thought "what a sad ending".I must've watched it at least 9 or 10 more times, transfixed and mesmerized by this man's story.For me the meanings in his story ran so deep into my veins, perhaps because we both have multiple things in common. But needless to say,I found his happiness at the end instead of sadness and he really did fulfill his goal. He had achieved his complete freedom. This movie is unforgettable and inspiring. And no, I never thought once that he was running away from everything and everyone and that he was selfish.He was escaping the sick society he lived in. He fulfilled his parents dreams for him and then set off to find himself and his own dreams and experience the ultimate freedom that would've been doomed from him had he stayed in a life that wasn't his.After watching the movie I instantly bought the book which I read numerous times and found it just as epic as the movie,if not more.Alexander Supertramp changed my way of life, my whole attitude towards it and altered many of my thoughts and mind all together. He will NEVER be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This is a GREAT movie

    This movie hits home, it is a movie all in it's own, it's beautiful and sad and funny. I love this movie, it's at the top of my list. Watch it, I understand what this very attractive man is going through, you feel his pain and confusion. The scenery is beautiful, who wouldn't want to run off and get away from all this craziness we have made and been through?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This is a touching movie of discovery and realization. But the first step to enjoyment is to not compare it to the book. Movies never truely harness the intamacy of the orginal story. Enjoy the movie for what it is. Wich is a well shot and touching movie. It will inspire, and pull at your heart strings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ok to a point!

    I was actually completely into this movie. I thought that the insight found in the movie was very deep. However, there were a lot of factors about this story that made me uneasy. First why didn't he talk to his sister. Second why did he not stay with any of the many colorful people he met along the way. It seemed to me that this Chris or Alex was just running away from everyone and everybody. To me that is selfish. He never took into consideration the lives all the people he hurt by his careless attitude and ultimate death.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This movie is very interesting.

    Alright just to let you know this is a very good movie. And im pretty sure you will enjoy it. It's about this guy named Chris and how he basically got bored with life. And the movie tells about his huge adventure. Also I have read the book to and there both good. Obviously some of the movie is different from the book. But I think Sean Penn did a wonderfull job.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Too many liberties taken

    If you read the book, you will understand that Sean Penn took way too many liberties with this film. I was sorely disappointed. I recommend the book 100% to anyone interested in reading the real story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully done

    Anytime I see Sean Penn's name attached to a movie, I automatically want to see it. This movie is no exception. "Into the Wild" is the kind of film that haunts your thoughts days after you have seen it. Emile Hirsh's performance is outstanding. Sean Penn's direction is flawless. The journey to find the simple, uncomplicated beauty of nature along with the desire to leave behind the chaos of life's clutter and chaos is the heart and soul of this story. This is a film not to be missed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Christopher McCandless, in becoming 'Alexander Supertramp', holds a mirror to us all, a meditation on what the ideal life completely in tune with nature, surviving only on ingenuity and adaptation skills, leaving the increasingly burdensome conflicts of society behind in order to become at one with the universe. Based on Jon Krakauer's reconstruction of McCandless' journey from his diary, from letters, and from notes found after his death at age 23, IN THE WILD has been transformed into a Waldenesque film by Sean Penn who provided both the screenplay and the direction. While some may argue the very loose technique of relating this story, few will come away form this film untouched by the sheer dreamy valor of a youth determined to find his own connection to the meaning of existence. The bright McCandless (Emile Hirsch) graduates from Emory University and faces a celebratory dinner with his wealthy but dysfunctional parents (William Hurt and Marcia Gay Harden) and his adoring younger sister Carine (Jena Malone). During the stilted and revealing dinner Christopher declines his parents' gift of a new car and instructions on how to proceed with his life of success, instead electing to leave it all behind and secretly set off on a personal journey to live in the wild. Stripping himself of worldly possessions he begins his road trip with the ultimate destination being Alaska. Along the way he encounters various people: Wayne Westerberg (Vince Vaughan) who offers him work harvesting grain and camaraderie Jan and Rainey (Catherine Keener and Brian Dierker), two middle-aged hippies who offer him a sense of family Tracy (Kristen Stewart), a 16-year old who offers him physical love Christopher cannot condone a Danish couple he encounters while rafting and the elderly Frank (Hal Holbrook) who has no family and lives alone making leather trinkets, eager to 'belong' to the young man whom he sees as needy yet courageous. Christopher's journey pretty much covers America and Mexico, from the plains and farms to the homeless streets of Los Angeles to the splendors and natural cruelties of nature in Alaska. His struggles survive are balanced by his inebriation with the wonders of the natural world untouched by society. Yet in the end he faces his own dissolution into the dust of nature alone. Hirsch immerses himself in this physically demanding role and manages to hold onto our hearts all through his journey. The flow of the story is at times discordant with the over voice narration by Jena Malone and the insertion of bits and pieces of quotations that aren't pieced tightly together enough to avoid sounding superficial. Yet the supporting cast is very strong, including a brilliant little cameo by Cheryl Francis Harrington as a social worker with heart. The photography (Eric Gautier) is stunning and the musical score, courtesy of Michael Brook, Kaki King, and Eddie Vedder, fits the mood through the film. And throughout the film Sean Penn has the restraint and taste to keep the story vital without ever making it maudlin. A very fine film. Grady Harp

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Into The Wilds, A Lesson On What Not To Do In The Alaskan Wilderness

    I enjoyed this story and thought the movie was done very well. I think that at some time in everyone's life there is a thought of "leaving it all behind" and venturing to the unknown. Most never act on it. Unfortunately this is the untold story of thousands of people, young and old in this country every day. Some eventually find their nitch in life, some do not and meet with tragedy. As I see it, this young man's real tragedy began, not when he traveled across the country, experiencing new adventures, places and people along the way, it began when he entered the Alaskan wilderness totally unprepared, unskilled and ill equipped. Preparation for survival in the true wilderness doesn't come from reading Jack London, or "How To" books. It comes from spending time with someone that actually has the knowledge that is essential for survival. It comes from actually experiencing it. This became more than a "City Boy Goes To The Country" fiasco as he ventured into an area where he lacked the basic skills necessary to survive and away from those that could teach him those skills. The true tragedy is seeing a healthy young man suffer the difficulties that he did, while living next to a stream filled with fish in a wilderness teaming with game. This is a story about pushing your limits, and not always knowing when to stop. The movie is well done and worth a look.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews