Starring: Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan, Omar Sy, Bradley Whitford, Colin Woodell, Scott MacDonald, Cara Gee
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Family adventure directed by Chris Sanders. Set in the Canadian Yukon in the 1890s, when the gold rush is happening and sled dogs are valuable assets as they cover the tough terrain. The story follows a domesticated St. Bernard/Scotch Collie dog named Buck who is stolen from his home in California and sold to freight haulers in the Yukon.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'We fall all together, but so do we get up as one.' - Perrault (The Call of the Wild) Click To Tweet 'The world's a dangerous place. You never know what's coming. You never know.' - John Thornton (The Call of the Wild) Click To Tweet
John Thornton: It was in all the papers at the time. Men searching in the Arctic had found a yellow metal. Gold. A mad fever spread as far as word can travel, and thousands more rushed to the North to try their luck. These men needed dogs. Big dogs with strong muscles to pull their sleds.
John Thornton: Buck was neither house dog nor a kennel dog. His master was Santa Clara County judge. In this realm, Buck was king.
John Thornton: He was less attentive to his master’s commands than he was to his own instincts.
[after Buck is abducted to be shipped to the Yukon]
John Thornton: Locked in that box, he couldn’t eat, drink, or sleep. Buck had no idea where he was, where he had been, where he was going.
John Thornton: Buck stood no chance against a man with a club. He knew that. He was beaten. But he was not broken.
Perrault: Buck, we’re all tied up together now. We fall all together, but so do we get up as one.
John Thornton: Out here, under an open sky, Buck felt a cold he’d never known.
John Thornton: Growing up in the world of man, Buck had learned to listen to their voices. Tonight, he would begin to hear his own.
John Thornton: Doing the work of a sled dog brought Buck confidence and joy. Now, he belonged to a pack.
Françoise: [to Buck] In all his years hauling the mail, Perrault has never been on time. Not once. But he drives every day like it might happen. He believes. But I never saw him believe in anything as much as he believes in you. Now I do too.
Françoise: It’s not that bad.
Perrault: I lost my lead dog. We’ll be two days behind if we’re lucky. And we’ve never been lucky.
Perrault: See, Buck. We don’t carry mail. We carry lives. We carry hope. We carry love.
[as Thornton writes a letter to his wife]
John Thornton: Dearest Sarah. The soul seems to have gone out of me now. Each day starts with the memory of our dearest son. Tim’s approaching birthday reminds me of all that’s been lost. The warmth of our home, the adventures our son dreamed of. I wish I’d found the words to express how I felt before the silence became unbearable, and I left. I search for a place I might feel some peace. Though I fear I will never find it. Because I know that as I am, there may be no home for me in this world.
[as he’s bidding goodbye to Buck]
Perrault: It’s your team now. You still have a mighty journey ahead.
John Thornton: The ground had shifted under him again. Buck had lost another master. Now he would have to be the leader himself. Until a new master came along.
[as Hal is whipping the sled dogs being led by Buck]
John Thornton: For the first time, Buck knew more than his masters. But the whip offered him no choice.
[referring to the sled dogs taken by Hal]
John Thornton: They’re not here. They’re gone. You’ve been sleeping for two days, in my bed.
John Thornton: This was his birthday. My son. After he died, his mom and I, we just grew apart. She didn’t want to be around me. I didn’t want to be around anybody. So I came up here. Then I met you.
John Thornton: [to Buck] This is a map of the Yukon. My son was always reading adventure stories, and he was crazy about the news coming out of the Yukon. It wasn’t the gold. He didn’t care about that. It was the mountains. He spent all day looking at maps, and at pictures of the mountains. Dreaming about what was on the other side. Places no one had been. Wild places.
[after Thornton’s told Buck the story of his son wanting to travel to Yukon]
John Thornton: It’s a trip he would’ve loved. A real adventure. We could go. You and me. See what’s out there. What do you think?
[as Buck sticks out his paw at him]
John Thornton: What are you doing? Begging? You’re not my pet.
[Buck barks as they are kayaking down a treacherous river]
John Thornton: I’m glad you’re enjoying this!
John Thornton: [to Buck] Your ancestors used to roam here. And mine. Back when we were wild.
John Thornton: Here, so far from home, I can see a change in Buck. Something’s pulling him into the forest. Into the hunt.
John Thornton: He’s still the same dog with me, but I find it hard to imagine him back in civilization. Is there any house big enough to hold him?
John Thornton: This journey seems to be leading Buck to his destiny. Where is it leading me?
John Thornton: [to Buck] Long after dark. You’ve been staying out later and later every day. Yeah, I know, there’s a lot to explore, but the world’s a dangerous place. You never know what’s coming. You never know.
[to Buck as they see the female white wolf]
John Thornton: This is their domain. They own these hills. You want to go? Go. Just, be careful.
John Thornton: He had been both spoiled, and he’d suffered at the hand of man. Now, Buck found himself with his own kind. How far he has traveled to find his home. How far I have traveled from mine.
[referring to the gold nuggets he’d collected]
John Thornton: Here, look, Buck. Groceries. For life. No man needs more than that.
John Thornton: It’s time for me to go, Buck. Go home. Whatever is left of it. Pick up the pieces, or at least try.
[Buck barks at him]
John Thornton: No. I’m not asking you to come with me, Buck. You got something here. Something important. Hang onto it. I’m leaving in the morning. Come say bye. You’re a good dog, Buck.
[Buck turns and leaves]
John Thornton: You’re a good dog.
[after Hal finds Thornton and shoots him]
Hal: You came all the way out here. You knew something, didn’t you?
John Thornton: Easy.
Hal: You wanted it all for yourself. Where is it? Where’s the gold?
[Thornton takes the gold nuggets from his pocket and throws them at Hal]
John Thornton: It’s everywhere. Take it. Take it all. It won’t change anything. It won’t bring back the dead.
[just as Hal is about to shoot again, Buck jumps out at him and kills him by pushing into the burning cabin]
[as Buck goes to the mortally wounded Thornton]
John Thornton: You came back.
[Buck brings him his diary and lies down next to him]
John Thornton: Wow, Buck. What an adventure, huh? It’s okay, boy.
[he leans his head against Buck]
John Thornton: You’re home.
[Thornton then succumbs to his wound and dies]
[last lines; Buck returns to the wilderness, where he mates with the white wolf and becomes pack leader]
John Thornton: There is a place in these mountains where a new breed of timber wolf roams, wiser than man or wolf, because of the dog that runs at the head of the pack. Now they live without fear, raise their young, and flourish. Some say, it’s just a legend. Not so. You see, I knew him once when he was just a dog at a man’s side. And even though this land is his, every summer, when he comes down to the valley, he remembers kind hands and old masters, before he went to his own, became his own master, before he heard the call.
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