Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Hugh Glass’s incredible story in Revenant, who survived wounded and isolated in the North Dakota winter. Here is the plot and the true story that inspired the film.
Revenant – Redivivo is a 2015 film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark Lee Smith about the story of a survivor. For the general public, Revenant is and remains the film that earned Leonardo DiCaprio the first Oscar (after many attempts) for Best Actor.
The screenplay is based on the 2002 novel Revenant – The True Story of Hugh Glass and His Revenge, written by Michael Punke and loosely based on a true story.
Alongside the protagonist Leonardo DiCaprio, the cast also includes Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson. The film won 3 Oscars out of 12 nominations.
Last months of 1823. Hugh Glass and his son Hawk, born to his late wife Pawnee (belonging to an American Indian tribe) lead a hunting expedition through the freezing winter in North Dakota. The group is attacked by the Arikara (another tribe of Indians), who decimate two thirds of the expedition. With the survivors, Glass decides to abandon the river, leaving the furs on the shore and continuing on foot, to be less exposed to attacks.
Along the way, Glass is brutally attacked by a bear, which leaves him almost dying. His companions must decide whether to kill him, to end his agony, or to stay with him until he dies. In the end, by decision of Captain Henry (who has promised a reward of 300 dollars), only Fitzgerald, Bridger and his son Hawk remain with him, who soon realizes that the former is trying to suffocate his father.
Discovered by the boy, Fitzgerald kills Hawk (in front of Glass’s eyes, who cannot do anything to intervene) and then convinces his companion to abandon the injured man, using the excuse that the Arikara are approaching. Reunited with Henry, the two reveal that Hugh is dead (although he is not).
Glass survives and, as soon as he manages to move, he swears revenge and sets off on his own path, miraculously avoiding several ambushes by the Arikara. He also meets a Pawnee Indian, Hikuc, who gives him something to eat and helps him heal his wounds. Soon after, Glass finds his new friend hanged by a group of French hunters, who are raping an Arikara’s daughter. The hunter manages to infiltrate, kill the men and free the woman, even if she loses her canteen.
Fleeing on horseback, Glass falls into a ravine and spends the night warming up inside the belly of the dead horse, after having eviscerated it.
The following day, a survivor of the French hunters arrives at Fort Kiowa and Bridger recognizes his water bottle as belonging to Glass. Together with Henry, he organizes the search and Glass is found alive and wounded. The captain asks Bridger why he abandoned Glass still alive but the man exonerates the boy, revealing the responsibility of Fitzgerald who killed Hawk and in the meantime stole the captain’s money.
The final battle is no holds barred: discovered, Fitzgerald kills Henry and attacks Glass who with a ruse pushes the enemy downstream, towards the Arikara, who execute him but save Hugh’s life.
Obtained his revenge, the revenant collapses to the ground, lulled by a vision of his wife.
The true story of Hugh Glass and the bear attack
Revenant is inspired by the legend about the hunter Hugh Glass, born in 1783 and died in 1833. Glass was an explorer and a sailor, traveled extensively, met pirates and Indians. Captured by the Pawnee, he became their friend and married a woman of this ethnicity.
A few years later he took part in an expedition of hunters to the central states of the USA to retrieve fur animals. The group was decimated by an Arikara attack, decided to split up and Glass, when he found himself in the woods with about 30 men, was attacked by the bear he had accidentally surprised with his cubs, unleashing his fury and his instinct to protection.
He killed the animal but suffered very serious injuries, so much so that (just like in the film) no one thought he would survive. The companions, who had been paid lavishly to watch over him until his last hour, abandoned him but he managed to stay alive and resume the expedition alone, without furs to cover himself, without food or weapons. According to legend, he avoided freezing to death because he found makeshift shelters, such as inside the trunk of a tree.
To avoid dying of infection, he covered himself with bear skin, which his companions had prepared for him like a shroud, and let the tree larvae eat his necrosis tissues.
Glass’s journey lasted six weeks, a time in which he managed to survive by eating berries and roots and in which he sailed south dodging the attacks of the Arikara but getting help from other groups of Indians, such as the Lakota.
Arriving at the fort, Glass met Bridger, who spared her life and sentenced her for a young age. He protected him, granting him immunity. On Fitzgerald, however, the hunter had firm intentions of revenge which he then had to give up, because the man was drafted into the army and therefore “untouchable”. Glass had to settle for $ 300 in compensation.
Did you like this movie? The Revenant – a 2 hour and 37 minute adventure directed by director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Just above, the official trailer of the film.