The Call of the Wild
Call of the Wild 1972
Directed by Ken Annakin
Produced by Artur Brauner, George Davis, Peter Manley, Harry Alan Towers
Written by Peter Yeldham
Music Carlo Rustichelli
Starring Charlton Heston

Michèle Mercier
Raimund Harmstorf
George Eastman

Distributed by
Release date 30 November 1972 (Italy)
Running time 100 minutes

The Call of the Wild is a 1972 family adventure film directed by Ken Annakin and starring Charlton Heston, Michèle Mercier, Raimund Harmstorf, George Eastman and Maria Rohm.

Based on Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild the film follows the adventures of a dog that is brought north to Canada to be used as a sled dog.


John Thornton (Charlton Heston) a prospector in the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush is trying to eke out a living in the harsh conditions of the bitterly cold Yukon region of Canada, with Buck the German Shepherd dog he befriends. Thornton struggles against unscrupulous rivals and natural hazards in the extreme conditions and is greatly helped by Buck who has his own story to tell: he was abducted from a family home and taken north to become a working sled dog. Man and dog forge a true bond of friendship, working together to survive life in the treacherous frozen North. Thornton is killed by Yeehat Indians, but Buck kills the men to avenge John Thornton. At the end of the film, Buck comes to the White River to mourn the place where he died.


The film starts with wolves and dog chasing and killing deer. That narrator start say that Indians tell a story about Ghost dog they is afraid, because he have more strength that wolf, and it's more cunning that dog. Indians don't know where that dog came from and why he stays in Alaska wildness.

Film that change place some time ago, In Santa Clara, California. Where Judge Miller and dog (from Alaska who is revealed to by Buck) return from trip. Judge Miller has gifts for his granddaughters Alice and Mollie Millers. Later, Judge Miller talks with man who name is Jack about Alaska. Jack wants to go to Alaska to find gold, but Judge Miller doesn't want to go because he have granddaughters and know about Alaska danger, also he starts to read that people's in Alaska need big dogs. Unknown to him or Jack, he is heard by servant Manuel. When Judge and his granddaughters is going to sleep. Buck stays outside, where Manuel drops meat to his face. Buck starts fallow meat until he is catch and around his neck is put the rope. Later, Manuel sale Buck to some men and Buck is put in train.

Later Buck is put in a crate, when Red Sweater tries open crate, Buck is showing aggression. And when Red Sweater breaks the crate, Buck try to attack it, but Red Sweater starts to beat him. Buck starts to repeat attack again and again, but Red Sweater continues to beat him, until Buck can't attack. During the night, Red Sweater brings Buck food and meat.

Buck later is bought by John Thorton and his friend Pete, who also buys others dogs. Later Thorton and Pete go to ship who is bringing them all in Alaska. When Buck steps on snow, he seems to by scaring and Pete and Thornton start saying that is probably the first time that Buck saw snow. When Thornton and Pete walk thought town, man starts to talk with them and he starts to ask them to buy maps and other things, but neither John Thornton or Pete is interested. Soon one of dogs Spitz run away from Pete. Pete and Thornton manage to catch Spitz and Pete tied him to a pole, with other dogs. Soon Pete brings meat to dogs. Meanwhile, Thornton is loading they sled, when man start talking to them and soon it reveal that Thornton and Pete have mail contract, because nobody else wanted work for post company. Man that start say that they could stay in Dawson City to look for gold and Pete walks away from dogs and is very interested about searching for gold, but John Thornton wants to deliver mail and look for people who have the gold, because those peoples can buy from them all things they need. Buck meanwhile, looks at dogs, and soon he see how Spitz kills one of dogs, other dogs also want to kill same dog. But Thornton and Pete try to rescue dog, from angry dogs, but it's useless because the dog was already dead.

Later, Pete makes tent and Buck break his rope and walk into the tent. But Pete order Buck gets out of the tent and throw things to him. When Buck walks out of the tent, he sees how Spitz makes the bed in the snow and start making bed himself. Next day, Buck is tied to sleds and Thornton sing some papers and trip start. Buck very hardly work, but after a few days of traveling, he suggest to make better progress. But Thornton noticed that Buck legs are bleeding and he makes moccasin for Buck. During one day of their trip, Thornton and Pete talk with one of other people's traveling to Dawson City, who is interested how many days Thornton and Pete traveled and Thornton says that it was only 6 days, the man is stunned because he travelled 35 days.

A couple days later, Pete and Thornton find dead dog and assumed that Spitz killed that dog. Soon when Thornton and Pete start to travel, Spitz is working very poorly and none of mans can't understand what's wrong with him, but soon their worries are stopped when Pete and Spitz fell into a frozen lake, Thornton manages to rescue them both. Thornton make fire and Pete start, run to heat his body, holding Spitz in his hand. But Spitz escapes from him and attack Buck. Thorton start beats Spitz with the club. The other day, Spitz and Buck ran away from sled and start chasing a fox, but soon both dogs get into a fight, where Buck manages to kill Spitz. When Buck returns to Thornton and Pete, Thornton makes Buck the lead dog.

