Jeremiah Johnson 1972

Jeremiah Johnson

Critics Consensus

Jeremiah Johnson's deliberate pace demands an investment from the viewer, but it's rewarded with a thoughtful drama anchored by a starring performance from Robert Redford.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,903

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Movie Info

A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Woefully unequipped for the task at hand, Johnson is fortunate to come across a seasoned mountain man (Will Geer) willing to teach him the necessary survival tactics. As life continues in the mountains, Johnson finds himself a native bride (Delle Bolton) and an adopted son (Josh Albee). However, their peaceful existence is threatened when Johnson incurs the ire of the Crow Indians.

Cast & Crew

Robert Redford
Jeremiah Johnson
Will Geer
Bear Claw
Joaquín Martínez
Paints His Shirt Red
Richard Angarola
Chief Two-Tongues Lebeaux
Paul Benedict
Reverend Lindquist
John Milius
Screenwriter
Edward Anhalt
Screenwriter
Joe Wizan
Producer
Tim McIntire
Original Music
John Rubinstein
Original Music
Duke Callaghan
Cinematographer
Thomas Stanford
Film Editor
Ted Haworth
Art Director
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Critic Reviews for Jeremiah Johnson

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (1)

  • The dialogue is spare, the scenery the real star. Satisfying and impressive.

    November 17, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Director Sydney Pollack has given a skilled, observant mounting as he carefully allows the man to grow in experience and knowhow.

    May 26, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • A flawed but immensely appealing film.

    June 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • There are momoments of great beauty and terror and deeply earned pathos. There are as well such not-so-incidental pleasures as John Rubinstein's lovely and serviceable musical score, and a cast of excellent supporting actors.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Anyone who likes looking at Robert Redford or mountain landscapes or both will be very happy.

    November 17, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Episodic in structure, the film is kept constantly interesting by its director who fills the screen with colourful little anecdotes

    November 17, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jeremiah Johnson

  • Aug 29, 2013
    I don't understand. The ratings for this movie say that 90% of people like it, but the movie seemed to plod along too slowly for me.
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Jan 28, 2012
    Amazing cinematography work set againt pictureesque sceneary, a great musical score, excellent script, and strong performances (especially from Redford) make this a turly memorable western/frontier movie. It doesn't attempt to simplify or reduce the hardships of mountain life, and has a surprisingly nuanced and fair view of the relationship between indians and settlers. It also has a philosophical tone, one that is organic to the material and subtle. Gritty, realistic, and enigmatic, Jeremiah Johnson is certainly one of the best 'westerns' (using the term loosely) of the 70s. 4.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 07, 2012
    Pollack and Redford's 1972 western is some kind of wonderful masterpiece. The bare bones plot involves a veteran of the Mexican War named Jeremiah Johnson who seeks to leave civilization behind and make a new life for himself as a mountain man. He struggles at first, but soon becomes a seasoned veteran who eventually comes to find his place in the world, even if it means enduring some great hardships and tough lessons along the way. This is definitely a film both of its time, and way ahead of it, especially with the portrayal of Native Americans being very balanced, fair, and differentiating between the many types of tribes and cultures. Dances With Wolves did this too, but this one came first...it just didn't quite get the same amount of acclaim and exposure. I loved how there's a lack of subtitles and how much of the film in general is told visually, forcing the viewer to focus on facial expressions and body language to pick up on what's going on. This is definitely a winning case of showing instead of telling. And it's also pretty funny too, with much of the comic relief coming from Will Geer and Stefan Gierasch, who, along with Redford and the rest of the cast all deliver some top notch work. Now that I think about it, there's really not a whole lot wrong with it. The cinematography and location shooting are excellent and things look great, the music is decent, and this is one of those films that was made at a time when you could still make them like this and not have to worry about too much tinkering and interference. Yeah, the film does become really formless and plot free at times, but I didn't mind that a whole lot since it really is more of a character study anyway. The film might not be for all tastes, but if you tend to enjoy revisionist westerns that are made with care, respect, and authenticity, then you'll find a lot to love here. Highly recommended. Solid A (to a near A+)
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 05, 2011
    A remnant of the late sixties culture that spawned the viewpoints here, here is western take on Robert Frost's road less traveled. More a character study than out and out shoot-'em-up, Pollack reasons that even if a man were to draw apart from the cares of civilization sooner or later that civilization - or another - would draw him out again. No man is an island. A decent piece of work.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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