The Savage Innocents


The Savage Innocents (1961)



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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.

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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.

Oct 23, 2007 | Full Review…
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.

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

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

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

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.

Mar 16, 2004 | Full Review…

Cinematic coups abound

Sep 25, 2009 | Full Review…

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.

Oct 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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

The Savage Innocents Quotes

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