Iceman (1984)

PG | 101 mins | Drama, Science fiction | 13 April 1984

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Cinematographer:

Ian Baker

Editor:

Billy Weber

Production Designers:

Leon Ericksen, Josan Russo, Graeme Murray

Production Company:

Huron Productions
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HISTORY

The following onscreen quotation appears as both a prologue and epilogue: “I, who was born to die/Shall live./That the world of animals/And the world of men/ May come together/I shall live. – Inuit Legend.”
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers would like to thank: The People of Churchill, Manitoba, Vancouver and Stewart, British Columbia; Dianne Neufeld, British Columbia Film Promotion Office; Dave Hardon, General Manager of Alpha Cine Service; National Research Council Canada; Pelco Co.; Varian Instrument Group,” “Mata Hari™ and Supersonic™ Pinball Machines Machines provided courtesy of Bally Midway Mfg. Co.,” and, “Filmed at Panorama Studios and on location in Churchill, Manitoba, and Stewart, British Columbia.”
       A 5 Nov 1980 DV news brief announced that producer Norman Jewison would “likely” direct the film. However, a 2 Sep 1981 Var news item stated that John Irvin would direct. A 9 Sep 1982 DV news article reported a budget of $10 million and the hiring of Australian director Fred Schepisi. According to 11 Dec 1981 DV , Universal Pictures acquired the project in turnaround from United Artists. A 8 Dec 1982 ^Var brief stated that Canadian actor August Schellenberg auditioned for a “key role.” However, his name does not appear in onscreen credits.
       DV production charts on 25 Feb 1983 announced that principal photography began 21 Feb 1983. Although a 30 Mar 1983 Var article stated that Schepisi broke his leg during production in BC, and was back directing the next day, a 29 Mar 1984 HR news item reported that the incident occurred in northern ... More Less

The following onscreen quotation appears as both a prologue and epilogue: “I, who was born to die/Shall live./That the world of animals/And the world of men/ May come together/I shall live. – Inuit Legend.”
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers would like to thank: The People of Churchill, Manitoba, Vancouver and Stewart, British Columbia; Dianne Neufeld, British Columbia Film Promotion Office; Dave Hardon, General Manager of Alpha Cine Service; National Research Council Canada; Pelco Co.; Varian Instrument Group,” “Mata Hari™ and Supersonic™ Pinball Machines Machines provided courtesy of Bally Midway Mfg. Co.,” and, “Filmed at Panorama Studios and on location in Churchill, Manitoba, and Stewart, British Columbia.”
       A 5 Nov 1980 DV news brief announced that producer Norman Jewison would “likely” direct the film. However, a 2 Sep 1981 Var news item stated that John Irvin would direct. A 9 Sep 1982 DV news article reported a budget of $10 million and the hiring of Australian director Fred Schepisi. According to 11 Dec 1981 DV , Universal Pictures acquired the project in turnaround from United Artists. A 8 Dec 1982 ^Var brief stated that Canadian actor August Schellenberg auditioned for a “key role.” However, his name does not appear in onscreen credits.
       DV production charts on 25 Feb 1983 announced that principal photography began 21 Feb 1983. Although a 30 Mar 1983 Var article stated that Schepisi broke his leg during production in BC, and was back directing the next day, a 29 Mar 1984 HR news item reported that the incident occurred in northern Canada and the director had to be “stretchered” to and from the set. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jun 1984
p. R-71.
Daily Variety
5 Nov 1980.
---
Daily Variety
11 Dec 1981.
---
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1982.
---
Daily Variety
25 Feb 1983.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Mar 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 1984.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Apr 1984
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
18 Apr 1984
Section H, p. 1, 6.
New York Times
13 Apr 1984
p. 10.
Variety
2 Sep 1981.
---
Variety
8 Dec 1982.
---
Variety
30 Mar 1983.
---
Variety
11 Apr 1984
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Norman Jewison/Patrick Palmer production
A Fred Schepisi film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
Canadian crew: Prod mgr
Canadian crew: Unit mgr (Stewart, British Columbia
Canadian crew: 2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Key focus
2d cam asst
Still photog
Key grip
Gaffer
Video eng
Video eng
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
Asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
SET DECORATORS
Const coord
Prop master
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward head
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus scoring mixer
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Sd ed staff
Sd ed staff
Sd ed staff
A.D.R. ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Head eff coord
Eff best boy
Main title des
Titles and opt
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Spec makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod assoc
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Mr. Palmer
Asst to Mr. Palmer
Asst to Mr. Jewison
Prod asst
Prod asst
Loc casting
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Accounts clerk
Accounts clerk
Snow safety adv
Transportation coord
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Medical consultant
Linguistics consultant
Res consultant
Animal handler
Animal handler
Craft service/1st aid
Unit pub
STAND INS
Stunt double "Charlie"
Stunt double "Charlie"
Stunt double "Shephard"
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 April 1984
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 13 April 1984
New York opening: week of 13 April 1984
Production Date:
began 21 February 1983 in Vancouver and Stewart, BC, and Churchill, MB, Canada
Copyright Claimant:
Univeral City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 May 1984
Copyright Number:
PA211604
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Lenses
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
101
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Canada, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27277
SYNOPSIS

