The Savage Innocents (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Savage Innocents (1961)

The Savage Innocents




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Anthony Quinn added Eskimo to the many ethnic types he portrayed on film with this drama about a clash of cultures from director Nicholas Ray. Inuk (Quinn) is a typical Eskimo hunter, living proudly as his ancestors did, eking out an existence on the frozen Canadian tundra. When Inuk takes his wife and mother-in-law to a trading post to exchange furs, the family meets a friendly priest (Marco Guglielmi). In time-honored Eskimo custom, Inuk offers the missionary his wife's sexual favors. Offended by the man's rejection, Inuk kills him. Having broken Western law, Inuk is pursued by two Mounties (Peter O'Toole and Carlo Giustini). Slowed down by his wife's elderly mother, he sends the woman out on the ice to perish, another of his people's ancient traditions. The police capture Inuk, but the lawmen and their prisoner encounter severe weather. The Savage Innocents (1959) was the feature debut of actor O'Toole, who objected to the overdubbing of his voice in the finished film.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Hans Ruesch, Franco Solinas, Nicholas Ray
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures


Yoko Tani
as Asiak
Carlo Giustini
as 2nd Trooper
Marie Yang
as Powtee
Peter O'Toole
as 1st Trooper
Andy Ho
as Anarvik
Marco Guglielmi
as Missionary
Francis De Wolff
as Trading Post Proprie...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Savage Innocents

Critic Reviews for The Savage Innocents

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (4)

Art director and editor have done a standout job in matching and cutting so that it is virtually impossible to decide where Pinewood began and Canada came in.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Top Critic

Though scuppered by problems worse than those usually associated with international coproductions, this is nonetheless rather more than just another engaging oddity from Ray.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

His strange, disturbing drama will leave most of its viewers dissatisfied and some outraged, but few will remain indifferent.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Nicholas Ray's epic film about Eskimo life and its remoteness from 'civilized' values represents his first -- and, in many ways, most ambitious -- attempt to break free from the Hollywood studios and forge an independent route.

Full Review… | March 16, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Cinematic coups abound

Full Review… | September 25, 2009

This stunning pictorial account of the way Eskimos live, hunt, love, and die was filmed in the northernmost part of Canada, and the scenes of Eskimos fighting for survival are truly magnificent and deeply moving.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for The Savage Innocents


if one can get past the obvious problems, like racially insensitive casting, animal slaughter and romanticizing native culture, it's quite a remarkable example of outsider cinema. containing peter o'toole's film debut (tho they saw fit to dub his voice), this is still a powerful film. you'll not see nothing like the mighty quinn!

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Anthony Quinn plays an eskimo and for some reason they decided to dub Peter O'Toole

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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