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The Mad Trapper (1972 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Mad Trapper
The Mad Trapper film.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byDavid Cobham
StarringRichard Alden
Joe Austin
Brandon Brady
David Cobham Productions
Release date
  • 28 December 1972 (1972-12-28)
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Mad Trapper is a 1972 British made-for-television docudrama film. The Mad Trapper is based on the 1931 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pursuit of a trapper named Albert Johnson, the reputed "Mad Trapper of Rat River".[1]

A later film exploring the same topic was Challenge to Be Free (aka Mad Trapper of the Yukon and Mad Trapper) (1975) directed by Tay Garnett and stars Mike Mazurki.[2] A later fictionalized account, Death Hunt (1981), also based on the story of the RCMP pursuit of Albert Johnson, was directed by Peter R. Hunt, and starred Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson and Carl Weathers.[3]


In the Yukon, an American trapper (Del Henney) attempts to live in peace but is aware that other trappers resent his presence. When he is confronted by rival trappers, they bring along Millen (George R. Robertson), the local RCMP officer. Feeling intimidated, the trapper fights back, shooting his way out of his cabin, killing Millen and embarking on a desperate attempt to escape the authorities. The hazardous trek through the Arctic in the middle of winter becomes an epic manhunt, led by "Sarge" (Richard Alden). The RCMP eventually employ dog teams, radio and aircraft to bring down their prey.


  • Richard Alden as "Sarge" [Note 1]
  • Joe Austin as Ernie
  • Brandon Brady as R.C.M.P. Carter
  • Del Henney as The Mad Trapper
  • Neil McCallum as Eames
  • Dan McDonald as King
  • George R. Robertson as Millen


The Mad Trapper was filmed mainly on location in the Yukon and Alaska, the same locales of the "Mad Trapper" manhunt.[5]


Reviewer Leonard Maltin noted (The) Mad Trapper was made in 1972 and was based on the story of "... a fur trapper pursued by the law in Arctic surroundings."[6]


  1. ^ Richard Alden (born Alfred Alderdice), as an actor, was better known as Tom Drake.[4]


  1. ^ "The Mad Trapper (1972)." IMDb. Retrieved: 2 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Challenge to be Free (1975). Allmovie. Retrieved: 2 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Full cast & crew: Death Hunt (1981)." IMDb. Retrieved: 2 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Tom Drake". Classic Images bio. Retrieved: 2 December 2014.
  5. ^ Anderson and Downs 1986, pp. 89–90.
  6. ^ Maltin 2009, p. 229.


  • Anderson, Frank W. and Art Downs. The Death of Albert Johnson, Mad Trapper of Rat River. Surrey, British Columbia, Canada: Heritage House, 1986. ISBN 978-1-89438-403-2.
  • Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide 2009. New York: New American Library, 2009 (originally published as TV Movies, then Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide), First edition 1969, published annually since 1988. ISBN 978-0-451-22468-2.
  • North, Dick. The Mad Trapper of Rat River: A True Story of Canada's Biggest Manhunt. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Macmillan Company, 1972. ISBN 978-1-59228-771-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 May 2021, at 21:18
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