Finally, Thornton and Pete make to Dawson City. Where they are welcomed by Sergant Constantine. Thornton introduces himself and Pete to Constantine. Constantine soon takes away both men, guns saying that guns are not allowed in Dawson City. Constantine that ask Thornton and Pete to rest as his mens is going to have mail to Dawson city peoples, Pete meanwhile goes to dogs. Constantine men start give mail to peoples and first letter goes to woman Calliope Laurent, many of mans is wondering if new boyfriend write to her, but Calliope says that it's latter from her mother. Meanwhile, Pete pet dogs, when one of mans starts to ask if Pete could sell dogs, Pete also noticed the butcher looking at his dogs. Pete soon hit man who wants buy dogs and butcher in the face, saying that nobody it's going eat his dogs. Soon to Pete walks a man who says that he can take care of that dog. In police station, Constantine is wondering when Thornton is going back to Skagujay, but Thornton says that it's going probably by week, because dogs are tired. Constantine says that he can't pay to Thornton and that post office from Skagujay going to pay him and soon he starts talk about food and supplies because a lot of people can die. Pete that walk in the station and Constantine have him to drink and wonder where the dogs are. Pete says that they are guarded and also he start saying that people here is going to eat everything.

Later, Pete and Thornton with Buck walk to saloon, where they are welcomed by Calliope, who are interested what they going to order. Thornton say that they order whiskey, but Calliope is interested if they want whiskey for one doller or for two doller price. Thornton is wonder what difference, but soon he see how man in front of him is pushed away, and Calliope say that man was drinking for one doller. So Thornton want whiskey for two dollars. And Calliope order it to Thornton, Pete and herself. Soon she start to talk with Thornton about gold. But black dressed man Dutch Harry walk to him and start speak that man what name is Black Burton want talk to him, but John Thornton is not interested and ask man to get lost. When man walk away, Calliope states that Thornton just made important enemy, but Thornton don't care about that. Calliope that start sing in saloon and other people join her and Calliope ask John Thornton to dance with her, they dance for few seconds. When Buck start jump on John Thornton, first Thornton don't like that, but second time he enjoy Buck jumping on him. But that Black Burton start talk with him and asks him to deliver the whiskey instead of mail. But John Thornton are not interested and Buck start bark and growl on Burton and his partner and Burton walk away. Calliope that walk to Thornton and it's interested what Burton wanted, John says nothing and order whiskey for two dollars.

Outside the saloon, Dutch Harry bring two mens Francois and Perrault and pay them half of money and say that other moneys is going by paid when they deliver whiskey.

In the saloon, Pete dance with two womans. And Thornton and Calliope talk about gold. Soon Pete goes look after dogs and say Thornton about that. When he walk out of Saloon, Buck fallows him. Francois and Perrault walk to him and one trick Pete, when another knock him out. Francois and Perrault that tied rope around Buck neck and tied man who was looking after dogs. Soon Francois and Perrault steal dogs.

Thornton after some time walk from saloon, where he find Pete and another man to tied. Pete says to Thornton that dogs is stoled.

Next day, Francois and Perrault start travel to Skaguya. In Dawson Thornton and Black Burton is in police station, together with Constantine who is writing papers. Thornton asum that it was Black Burton order to steal dogs, but Black Burton lies and say that he fired two men who stealed the dogs, angry Thornton kick chair where Black Burton was siting, Constantine say that Thornton can't do that, but Thornton it's not interested and walk away. That Thornton walk in saloon and start talk to Calliope, Pete also walk in saloon and start speak with Thornton that they could also look for gold like others, and Thornton say to Pete that he should do what he want. And Pete walk from saloon.

Meanwhile Francois and Perrault continue they trip to Skaguya. And In Dawson, Thornton is ready to travel to river, where he could use raft to swim to Skaguya and he also say goodbye to Calliope.

As Francois and Perrault they trip, sled run over Francois and knock him and kill him. Sled team finally make to Skaguya but Perrault it's frozen to death. Soon Conman take team and plan to sell them to auction. Woman named Mercedes notice paper about auction and want buy dogs to travel to Dawson City, but her husband Charles say that they have no experience with dogs, but neither Mercedes or Mercedes brother Hal don't listen Charles.

