World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Grizzly (1976 film)

Article Id: WHEBN0003556701
Reproduction Date:

Title: Grizzly (1976 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Joan McCall, Robert O. Ragland, Grizzly (disambiguation), Bart the Bear, National Philharmonic Orchestra
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Grizzly (1976 film)

Promotional movie poster by Neal Adams.
Directed by William Girdler
David Sheldon
Produced by Lloyd N. Adams (executive producer)
Edward L. Montoro
Harvey Flaxman
David Sheldon
Written by Harvey Flaxman,
David Sheldon
Starring Christopher George
Andrew Prine
Richard Jaeckel
Music by Robert O. Ragland
Cinematography William L. Asman
Edited by Bub Asman
Christopher Ness
Distributed by

Columbia Pictures
Film Ventures International (USA, theatrical), Multicom Entertainment Group Inc. ,
Liberty Home Entertainment (DVD)

Paramount pictures (DVD)
Release dates
  • May 16, 1976 (1976-05-16)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $750,000 (estimated)
Box office $39,000,000

Grizzly (also known as Killer Grizzly) is a 1976 Andrew Prine and Richard Jaeckel. Widely considered a Jaws rip-off, Grizzly used many of the same plot devices as its shark predecessor, a huge box office success during the previous year 1975.

In 1983, a sequel Grizzly II: The Predator was shot, but never released. The abortive project provided early roles for both George Clooney. The giant grizzly bear in the film was portrayed by a bear named Teddy who was 11 ft. tall.


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
  • Jaws comparisons 4
  • Sequel 5
    • Synopsis 5.1
  • Home media 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The film opens with a military veteran helicopter pilot and guide Don Stober (Andrew Prine) flying individuals above the trees of a vast national park. He states that the woods are untouched and remain much as they did during the time when the Native Americans lived there.

Two female hikers are breaking camp when one of them is attacked and killed by an unseen animal. The second girl finds apparent safety within a nearby cabin until the creature tears down a wall to reach her. The national park's chief ranger Michael Kelly (Joan McCall), daughter of the park's restaurant owner, decide to follow a Ranger to the primitive campsite to find the two female hikers. They discover the girl's mangled body inside the destroyed cabin. Allison stumbles across the remains of the first girl while photographing the search.

At the hospital, a doctor tells Kelly that the girls were killed by a bear. The park supervisor Charley Kittridge (Joe Dorsey) blames Kelly, saying the bears were supposed to have been moved from the park by him and Naturalist Arthur Scott (Richard Jaeckel) before the tourist season began. Kelly and Kittridge argue over closing the park, and decide to move all hikers off the park's mountain while allowing campers to remain in the lowlands. Kelly calls Scott, who says all bears are accounted for and this specific bear must be unknown to the forest.

Stopping for a break near a waterfall while searching the mountain, a female ranger complains to her male partner that her feet are sore and she is going to go soak them in the stream. Her male partner goes on to search R4 while she approaches the waterfall to soak. She does not see the bear waiting for her under the falls and she is attacked and killed. Kelly recruits the helicopter pilot Stober to assist in the search. Flying above the forest, they see what they believe to be an animal, only to discover the naturalist Scott adorned in an animal skin while tracking the bear. He informs them the animal they are looking for is a prehistoric grizzly bear (a fictional pleistocene Arctodus ursos horribilis) standing at least 15 feet tall. Kelly and Stober scoff at the notion.

At the busy lowland campground, the grizzly tears down a tent and kills a woman. Kelly once again insists on closing the park, but Kittridge refuses. The attacks are becoming a national news story and to counteract this, Kittridge allows amateur hunters into the forest. Kelly, Stober and Scott, now a team, are disgusted by this development. Later, a lone hunter is chased by the bear but he evades the animal on foot, falling into a river and floating to safety. Later that night three hunters find a bear cub, that they believe is the cub of the killer grizzly, so they use it as bait for the mother. But the grizzly finds and eats the cub without the hunters noticing. Scott concludes that the bear must be a male, as only male bears are known to be cannibals. A Ranger at a fire lookout tower on the mountain is attacked by the grizzly, the animal tearing down the structure and killing the Ranger.

Kelly and Kittridge continue to argue over closing the park. Frustrated by the politics of the situation, Scott sneaks away to track the grizzly on his own. On the outskirts of the national park, a mother and child living in a cabin are attacked by the grizzly. The mother is killed while the child survives, but is severely mutilated. Stunned by this development, Kittridge finally allows Kelly to close the park and ban all hunters.

Stober and Kelly now go after the elusive grizzly alone, setting up a trap by hanging a deer carcass from a tree. The grizzly goes for the bait, but suddenly retreats. The men chase the animal through the woods, but it easily outruns them. When they return, they discover the grizzly has tricked them and taken the deer carcass. Tracking on horseback, Scott finds the remains of the carcass and calls Stober and Kelly on the radio. He is going to drag the deer behind his horse and create a trap by leading the grizzly towards them. The grizzly surprises Scott, killing his horse and knocking him unconscious. Later, Scott awakens to find himself alive but half-buried in the ground. The grizzly immediately returns and kills him.

Kelly and Stober discover Scott's body and in despair, decide to return to the helicopter to find the grizzly from the air. They immediately spot the bear in a clearing and quickly land. The grizzly attacks the helicopter, swiping the craft and causing Stober to be thrown clear. The grizzly kills Stober and then turns on Kelly, who frantically pulls a bazooka from the helicopter. Before the bear can reach him, Kelly fires the bazooka at the grizzly, killing the animal instantly. For several seconds, Kelly sadly stares at the burning remains of the grizzly and then walks towards Stober's body.



