Opportunity – Speech

never cry wolf

From the movie Never Cry Wolf with the lead character, Tyler played by Charles Martin Smith.  He has been in some great movies, Starman (where he plays another scientist), The Untouchables (where he plays and accountant) and American Graffiti (where he plays Terry, aka Frog)

From IMDB: This film dramatizes the true story of Farley Mowat, when he was sent to the Canadian tundra area to collect evidence of the grievous harm the wolf population was allegedly doing to the caribou herds. In his struggle to survive in that difficult environment he studies the wolves, and realizes that the old beliefs about wolves and their supposed threat are almost totally false. Furthermore, he learns that humans represent a far greater threat to the land, and also to the wolves, a species which plays an important role in the ecosystem of the north.  (Although there is some debate how much Farley Mowat actually did in studying the wolves and how true his book was.)

Tyler: [Opening lines: on the train, giving voice-over narration] I just jumped at the opportunity to go. Without even thinking about it, really. Because it opened the way to an old – and very naïve – childhood fantasy of mine: to go off into the wilderness, and test myself against all the dangerous things lurking there. And to find that basic animal that I secretly hoped was hidden somewhere inside myself. I imagined, at that point, I’d become a new man, with a strength and courage I’d never known before.

Tyler: [Continuing his voice-over narration, with rugged Canadian wilderness rolling by] As I traveled north, it was on about the 3rd day that the reality of what I was about to try to do began to seep into my bones… and gather in a knot in the pit of my stomach.

Tyler: [Continuing his voice-over narration, now sitting by a railroad siding, with a huge mound of his expedition supplies piled up nearby] Then I finally reached the end of the line: Nootsak. The sheer bulk of the supplies the Department sent along set me back. Because I had to get not only myself, but all this stuff, another 300 miles into the wilderness.

Tyler: [Narrating] I’d heard some of the tales about the Arctic: the mad trappers, Diamond Tooth Gertie, The Ice-Worm Cocktail and all that. So, I was prepared for things to be a little weird.

Tyler: [Narrating] The only plane in Nootsak belonged to a part-time bush pilot, gambler, and real estate tycoon named Rosie Little. While we were negotiating our deal, he introduced me to this drink that he’d invented. Known locally as “Moose Juice,” it consisted of equal parts Moose Brand Beer and ethyl alcohol. Before I knew it, my old fear of flying evaporated, and I spent all the money I had left… on 24 cases of beer.

Not the whole opening scene, but a good portion of it,  a lot of self narration in this movie, a man alone in the wilderness.

This is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.  Go get it, and watch it on the biggest screen you can.tyler


Bonus Clip, Siskel and Ebert review of Never Cry Wolf.

Categories: Movie Speeches

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1 reply

  1. I just added this to my Netflix queue but I have a feeling I watched it, many, many years ago. We’ll see.

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