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Author Topic: Jonathan of the Bears aka Jonathan degli orsi (1993)  (Read 9544 times)
indio
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« on: February 02, 2005, 12:25:52 AM »

i watched Jonathan of the bears last night. this is a great movie its not as good as keoma, it has a more 1990's feel than a '70's ( wonder why!!) the story is very much like keoma but its also a bit like dances with wolves.
the flashbacks are really great, lots of strong referances about race and enviroment. really good spag. western camera angles to delight too!
is this the last spaghetti western ever made?

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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2005, 01:27:47 PM »

just watched keoma for the first time and i loved it.. the directing was done very well... far past what i expected. is the jonathan of the bears done as well as keoma in terms of directing/editing?

that music though... good lord... 


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indio
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2005, 01:08:35 AM »

the bears isn't as good as keoma its a bit too cheesy. but the music is better. its kinda like a remake of keoma, i think you'd like it though.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2005, 11:15:38 AM »

I watched Jonathan of the Bears for the first time the other day, and thought it was great.  I wrote a few words about it on IMDB, ahem.....

"The Franco Nero and Enzo Castellari collaboration is best known for Keoma, which is generally (and rightly) accepted to be one of the last great Spaghetti Westerns. Filmed twenty years later, this film - although not particularly well known or lauded - stands up to the high quality set by its predecessor.

Jonathan of the Bears continues on the racism themes noted within Keoma, concentrating on an orphan's relationship with the indians and bear that nurtured him following his parent's execution, and the "greedy" white man that has no respect for the nature or beliefs of the natives.

This film is very touching, dealing with the sensitive issue of the plight of the indians and other minority races, whilst maintaining the exciting shootouts that we expect to see in our spaghetti westerns. In particular, the opening sequence that charts the death of Jonathan's parents, and his development from man to boy - the majority of which is shot in black and white - is very moving.

It is not the easiest of films to find, but I would definitely recommend it (particularly for those people that enjoyed Keoma)".


So, as you see, it gets my recommendation.


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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2005, 01:57:02 AM »

great review half soldier!

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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2005, 05:10:42 AM »

Here's to Keoma/Jonathan of the Bears part 3 if rumours of the character/plot of his forthcoming SW are anything to go by!

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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2005, 05:23:20 AM »

REALLY?

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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2005, 05:41:59 AM »

Indio i was just borrowing from the following quote from the "New Spaghetti thread":-
Here's some more information on Enzo G. Castellari's project, mostly from an interview he gave about five months ago [comments in brackets are mine]:

The English title of Gli Implacabili is going to be The Angel, the Brute and the Sage and it's supposed to be an homage to the movies of John Huston and Sergio Leone. [I wonder if they mean John Sturges instead of Huston ] It'll be produced by Mariella Li Sacchi for Factory Films, and the plan is to shoot it in Almeria.
There was a rumour from 2003, that it was to be filmed in Mexico instead of Almeria for financial reasons, but this does not seem to be the case.

The script is by Lorenzo De Luca, Tito Carpi and Enzo Castellari. What follows is a very short summary of the story. Attention SPOILER WARNING! Well, sort of, I guess... highlight the next paragraph to read:


An ambitious senator who wants to become president in Washington is in need of a controversial event to win the election. His plan is to have the Indian [Chief?] Tawanka assasinated to influence voters in his favour.
To achieve this goal he hires a "policeman" named Pinterton [probably one of the Pinkerton detectives but it's spelled with a t in the interview] to find three rogues who'll hunt down the Indian. During the hunt Pinterton finds out that Tawanka went to the land of his ancestors to die there. At the end, the youngest of the three rogues will remain among the Indians, similarly to the ending of "The Magnificent Seven".


Tawanka will be played by Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman of Sioux origin ("Dances With Wolves", "Hidalgo"). Westerman played Chief Tawanka back in Castellari's Jonathan degli orsi (1993) which also starred Franco Nero. [So it's probably the same character in the upcoming film]
Apart from Mickey Rourke there are going to be cameos by Mel Brooks and Quentin

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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2007, 04:35:11 PM »

Arizona Colts review:-

Also watched this last night/this morning-JONATHAN OF THE BEARS...

