Gentle Times for Grizzly Adams
Were you a child during the 70s or 80s who have fond memories of TV programs you use to watch as a child? If so then you are like me who wistfully thinks back to various TV shows I loved as a child and wish they would show them again. So when I stumbled across an old video recording of "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" the 1974 movie which starred Dan Haggerty as James Capen Adams I sat back and knew I was going to be in for a journey back to my childhood. The irony of this is that I only ever saw the TV series which came about after the movie but that didn't matter as watching Dan Haggerty as the mountain man who is friends with animals was enough to make me wish I was a young child again.
Now I will be the first to say that "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" is not going to be for everyone as it is a gentle, sweet movie which is mainly about watching James Adams becoming a mountain man and friend to creatures great and small especially the bear cub he rescues and names Benjamin Franklin. Oh there is more to it than that, there is the set up of Adams heading to the hills and leaving his 8 year old daughter behind because of being charged with a crime he didn't commit. And there is also the story of his daughter finding him many years later when his name is cleared and he can head home but as I said most of the movie is about Adams, Animals and becoming a mountain man along with an Indian called Nakoma.
As such what we get is scene after scene of Dan Haggerty with various animals from feeding a deer to stroking a badger plus of course the friendship he has with Ben the bear who is playful and inquisitive. Now it doesn't sound much but these are innocently beautiful scenes which even as a grown up made me smile. And the reason why this works is because Dan Haggerty exudes warmth as James Adams through his gentle nature, the way he is with animals and his smile. Plus there is William Woodson who narrates the movie, yes I did say narrates as this is one of those movies which doesn't feature much direct character dialogue rather than a narration which informs us of what is going on in each scene but is perfect for the tone of the movie.
What this all boils down to is that if like me you often reminisce about your childhood and shows you use to watch then "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" from 1974 is like a warm blanket wrapped around you as you remember those innocent times.