Friday, February 8, 2019

The Mad Trapper

The Mad Trapper – English title

A 1972 British television production [David Cobham Productions (London)]
Producer: David Cobham
Director: David Cobham
Story: Dick North      
Teleplay: Antony Penikett
Photography: Ken Westbury
Music: Larry Adler (color)
Running time: 75 minutes

Sarge – Richard Arlen (Alfred Alderdice)
Ernie – Joe Austin
R.C.M.P. Carter – Brandon Brady
The Mad Trapper – Del Henney
Eames – Neil McCallum
King – Dan McDonald
R.C.M.P. Officer Millen – George R. Robertson

“The Mad Trapper” is a 1972 British made-for-television docudrama film. “The Mad Trapper” is based on a 1931 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pursuit of a trapper named Albert Johnson, the reputed "Mad Trapper of Rat River".

In the Yukon, an American trapper (Del Henney) attempts to live in peace but is aware that other trappers resent his presence. When he is confronted by rival trappers, they bring along Millen (George R. Robertson), the local RCMP officer. Feeling intimidated, the trapper fights back, shooting his way out of his cabin, killing Millen and embarking on a desperate attempt to escape the authorities. The hazardous trek through the Arctic in the middle of winter becomes an epic manhunt, led by "Sarge" (Richard Alden). The RCMP eventually employ dog teams, radio and aircraft to bring down their prey.

[Does the storyline of “The Mad Trapper” sound familiar? A later film exploring the same event was “Challenge to Be Free (aka Mad Trapper of the Yukon and Mad Trapper)” (1975) directed by Tay Garnett and stars Mike Mazurki. A later fictionalized account, “Death Hunt” (1981), also based on the story of the RCMP pursuit of Albert Johnson, was directed by Peter R. Hunt, and starred Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Carl Weathers.]

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