I remember being a kid and watching the Grizzly Adams television show. When I think of it there is a nostalgic feel that washes over me. It belongs to a different time in television’s history. A time where shows like Little House on the Prairie, The Waltons and The Dukes of Hazzard were all popular. Families could sit down and watch television together and parents did not have to worry about objectionable content or their kids being bored.
Grizzly Adams (Dan Haggerty – The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams) was about a man who lived in the wild and had a brown bear named Ben as a pet. Though he was popular because his gentle and kind ways some were jealous of Grizzly. That kind of man was Frank Biggs (Chuck Connors – Airplane II: The Sequel). Biggs had a cruel heart and money to back it up. He had managed through his influence and intimidation to have Grizzly framed for a murder he did not commit. To escape capture and hanging, Grizzly went off to live in the wilderness.
After making a life there for years he finds out that his young daughter Peg (Sydney Penny – Pale Rider) is now an orphan and will be sent to live at the orphanage. Not about to let that happen Grizzly sneaks back into town with the intention of taking Peg away to live with him. Unfortunately he is seen by Biggs and his men and during their pursuit of him Grizzly is shot in the leg. Not able to get around very well it seems like he and Peg and going to be captured when they are helped by Kate (Kim Darby – True Grit – 1969, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers).
Despite her help Grizzly is eventually captured and stands trial for murder. Briggs has intimidated some of the witnesses and as such Grizzly is found guilty and is sentenced to hang. Just as he is about to be hung a tornado whips through down destroying everything in its path. The tornado provides Grizzly with the perfect cover to escape. Will he do so or will he be the honourable man?
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams was initially a film that was released in theatres and then it became a television series. Fans were disappointed when it was suddenly and prematurely cancelled. There wasn’t enough time to even give it a proper send off, so they released this television movie shortly afterwards.
Despite the poor quality of the picture it is still an enjoyable watch. Again, it is from a different era (30 years ago) so that has to be taken into account. This was released in 1982 as a Movie of the Week. For people 40 and over there will be a sense of nostalgia while watching it and it will bring back memories of the television series. Though the production values are not the best though can be overlooked due to the general warm-hearted feelings and good clean entertainment the film provides