Somewhere in Arctic Exploration Area 17, an important anthropological discovery is found frozen in a glacier. The specimen is transported in a block of ice to the nearby Polaris Mining & Chemical company research facility. The head of the facility, Dr. Diane Brady, summons Dr. Stanley Shephard, an anthropologist, to examine the specimen. Meanwhile, Polaris executive Whitman arrives from Houston, Texas, to evaluate the commercial value of the find. Shephard identifies it as a 40,000-year-old Neanderthal. When Brady and Whitman decide to ship parts of the man to various research universities in the U.S., Shephard pleads to be allowed to study the whole man. A thawing process begins and Brady’s medical team detects brain activity. The Neanderthal awakens and is frightened by the masked doctors and scientists who surround him. Shephard removes his surgical scrubs and the man calms when he sees the anthropologist’s bearded face. Later, the Neanderthal is sedated, and Whitman asks what the discovery means to the company. Dr. Singe, the lead surgeon, suggests a Nobel Prize for advancement in cryogenics. Dr. Brady explains that people with illnesses such as cancer could be frozen until a cure is discovered. Dr. Shephard, however, realizes this means dissecting the Neanderthal, and he argues that the man is much more valuable alive. Human origins could be studied, rather than preserving life on an already overcrowded planet. Shephard convinces Brady to allow him to study the Neanderthal for two weeks in a controlled environment called the Vivarium. When the caveman awakens, he forages for food, creates weapons for hunting, and builds a fire. Soon, however, he tests the geographic limits of his artificial “home.” The man realizes he is a ... +


