The Savage Innocents 1960 – The Mighty Quinn

Anthony Quinn on good form here giving a good performance as a native Alaskan Inuit and his daily struggles and challenges. A drama which verges on documentary – and for that matter travelogue -  showing the daily challenges and struggles faced by these people.

Great cinematography of the Alaska wilderness its makes you feel as if your right there in the igloo with Inuk and his wife Asiak as they eat whale blubber and hunt seal and birth babies.

The Savage Innocents 2

It gives a feel of life in the Alaskan wilderness. Scenes such as this one above and below looked even more impressive in Cinerama.

The second unit shot some really quite beautiful location footage in the Arctic, and the cinematography throughout is impressive.

The Savage Innocents 3

 

Great scenes like the ones above.

The Savage Innocents

 

I remember seeing this one at the local cinema at the time. Really good but sadly not well known nowadays seemingly.

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It is filmed in  Technirama .

The film is an accurate portrayal of Eskimo customs I would imagine.  Filmed at Pinewood Studios in England – and on location in Alaska.

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It contrasts the cultural practices of Inuit and North American societies at a time when many Inuit people had not yet encountered Western influence.  It is full of memorable performances and terrific, and at that time, unusual scenes.

 Anthony Quinn brings tremendous verve to the role, and there are several other memorable parts by the supporting cast, particularly Peter O’Toole. The film also has Yoko Tani in a leading role.

In the late sixties, Bob Dylan was asked how he came to write the song “Quinn the Eskimo”. He replied that he’d seen this film in which Anthony Quinn played an Eskimo- The Savage Innocents. He wrote the song based on that idea.

 

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