The Legend


Legend of Hugh Glass

From the time Hugh Glass walked through the gates of Fort Kiowa having been left for dead hundreds of miles away, his story of survival has been legend.  Even during his lifetime, the story was being told around the campfires by his fellow mountain men.  It is safe to say the story has been retold in every generation since and continues to be retold today.  As the story passed from person to person and generation to generation no doubt it was embellished and speculation added to the few known facts.  Now, fictionalized accounts inspired by the real story have even infiltrated the national popular culture.  These accounts expose much larger audiences to the story and spike more interest in the real story of Hugh Glass and the mountain man era.

The Revenant (Movie) is a major Hollywood (New Regency & 20th Century Fox) released on January 8, 2016 starring Leonardo DiCaprio, as Hugh Glass, and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the Academy Award winning director of Birdman in 2015. The movie won 2016 Golden Globe awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor (DiCaprio), and Best Director (Iñárritu). News reports speculate the movie budget is in excess of $100 million. The movie is fictionalized account inspired by the story of Hugh Glass grizzly attack, his survival, and search for revenge. See The Revenant (movie) Fact vs. Fiction for more details.

Six Weeks is a song on the 2011 album My Head is an Animal by the Iceland band Of Monsters and Men inspired by the tale of Hugh Glass being left for dead after killing the grizzly bear that attacked him.  The album reached No. 1 position on charts in Australia, Iceland, Ireland, and United States (Rock and Alternative).

The Revenant (Book) is a 2002 historical novel by Michael Punke who states his story is a work of fiction but endeavors to stay true to history and the main events of the Hugh Glass story.  The book was reissued in 2015 to correspond with the release of the movie of the same name based on the book.

Man in the Wilderness is a 1971 movie starring Richard Harris and John Huston tells the fictional story of mountain man Zachary Bass who is mauled by a bear, left for dead, and survives seeking revenge on the evil Captain Henry who left him to die.  Even though Glass’ name has been changed, the story is obviously patterned after Hugh Glass. By the release of Man in the Wilderness, Richard Harris had won a Golden Globe for best actor for Camelot and been nominated for an Academy Award for This Sporting Life.

Lord Grizzly is a novel written in 1954 by Frederick Manfred. Manfred states it is not intended to be a history, but adheres to what he calls the core of all accounts, the wrestle, the desertion, the crawl, and the showdown.  The original publication spent six weeks on the best seller list, and has been republished numerous times (the latest in 2011).

The Song of Hugh Glass is a poem written by writer and poet John G. Neihardt in 1915 as part of his five poem collection published over 30 years called A Cycle of the West.  The poem includes an introduction with a brief history of the American fur trade and Hugh Glass.  John would go on to write a history of the American fur trade titled The Splendid Wayfaring in 1920.