The Revenant Movie Poster

The Leonardo DiCaprio vehicle The Revenant has gotten a lot of buzz—but is it actually any good?

There were a lot of varying opinions regarding this on the most recent episode of Dark Discussions, which is up now: http://www.darkdiscussions.com/Pages/podcast_216.html.

My late father was extremely interested in the Mountain Men and this period in American History spawned by the explorations of Lewis and Clark, so I went into this film with a little bit of knowledge – mostly, though, about keelboats and beaver conservation, to be honest. I’ve chosen what I’d consider reputable resources in case you’d like to know a little more about this fascinating era; perhaps just reading a little bit will whet the appetite.


 A Majority of Scoundrels: An Informal History of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, by Don Berry (Oregon State University Press, 2006) http://amzn.com/0870710893

The Keelboat Age on Western Waters, by Leland Dewitt Baldwin (University of Pittsburgh Press,1941) http://amzn.com/B0006APA6I

The Saga of Hugh Glass: Pirate, Pawnee, and Mountain Man, by John Myers Myers (Bison Books, 1976) http://amzn.com/0803258348


Hugh Glass


Everything you need to know about the real Hugh Glass. Seriously, ignore all the ‘real story’ internet articles and start here. There are even extensive lists of resources and further reading.

Museum of the Fur Trade


Museum of the Mountain Man



The Mountain Men (1999)

Provides a pretty decent overview of that period in history. Great if you want a general background; 92 minutes. https://youtu.be/8MYIItApGPA


The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, by Michael Punke (Picador 2015 re-edition; originally published in 2002) http://amzn.com/1250072689

This is the novel the film was based on.

Man in the Wilderness, by Jack DeWitt (1971) http://amzn.com/B000VO2JM2

This one is tough to find, but it, too, tells pretty much the same story as Punke’s book and was made into a film. If you’re desperate, keep your eyes open at library book sales. I’ve seen copies show up there plenty of times because it’s usually a movie tie-in edition and people tend to dump those.


Man in the Wilderness - Richard Harris

Man in the Wilderness (1971), starring Richard Harris and John Huston (yes, that John Huston).

Instantly Stream on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B000NZX4JQ

DVD (part of a double feature): http://amzn.com/B00132D7Y0


Architectural Digest: “Step Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s New Movie, The Revenant,” by Elizabeth Stamp

Stunning photographs by the film’s production designer Jack Fisk (and a couple of others). Be sure to read the captions – this is fascinating stuff.


The Daily Mail: “Walk on the wild side: The breath-taking real-life landscapes used in the Oscar-nominated Revenant (including the forest where the infamous bear attack was shot),” by Becky Pemberton

This article does a beautiful job of detailing every single shooting location of pretty much every scene in the film.


The Telegraph Interview: “’Raw bison liver is good to eat’: Ray Mears fact-checks The Revenant,” by Rupert Hawksley

Survivalist Ray Mears talks about the film’s level of realism.


About kristipetersenschoonover

A ghost story writer who still sleeps with the lights on, Kristi Petersen Schoonover’s fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies; her traditionally published books include a short story collection, THE SHADOWS BEHIND. She was the recipient of three Norman Mailer Writers Colony Residencies and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. She serves as co-host of the DARK DISCUSSIONS podcast, as founding editor of the dark literary journal 34 ORCHARD, and is a member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers Association. Follow her adventures at kristipetersenschoonover.com.

Posted on February 13, 2016, in Dark Discussions - Film Talk, News and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: