Directed By: James Neilson
Year of Production: 1967
Running Time: N/A
Catalogue No: AA01 099
Release Date: 1980
Other IFS release: Iver Film Services ( )
Dennis Weaver, Clint Howard, Vera Miles, Ralph Meeker, Huntz Hall, Charles Martin, Rance Howard, Frank Schuller, Robertson White, Ric O'Feldman, James Riddle, Jerry Newby, Frank Logan, Alfred Metz, Levirne Debord
Originally promoted with the tagline: "A wisp of a boy...A ton of bear...And a whole angry town trying to tear them apart", comes this family-orientated picture from frequent Western filmmaker and television director, James Neilson...
Clint Howard (filmmaker Ron Howard's younger brother) plays Mark Wedlow, a young lad who befriends a "giant" bear, aptly named "Gentle Ben", a young black bear cub which was hiding from local poachers - a motley casted trio, headed by genre tough guy Ralph Meeker. Mark's parents (endearingly played by screen veterans Dennis Weaver and Vera Miles) give solid support.
Together Mark and Ben face-off against all the odds, as forces would seek to tear them apart in this heart warming family drama, which is guaranteed to get the tears flowing!
Originally released under the VIDEORAMA banner. See trade advert in "IFS Adverts!" for more details, together with its Super-8mm record [see above link] which further expands upon this obscure release.
A sequel followed, which was aptly called "Gentle Ben", featuring pretty much the same cast with one notable exception being that Vera Miles did not reprise her role as Ellen Wedlow, Mark's mother. Instead, the role went to 70's screen starlet, Beth Brickell.