The Savage Innocents (1961)

The Savage Innocents (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Savage Innocents Photos

Movie Info

Offering a beautifully photographed and detailed view of Eskimo life in the Canadian north, this epic adventure stars Anthony Quinn and marks the feature film debut of Peter O'Toole. Quinn plays Inuk, an Eskimo hunter who lives the classic pastoral existence in the frozen tundra with his fellow tribes men. Trouble comes in the form of a priest who knows nothing of Innuit ways. In typical fashion, Inuk, who has gone to a white trading post with his wife, mother-in-law and a load of furs to sell, generously offers the priest the comfort of his own wife. The priest indignantly refuses, Inuk gets offended and in accordance with Eskimo law, slays him. Having broken the white man's law, Inuk and his family flee with the Mounties (one of whom is O'Toole-his normally eloquent voice dubbed into a crude pidgin, something to which the actor strongly objected) in hot pursuit. During the ensuing ordeal, the cross-cultural differences behind the problem surface and in the end, an unexpected form frontier justice is enacted.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Paramount Pictures

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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 Proprietor
Show More Cast

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 8, 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 8, 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

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
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


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

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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