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Wolfpen Principle

(Libre comme des loups en cage)

Year: 1973
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 85 min
Director: Jack Darcus
Producer: Werner Aellen
Executive Producer: R McMullan
Writer: Jack Darcus
Cinematographer: Terry Hudson, Hans Klardie
Editor: Raymond Hall
Sound: Zale Dalen
Music: Don Druick
Cast: Vladimir Valenta, Doris Chilcott, Lawrence Brown, Alicia Ammon, Tom Snelgrove, Janet Wright
Production Company: Image Flow Centre Ltd.

Henry Manufort (Vladimir Valenta) is approaching middle age and has a comfortable, moderately successful life with his simple-minded but adoring wife (Doris Chilcott). The general emptiness of his life, combined with his dependence on the generosity of his in-laws (Alicia Ammon and Tom Snelgrove), leads Henry to pay nightly visits to a group of wolves caged in a zoo. There he meets a young Native man, John A. MacDonald Smith (Lawrence Brown), who has followed the wolves from his northern home and plans to free them. He enlists Henry’s help and the ensuing events cause Henry to lose his family and his job – everything, in fact, to which he is obligated. Smith, disillusioned by the results of their enterprise, is about to give up and become a "city Indian" when the two meet again and leave for a new start in the northern wilderness.

This low-budget comedy-drama by Jack Darcus remains an impressive work. Simultaneously comic and eerie, Wolfpen Principle is brilliantly acted and staged. Though widely praised by critics on its release, it failed to reach a large audience.

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