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Bear Island [1979]

Bear Island [1979]

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Joining the expedition via a helicopter is marine biologist Donald Sutherland who, it will transpire, has a link to the island. The brothers find their ice-cold waves and precipitous slopes, while we get the chance two join in on the excitement of shredding arctic snow and cruising the ice cold waves. At the time of the film’s release I was most interested in Christopher Lee’s appearance in a Canadian made feature film. However, several of them turn out to be more interested in the fact that (according to the film) there was a German U-boat base on the island during the Second World War.

Snowcapped and soporific, this adaptation of Alistair Maclean's novel Bear Island is a product from a time when transferring the author's work to the big screen was still a regular occurence even though the output no longer had the pull that they once did. Peter Snell enlisted director Don Sharp, who had worked on an adaptation of MacLean's Puppet on a Chain. I hadn’t seen this film since it came out at the theater and maybe a network debut the following year and upon this revisit, time hasn’t marred my judgement.Donald Sutherland, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Widmark, Christopher Lee and Lloyd Bridges star in this 1979 British-Canadian thriller based on Alistair MacLean's novel, Bear Island. Espionagethriller from 1979 that takes place on a norwegian island near Spitzbergen but was filmed mainly in Canada and Alaska.

I think the isolation of the wintery yet deadly surroundings open up all kinds of possibilities for filmmakers. Amazingly, despite MacLean’s enormous popularity during the 1960s and 1970s, he seems to be a forgotten author today. While not as iconic as Ice Station Zebra, Bear Island is one of the last good MacLean adaptations and the top-notch cast keep things watchable to the bitter end. Finally we have Lloyd Bridges who is a friend to Sutherland and his partner when lesser known actors begin turning up dead. In 1976 Maclean's second wife Mary formed a company with producer Peter Snell, Aleelle Productions, who aimed to make movies based on MacLean novels including Golden Gate, Bear Island, The Way to Dusty Death and Captain Cook.

Snell wanted to make a film that targeted the international market; there would be no Canadian characters and the film was not set in Canada.

Also on the island is a bombed out U-Boat facility and supposedly underground passages and caverns where ships may still exist and as we will learn, the possibility of a fortune in gold bars. G. Wells Kurt Vonnegut Lee Child Loren Eiseley Louise Erdrich Louise Penny Lovecraft and Howard Malcolm X Margaret Atwood Marianne Moore and Her World Mo Willems Neil Gaiman Norman Mailer Octavia Butler Pat LaMarche and the Charles Bruce Foundation P. MacLean’s world of derring-do simply wasn’t cutting it at the box office anymore, not really his fault, but tastes change and his efforts were a casualty of that shift towards different ways of telling stories and indeed different stories.

It doesn't take us long to discover that on board one of the abandoned U-boats is a the stuff to give "Goldfinger' a wet dream - and someone amongst them is determined to secure it. Despite a better cast than most Alistair MacLean adaptations and an interesting Arctic story about Cold War struggles to dominate the globe by weather control, this fast becomes a dodo with such elements as a former U-Boat base, most of the cast's suspiciously Nazi pasts, and an array of Teutonic accents clearly destined to play a large part in the story. American biologist Frank Lansing joins the boat, where he is reunited with his friend Smithy and former colleague Rubin .

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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