Somewhere in Arctic Exploration Area 17, an important anthropological discovery is found frozen in a glacier. The specimen is transported in a block of ice to the nearby Polaris Mining & Chemical company research facility. The head of the facility, Dr. Diane Brady, summons Dr. Stanley Shephard, an anthropologist, to examine the specimen. Meanwhile, Polaris executive Whitman arrives from Houston, Texas, to evaluate the commercial value of the find. Shephard identifies it as a 40,000-year-old Neanderthal. When Brady and Whitman decide to ship parts of the man to various research universities in the U.S., Shephard pleads to be allowed to study the whole man. A thawing process begins and Brady’s medical team detects brain activity. The Neanderthal awakens and is frightened by the masked doctors and scientists who surround him. Shephard removes his surgical scrubs and the man calms when he sees the anthropologist’s bearded face. Later, the Neanderthal is sedated, and Whitman asks what the discovery means to the company. Dr. Singe, the lead surgeon, suggests a Nobel Prize for advancement in cryogenics. Dr. Brady explains that people with illnesses such as cancer could be frozen until a cure is discovered. Dr. Shephard, however, realizes this means dissecting the Neanderthal, and he argues that the man is much more valuable alive. Human origins could be studied, rather than preserving life on an already overcrowded planet. Shephard convinces Brady to allow him to study the Neanderthal for two weeks in a controlled environment called the Vivarium. When the caveman awakens, he forages for food, creates weapons for hunting, and builds a fire. Soon, however, he tests the geographic limits of his artificial “home.” The man realizes he is a captive and becomes enraged, forcing Loomis, a staffer, to tranquilize him. Brady and Singe remove the Neanderthal from the Vivarium, and inform Shephard that his research is over. That night, Shephard convinces Brady to give him another try at studying the Neanderthal. Back in the Vivarium, as Shephard approaches the primitive man attacks him. Pinning Shephard to the ground, he attempts to determine if they are the same species and gender. Satisfied, he communicates through grunts and groans, and Shephard names him, “Charlie.” Shephard requests that linguist Professor Mabel Chapman be brought in to determine the parameters of Charlie’s language skills. After earning the Neanderthal’s trust, Shephard teaches Charlie rudimentary English words. Mabel marvels at Charlie’s native vocabulary. That night, Shephard sings the Neil Young song, “Heart of Gold,” and Charlie responds with a song of his own. Later, against Shephard’s wishes, Brady and Singe attempt to refreeze Charlie, searching for a naturally produced “cryoprotectant” that may have preserved him. However, the experiment fails and Charlie nearly dies. When he returns to the Vivarium, he discovers a puncture wound from the procedure and pleads with Shephard to kill him, but the anthropologist refuses. Shephard demands that Brady stop the experimentation. She reluctantly agrees to visit Charlie in the enclosure. Charlie examines Brady, and when he determines she is female, he offers Shephard a trade for her. Charlie draws hieroglyphics in the dirt, indicating he had a wife and two children and wants to know where they are. A helicopter flies over the enclosure and Charlie becomes disturbed, climbing toward the large skylight and shouting the word, “beeta.” Shephard visits an Inuit tribe and learns of an Eskimo myth about a large bird-like god, a trickster who might carry a person to heaven, or to a place of judgment. Shephard hypothesizes that Charlie may have been on a “dreamwalk,” or quest, to find the god to save his people when he was flash-frozen. Now that Charlie believes he saw the god, in the form of the helicopter, he will think of nothing else. For thirty-six hours, Charlie chants and makes ritual preparations. He then escapes the Vivarium and makes his way inside the facility. He is confused by such modern items as glass doors, a photocopy machine, and an elevator, and grows agitated. One of the scientists, Maynard, surprises him in a laboratory, and Charlie spears him. An alarm sounds, further inciting Charlie, and he escapes outdoors. A helicopter attempts to land and Charlie, believing it to be his god, chases it, but is struck by the landing skids and knocked unconscious. Afterward, Brady, Singe, and Shephard debate what to do, but Whitman declares that the research is over. Brady, however, plans to stabilize Charlie, then fly him to the U.S., where he can be studied. Shephard argues they should release him and allow Charlie to finish his quest. With Loomis’ help, Shephard sneaks Charlie out of the facility. At the facility, Charlie’s absence is discovered, and two snowmobiles and a helicopter are dispatched to find him. Shephard and Charlie return to the glacier where the Neanderthal was discovered. The ice shelves around them begin collapsing and the two men are separated by a crevasse. The helicopter appears overhead and Charlie reacts, grabbing hold of the landing skid, and he is carried high into the sky. The helicopter pilot offers Charlie his hand, but the Neanderthal releases his grip, and falls into the crevasse. As he watches, the expression on Shephard’s face changes from horror to happiness, as he realizes that Charlie has achieved his dreamwalk. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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