White Fang is a 1991 American adventure film directed by Randal Kleiser, starring Ethan Hawke, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Seymour Cassel. Based on Jack London’s novel White Fang, it tells the story of the friendship between a Yukon gold hunter and a wolfdog.
In the late 19th Century, a young explorer named Jack Conroy arrives in Alaska from San Francisco and meets a musher named Skunker and his late father’s buddy Alex Larson, a rugged guide who reluctantly agrees to take Jack to his father’s claim. While on their journey, they are stalked by a large pack of wolves. while resting at a campfire at nightfall, a female wolf manages to lure one of the sled dogs (Digger) away from the group, another wolf appears and chases the dog into the woods, Skunker uses his ammunition to wound one wolf and gives chase to save his dog, but is killed and devoured by the rest of the pack.
Later that night the wolves return but are scared off by Jack and Alex using burning branches. The following morning the wolves attack the two men, but they are saved when another sled team arrives with one of the men fatally shooting a female wolf, her pup (which is half dog) is left to fend for itself. Jack and Alex reach a town where they plan to stay for the winter. A band of Native Americans, meanwhile, find the pup, and the chief names him White Fang.
As spring comes, Jack and Alex resume their quest, but stop off at the Native Americans’ settlement. The chief explains that White Fang has been raised to obey, not to be friendly, but Jack seeks to change that. Jack’s chance comes when he is chased and trapped by a grizzly bear. White Fang intervenes, saving Jack’s life. Jack and Alex later leave the settlement. Not long after, White Fang is later unfairly traded to a brutal dogfighter named Beauty Smith (who earlier stole Jack’s money); he blackmails the Native American for the wolfdog, saying that ownership of a wild animal is considered illegal.
Smith and his gang train White Fang to be vicious in order to enter him into illegal dogfights. White Fang eventually meets his match in a brutal fight against a bulldog, but Jack happens upon the fight and intervenes in the nick of time. Having earlier reached his father’s claim and begun the work of digging for gold, Jack returns with White Fang to the cabin where he seeks to transform White Fang’s vicious and territorial nature.
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