​Grizzly is a 1976 horror film directed by William Girdler, about a 15-foot tall, monstrous grizzly bear that terrorizes a National Forest. It stars Christopher George, Andrew Peine and Richard Jaeckel. Widely considered a Jaws rip-off Grizzly ​used many of the same plot devices as its shark predecessor, which had been a huge box office success during the previous year. The giant grizzly bear in the film was portayed by a bear namd teddy who was 11 ft tall. 


The film opens miliary veteran helicopter pilot and guide Don Stober (Prine) flying individuals above the trees of a vast national park. He states that the woods are untoched and remain mush as they did during the time when Native Americans lived there.

Two female hikers are breaking camp when they are suddenly attacked and killed by an unseen animal. The national park's chief ranger Michael Kelly (George) and protographer Allson Corwin (Joan McCall) daughter of the park's restaurante owner decide to follow a ranger to the primitive campsite to check on the female hikers. There they discover the mangled corpses of the two girls one of which has been partially buried.

At the hospital, a doctor tells Kelly that the girls were killed by a bear. The park supervisor Charley Kittridge (Joe Dorsey) balmes Kelly for the attacks saying that the bears were supposed to have been moved from the park by Kelly and naturalist Arthur Scott (Jaeckel) before the tourist season Kelly and Kittridge argue over closing the park before deciding to move all hikers off the park's mountain while allowing campers to remain in the lowlands. Kelly calls Scott who tells him that all of the bears are accounted for and this specific bear must be unknown to the forest.

During a search of the mountain a female ranger stops for a break at a waterfall. Deciding to soak her feet she is unaware that the bear is lurking under the falls and she is attacked and killed. Kelly recruits the helicopter pilot Stober to assist in the search. Flying above the forest, they see what they believe to be an animal, only to discover the naturalist Scott adorned in an animal skin whlie tracking the bear. He informs them that the animal they are looking for is a prehistoric grizzly bear standing at least 15 feet tall. Kelley and Stober scoff at the notion.

At the busy lowland campground, the grizzly tears down a tent and kills a woman. Kelly once again insists on closing the park, but Kittridge refuess. The attacks are becoming a national news story, and to counteract this, Kittridge allows amateur hunters into the forest. Kelly, Stober, and Scott, now a team, are disgusted by this development. Later, a lone hunter is chased by the bear, but he manages to escape the animal by jumping into a river and floating to safety. Later that night, three hunters find a bear cub that they believe is the cub of the killer grizzly, so they use it as bait for the mother. However, the grizzly finds and eats the cub without the hunters noticing. Scott concludes that the bear must be a male, as when it comes to bears, only the males are known to be cannibalistic and deadly. A ranger at a fire lookout tower on the mountain is attacked by the grizzly, the animal tearing down the structure and killing the ranger.   

Kelly and Kittridge continue to argue over closing the park. Frustrated by the politics of the situation, Scott sneaks away to track the grizzly on his own. On the outskirts of the national park, a mother and her young child are attacked by the grizzly. The mother is killed, while the child survives, albeit severely mutilated. Stunned by this development, Kittridge finally allows Kelly to close the park and ban all hunters.

Stober and Kelly now go after the elusive grizzly alnoe, setting up a trap by hahing a deer carcass from a tree. The grizzly goes for the bait, but suddenly retreats. The men chase the animal through the woods, but it easily outruns them. When they return, they discover the grizzly has tricked them and taken the deer carcass. Scott, tracking on horseback, finds the remains of the carcass and calls Stober and Kelly on the radio. He is going to drag the deer behind his horse and create a trap by leading the grizzly towards them. However, the grizzly ambushes Scott, killing his horse and knocking him unconscious. He subsequently awakens to find himself alive but half buried in the ground. Before he can dig himself out, the grizzly returns and immediately kills him.

Kelly and Stober discover Scott's mutilated body and, in despair, return to the helicoper to track the grizzly from the air. They soon spot the bear in a clearing and quickly land. The grizzly attacks the helicopter, swiping the craft and causing Stober to be thrown clear. the grizzly kills Stober before turning on Kelly, who frantically pulls a bazooka from the helicopter. Before the bear can reach him, Kelly fires the bazooka at the grizzly, blowing it to pieces and finally killing the animal. For several seconds, Kelly sadly stares at the burning remains of the grizzly, before walking towards Stober's body.

List of deathsEdit

Name Cause of Death Killer On Screen Notes
Margaret Rogers Arm severed and mauled The Grizzly Yes
June Hamilton Mauled The Grizzlt Yes
Ranger Gail Mauled The Grizzly Yes
Sally Walker Mauled The Grizzly Yes
Ranger Tom Fell to death and landed on watchlower The Grizzly Yes
Bobby's Mother Crushed with bear hug The Grizzly Yes
Arthur Scott Mauled The Grizzly No
Don Stober Crushed with bear hug The Grizzly Yes
The Grizzly Shot and blown up with grenade launcher Michael Kelly Yes


  • Christopher George - Michael Kelly
  • Andrew Prine - Don Stober
  • Richard Jaeckel - Arthur Scott
  • Joan McCall - Allison Corwin
  • Joan Dorsey - Charley Kittridge
  • Charles Kissinger - Dr. Hallitt
  • Mike Clifford - Pat
  • Teddy - bear

Production Edit

The idea for Grizzly began when the film's producer and writer, Harvey Flaxman, encountered a bear during a family camping trip. Co-producer and co-writer David Sheldon thought the idea would make a good film following the success of Jaws. Girdler discovered the script on Sheldon's desk and offered to find financing as long as he could direct the film. Within a week, Girdler was able to obtain $750,000 in financing from Edward L. Montoro's Film Ventures International movie distribution company.

Grizzly was filmed on location in Clayton, Georgia, with many local residents cast in supporting roles. Catherine Rickman, who played one of the first victims, was actually the daughter of Clayton's mountain man, Frank Rickman. Though unintentional, the casting of George, Prine, and Jaeckel marked the second time this trio of actors starred together in the same film. They had previously played supporting roles in the Western Chisum (1970) starring John Wayne. A Kodiak bear nicknamed Teddy performed as the killer grizzly. Teddy was 11 feet tall and was the largest bear in captivity at that time. The bear was rented from the Olympic Game Ranch in Sequim, Washington, where he was kept behind an electric fence. The crew was protected from the bear by a piece of green string running through the shooting locations, and a ticking kitchen timer. This resembled (to the bear) an electric fence. Actors and crew members were instructed to always stay on the camera side of the string. The bear did not actually roar, so it was tricked into making the motions of roaring by throwing several marshmallows into its mouth and then holding a final marshmallow in front of its face but not throwing it. The bear would stretch for it. The sound was artificially produced.

The original artwork for the Grizzly movie poster was created by popular comic book artist Neal Adams. A novelization by Will Collins (pseudonym of Edwin Corley) was published in 1976 by Pyramid Books.

External links Edit

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