An odd movie this one. Apparently shot with live sound it appears this was intended with US release in mind but to my knowledge this didn't play anywhere in America. Similar to KEOMA but nowhere near as good.

Nero's family is gunned down at the opening and is raised by a bear cub and a briefly seen guy in a bear suit that remains motionless for the few seconds you see it. He is later taken in by an Indian tribe. He grows up and seeks out those that murdered his family and those same guys have it in for the tribe of Indians that raised him as well.

I'll have to go back and watch the parts I slept through because the film is quite boring. The action scenes are lethargically paced and are unexciting to the extreme in some cases. This is surprising coming from Enzo Castellari who could do wonders with little money. One need to look no further than such films as THE BIG RACKET, 1990: BRONX WARRIORS and THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. Maybe it's because of old age but this was far from Enzo's best action picture. If they had edited about 20 more minutes the action scenes would have flowed better but at 113 minutes the film is overlong.

I don't know if I slept through his scenes or not but Castellari totally wastes David Hess who portrayed Krug in the infamous LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and appeared in numerous Italian horror and action pictures. John Saxon is here as the main villain and even Enzo's dad has a supporting role.

The music is awful. Some of it is okay but the title song plays near constant through the entire film and the lyrics are terrible. The remainder of the music has a folk quality about it.

The  one good thing to be said and the only reason for a repeat viewing is the gorgeous cinematography by Mikhail Agranovich. Enough good cannot be said about it and the locations. Here the film doesn't fumble the ball.

Recommended for KEOMA and Nero fans.

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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007, 05:13:36 AM »

Thanks for the reviews, aside from a poster on the wall behind nero in his keoma dvd interview, i hadn't heard anything about this movie, even on the new fangled 'internet'. does castellari mention it in the commentary track to keoma? (i haven't listened to it yet)
I really enjoyed nero in keoma and companeros so am going to get the franco cleef restoration of this.
BTW Django seems to be an acquired taste, while i love other corbucci's, navaho joe, hellbenders, companeros, i can't get into django -i'll blame the dub

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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2007, 12:35:17 PM »

Most definitely watch DJANGO in its original italian with subs. It's far better. Or even watch it in english with the subs on. You'll see a vast difference in the translations which is more often than not in foreign films not just italian but others as well.

If I'm not mistaken JONATHAN OF THE BEARS wasn't released anywhere and if it was, it was very brief. The film is very, very bad IMO. The cinematography is outstanding though and for me, the only reason I would consider watching it again. Saxon and Hess are totally wasted here. Maybe because of Castellari's age is why this is no where near his earlier productions. If you're a completist, you should have it.

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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2007, 05:26:54 PM »

I started watching the full Franco Cleef uncut version which included an extra 30 minutes footage to my old pan and scan version,but so far all the extra footage is a load of soppy stuff about Jonathan growing up (played by an annoying kid) alongside his baby bear friend so possibly my old version benefits from some cuts,but the Franco dvd looks great. Afro

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mezcal
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2007, 06:27:52 AM »

I've only bought the franco cleef version which i really enjoyed, was expecting the worst when i heard it was a italian / russian collaboration. Great story, excellent acting and cinematography. Didn't feel there was gratuitous soppy-ness with the bear, so don't know what was left out in the p&s version. Highly recommended for fans of Keoma.
Incidently, on the Keoma commentary, castellari talks about a 3rd film in the 'trilogy', did this ever get made?

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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2007, 11:17:51 AM »

Welcome Meszcal enjoyed your mini review.

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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2009, 10:09:12 AM »

Largely agree with Arizona's review: too long and preaching. Melody Robertson (an alias?) though should be mentioned: a pity she didn't show more of her skin. Music much better than Keoma's (no great feat), but not my cup of tea. 6\10.

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