When the auction starts, many of peoples find dogs to weak that they could pull sleds. Charles also agree with them, until old mushr who was handling sleddogs for 20 years start say that dogs need short rest. And Mercedes say to Charles that he know nothing about dogs. Conman that ask peoples to bet and Mercedes want buy dogs only for 200 dollars, but Conman it's sadded by this, and say a lot things about dogs. Mercedes that say that she will have 1200 dollers for dogs and bets start. Charles is not happy about that, but they manage get dogs for 3000 dollars.

Mercedes load sleds and she is angry when peoples it's looking at her, one of men say that she shouldn't take take cooker with her, but she don't listen man. When another man ask Charles if he think sled will ride. Mercedes order don't pay any attention and sit on sled, soon Hal order dogs to mush. But one of dogs is listened and Mercedes order Charles to lead dogs. Charles start pet dogs, but Hal start beat them. Until one of man say that they need break sleds out of snow. Charles and Hal do and dogs start run and knock out Mercedes and all things. After sometime Hal, Charles and Mercedes get ride of few things. But Mercedes is very sad.

Later when the they start to travel, Mercedes find weather very cold and ask move faster, but Charles say that dogs will move faster if she get out of sleds. But she show no interested to get out of sled, during the night, neither Hal, Charles or Mercedes can't make tent. Next day team continue to travel, but one dog fell on ground. Hal and Charles want that dog get up, but dog can't move anymore. So Hal cut him from other dogs and pull gun, Mercedes is shocked it's that and turn back, when Hal shoot dog. Hal that order Mercedes to get ouf of sled, but she don't listen. During the night, they all get scared by wolves. In the morning, dogs continue to pull sleds, until they stop. Hal that get angry and want shoot Buck, but Charles and Mercedes start fight with him for the gun and Mercedes take gun and when she hear wolf, point gun to wolf and shoot. That many of angry wolves try chase them and it's look like there it's no chance to escape, but they all are rescued by John Thornton who with shotgun shoot few wolves.

John Thornton friend Seze make fire for them, Charles want turn back and go back to Skaqya. When soon he and others hear something breaking, Seze explain that it's time for ice to break. But Mercedes don't believe and on her own start go to Dawson. Charles thanks Thorton and Seze for they kindness and start go after his wife. Seze go to stop them from going. Meanwhile, John try to explain that it's not good to go on ice, but Hal it's very angry and believes that Thornton want steal dogs. So that Hal start beat all dogs. Soon John Thornton recognize Buck and start say to Hal that he will shoot him if he hit the dog again. That Thornton drop knife to Hal and order cut Buck from other dogs. Hal do that and other dogs continue to pull. Seze try stop him from going on ice, but Hal don't listen, Charles also think idea is bad. Same time, John Thornton look at Buck wounds. Hal, Charles and Mercedes continue they travel to Dawson, but ice break and they all, and they dogs fell in river. Seze watch everything shocked.


Similiarities and differances

  • In flashback how Buck gets to Alaska, Judge Miller came home and have gifts for his granddaughters. This never happened in the book, as Judge Miller, Alice and Mollie was only mentioned.
  • Judge Miller has a scene with a man, who name is Jack. Character Jack never existed in book.
  • John Thorton is Buck first owner instead Francois and Perrault. Francois and Perrault in this version, is people's who steal Buck from Thorton.
  • Buck sees how Spitz kills random dog and start hating Spitz. In book he starts to hate Spitz, when he laughed at Curly who is eaten by others dogs. Curly don't exist in film.
  • In the film, after killing Spitz, Thornton and his friend Pete agree to make a Buck leading dog. In the book, Perrault and Francois wanted to do Sol-leks the leading dog, not Buck.
  • Buck is kidnapped from John Thorton by Francois and Perrault. This never happened in the book.
  • Francois and Perrault dies during the film. In book they survived and left Buck and his team, when they get a new job.
  • Hal, Charles and Mercedes buy Buck and others dogs from Auction, this never happen in the book. In the book they buy Buck and other dogs, from mail deliver who needed new dogs.
  • In the movie, Charles understands that they can't drive dogs, because they have no experience and also he won't turn back and don't go on the ice road to Dawson. In book Charles don't show this trait and it's pretty clueless.
  • In the book, when Hal starts beating the dogs, Mercedes tries to stop him from doing this. Mercedes doesn't do this in the movie.
  • Hal, Charles and Mercedes is attacked by wolves. This never happened in the book.
  • When Hal, Charles and Mercedes meet with John Thorton he have a friend with him. In book John Thorton meet them alone. Also said friend tries stop Hal and others to go on ice.
  • 'Black' Burton takes Matthewson place in movie as person who beat with Thornton. In book, Black Burton was character that throat was ripped out by Buck.
  • Calliope doesn't exist in the book. And every scene where she appears to have nothing do with the book.
  • Buck becomes the new leader of the sled dogs after he kills Spitz. In the book, the dogs maul him to death and Sol-leks becomes the new leader.


See Also