Tag Archives: John “Liver-Eating” Johnson

They Say He Wanted to Be a Mountain Man

17 Mar

Jeremiah Johnson is one of my all-time favorite movies. I have watched it so many times that I know what the characters are going to say before they say it. The movie is great on many levels. It has a great story, great scenery and great music. It is the music part that inspired this post.

I have wanted to soundtrack for a long time, but everything I have found is lacking. The music is there but not the words. To me, the narration of Jeremiah Johnson is one of the vital aspects of the movie. The music without the words is missing something.

A couple of weeks ago, I found a copy of the original soundtrack on the Internet and ordered it immediately. Honestly, I paid too much, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. A few days ago, the CD arrived.image

It is more awesome than I thought it would be. It has music, narration and dialogue. Now, I can turn on the old iPod and hear Jeremiah and Bear Claw talking over the spit. Never fear, all of this great stuff has already been uploaded onto the iPod.

The liner notes are also cool and contain details about the people who were involved in the making of the film. There is one part of it that I found very interesting. Some of the people involved felt that Robert Redford played the character in too spiritual of a fashion, and that is something that I have also felt.

A mountain man had a job to do, and that job was to kill animals for large fur companies. They were not there to become one with nature. In Jeremiah Johnson, the main character does a lot of soul-searching and little trapping. He was also a loner, and, from what I have read, mountain men worked in groups.

I have also read that the character of Jeremiah Johnson was based on John “Liver-Eating” Johnson, a mountain man who killed Native Americans to avenge the murder of his wife. As the story goes, he cut out and ate the liver of everyone he killed.

The real Johnson is buried in Cody, Wyoming, and, when I was a kid, we visited his gravesite.

Jeremiah Johnson┬ámisses out on a lot of historical accuracy, but it is still a great movie. It may not be accurate, but it is entertaining. That is what I expect from a movie. Oh, there is one final thing. As Del Gue says, “Keep your nose in the wind and your eye along the skyline.”