The idea for Grizzly began when the film's producer and writer Harvey Flaxman encountered a bear during a family camping trip. Co-producer and co-writer David Sheldon thought the idea would make a good film following the success of Jaws. William Girdler discovered the script on Sheldon's desk and offered to find financing as long as he could direct the film. Within a week, Girdler was able to obtain $750,000 in financing from Edward L. Montoro's Film Ventures International movie distribution company.[1]

Grizzly was filmed on-location in Andrew Prine and Richard Jaeckel marked the second time this trio of actors starred together in the same film. They had previously played supporting roles in the 1970 western Chisum starring John Wayne. A Kodiak bear nicknamed "Teddy" performed as the killer grizzly. "Teddy" was 11 feet tall and was the largest bear in captivity at that time. The bear was rented from the Olympic Game Ranch in Sequim, Washington where he was kept behind an electric fence. The crew was protected from the bear by a piece of green string running through the shooting locations, and a ticking kitchen timer. This resembled (to the bear) an electric fence. Actors and crew members were instructed to always stay on the camera side of the string. The bear did not actually roar, so it was tricked into making the motions of roaring by throwing several marshmallows into its mouth and then holding a final marshmallow in front of its face but not throwing it. The bear would stretch for it. The sound was artificially produced. The original artwork for the Grizzly movie poster was created by the popular comic book artist Neal Adams.[4] A novelization by Will Collins was published as well.

Jaws comparisons

Released in May 1976, less than one year after Jaws, Grizzly was criticized as being a thinly veiled rip-off of the now-classic shark thriller.[5][6][7] Like Jaws, Grizzly has an unusually large animal preying upon unsuspecting tourists.

Roy Scheider's Police Chief Martin Brody in Jaws. Kelly must rely on the expertise of naturalist Arthur Scott (Richard Jaeckel), just as Brody recruits marine scientist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss).

Kelly is thwarted by Supervisor Charley Kittridge (Joe Dorsey), who refuses to close the national park for political reasons. In Jaws, Brody is refused permission to close the summer beaches by Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton).

A bounty is put on the grizzly bear, just as an award is offered for the shark in Jaws. The bounty leads to chaos, as hundreds of hunters fill the woods in Grizzly, while huge numbers of boats filled with hunters leave the harbor in Jaws.

During the final hunt for the grizzly bear, Kelly is led by helicopter pilot, Vietnam War veteran and forest guide Don Stober (Andrew Prine), just as Brody's shark expedition is led by boat captain, World War II veteran and sea guide Quint (Robert Shaw).

The bear in Grizzly is killed in similar fashion to the shark in Jaws in that both creatures' destruction is dramatized by a large explosion.


The so-called sequel Grizzly II: The Predator was a nickname for an original film entitled Predator: The Concert filmed in 1985 in Laura Dern, who were discovered by them and were unknown at the time, despite all being from families of popular stars. The main scenes for Grizzly II: The Predator were completed, but before the special effects with a huge electronic-mechanical bear could be used, the executive producer Joseph Proctor disappeared with the funds. The filmed footage of the live bear, however, attacking a live rock concert was also shot in Hungary. There have been attempts to re-cut and film more scenes, but to date, the film has never been released. A bootleg version with the original workprint was released in 2007.


The film centers on Park Ranger Hollister (Steve Inwood), who is at odds with Park Supervisor (Louise Fletcher) over a large rock concert that is going to be held in the area. Hollister fears that the local grizzly bear population might be a danger to the attendees. When a grizzly kills a local poacher and three teens, Hollister begins to track the bear with the help of a bear activist (Deborah Raffin) and a local bear hunter named Bouchard (John Rhys-Davies). In addition, four poachers set out together to try to trap the bear, hoping to gain $100,000 reward money. The suggested 18 ft (5.5 m) grizzly finds its way to the rock concert, making the climatic showdown all the more personal for Hollister as his daughter (Deborah Foreman) is working there backstage.

Home media

Grizzly was released on VHS by Anchor Bay Entertainment. It was released in the LaserDisc format in 1984 by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, but only in Japan.[8] The DVD version of Grizzly was first released on December 2, 1998, and was re-released on DVD by Scorpion Releasing on August 5, 2014. Scorpion Releasing released a limited edition Blu-ray in September 2015 exclusively through Screen Archives Entertainment.[9] This Blu-ray release is limited to 3,000 copies.


  1. ^ "William Girdler, Hollywood Films". Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  2. ^ "Grizzly"Internet Movie Database, Filming locations for . Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Internet Movie Database, Biography of Catherine Rickman". Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Grizzly"Internet Movie Database, Trivia for . Retrieved 2007-05-23. 
  5. ^ "Grizzly"Internet Movie Database, Release Dates for . May 12, 1976. Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  6. ^ Dargis, Manohla (May 13, 1976). "Grizzly"Vincent Canby, Film Review for . Retrieved 2007-05-21. 
  7. ^ Cocks, Jay (June 7, 1976). "Grizzly"J.C., Film Review for . Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  8. ^ "LaserDisc Database - Grizzly (1976)". LaserDisc Database. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Screen Archives Entertainment". =Screen Archives Entertainment. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.