Mountain Men film (1970’s?) ends with fugitive shot on ridge


I saw this film on terrestrial TV in South Africa around 1990.  Being a very young child then, only vague details of the film are being recalled.  It will be great if you guys can help remember the movie.

The film was in English and in colour.  I guess the production date was in the 1970’s, but could be anything from the late 60’s to early 80’s.

The film was set in the snowy mountains of the North American wilderness.

The plot revolved around a mountain man/trapper type being pursued by the authorities through the wilderness.

The authorities were assisted by an expert tracker (Indian perhaps?).

In one scene a main character shaves his beard with an ax whilst in the wilderness.  This might have been the protagonist or the leader of the pursuit.

The climax of the film happens when the authorities closes the gap on the wanted man.  He however manages to scale a treacherous, steep, snowy ridge to stay out of the hands of the pursuit down in the valley.  As the protagonist pauses on the ridge to survey the magnificent landscape and his newfound freedom on the other side, a marksman from the pursuing party in the valley manages to hit him with a shot.

I think the protagonist then falls over the ridge to the other side, never to be seen again     OR      the protagonist falls back into an avalanche, never to be seen again.



7 thoughts on “Mountain Men film (1970’s?) ends with fugitive shot on ridge

  1. Thanks for the suggestion, Livinghead.

    No, the film wasn’t Death Hunt (1981).

    You reminded me however, that the film was almost certainly a portrayal is of Albert Johnson and a series of true events that took place in the Yukon and Northwest Territories in 1931.

    The story of Albert Johnson, the “Mad Trapper of Rat River”, was filmed four times in nine years!
    i) The Mad Trapper (1972)
    ii) Challenge to be Free (1975)
    iii) A comedy version in 1978 that went unfinished.
    iv) Death Hunt (1981)

    Challenge to be Free (1975) seem to be the answer. The hatchet shaving scene at 1:12:40, and the ridgeline escape climax scene at 1:23:30 fits my memory of the film.
    Death Hunt is missing the hatchet shaving scene, and the ridgeline scene at 1:30:46 is not the same.
    I couldn’t find a copy of The Mad Trapper (1972) in any online film library to review.

    Thanks for your help Livinghead!

  2. So glad I found this thread lol. I have been wondering what the name of this movie is for over 40 years. My memory was that he had shot the side of the mountain to create the avalanche himself, so that he would not be captured. Powerful stuff for a 9 year old. It may have entered my psyche around freedom and nature. Thanks!

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