I was once asked what I thought of Robert Redford. My response was immediate. I didn't like him and I thought he was a lousy actor trading on his good looks, though he was certainly a talented director. A short while later the discussion turned to our favorite movies when asked I began naming them: Sneakers, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Last Castle, The Sting, The Great Waldo Pepper, The Natural and finally Jeremiah Johnson. There was a sudden pause in the discussion when the person I was talking to said, "Didn't you just say ...?"
Suddenly I realized I really was a Robert Redford fan. When I had answered the first question I was thinking of the one or two films I didn't like out of the many he has done. One of my favorites, Jeremiah Johnson.
Jeremiah Johnson is based loosely on the life of John "liver eating" Johnson. It is the story of a man seeking anonymity in the mountains while avoiding war, the family he gains and losses and the vendetta that is raised against him by Crow tribes when he is forced to violate their sacred burial grounds. Jeremiah Johnson is filled with some of the most beautiful mountain scenery you will ever see in any film. The film is tender, uplifting, and humorous at points while accurately portraying the dangers of those working the fur trapping trade of the time. The movie flows like a river, never totally standing still, but allowing you to relax and take in the story, the scenery and the characters at a leisurely pace while never leaving you bored. There is always something to capture your attention. Jeremiah Johnson is a film that I never tire of watching. Personally, I think it deserves a place as one of the great movies of its time.