Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

'Neither Wolf Nor Dog' opens in Havre


March 16, 2018

Courtesy Inyo Entertainment

Harlan Standing Bear, Christopher Sweeney, Dave Bald Eagle and Richard Ray Whitman act in a scene from "Neither Wolf Nor Dog." The film opens in Havre's Cottonwood Cinemas Friday.

Local residents have a chance to see a non-Hollywood film with an amazing run and local implications when it opens in Havre tonight at the Cottonwood Cinemas, the fifth Montana community to show "Neither Wolf nor Dog."

The film, directed by Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson, is an adaptation of Kent Nerburn's best-selling 1996 novel that recounts what happens when a man is called by an elder of the Lakota Tribe in the Dakotas to tell his story.

The film stars two veterans, Christopher Sweeney - who was born in an Indian Health Service hospital himself - a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in action while serving in the first Gulf War; and Dave Bald Eagle, a Lakota elder whose own story could fill several movies.

Bald Eagle finished his first term in the U.S. Army just before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. He re-enlisted in the 82nd Airborne, and in one action, on D-Day, his troop was mistakenly dropped behind enemy lines. Riddled with bullets, he was left for dead by the first group of medics who found him, but was saved by British commandos.

He and his first wife, a dance instructor, he met in England, moved to South Dakota after the war and became ballroom dancing champions. She died in a car crash in 1946 while pregnant with their first child, but he met, fell in love with and married a Belgian actress in 1958 while traveling with Casey Tibbs' Wild West Show in Europe.

While Bald Eagle was a race car driver, rodeo competitor, ballroom dancer and rancher, and appeared in movies as an actor and stuntman - during the filming of "River of No Return," he went out dancing with Marilyn Monroe and acted in "Dances with Wolves" among many other films - his was cast in his first starring role when he was 95, in "Neither Wolf Nor Dog."

Bald Eagle died in 2016 at 97, before the movie was released.

While the film has not received all stellar reviews - one reviewer said it was too slow-paced - it has gone on the longest run of any film released in 2017, In Yo Entertainment reports, and has received top reviews from some sources.

"By the time the end credits arrive, the characters of this modest, crowdfunded feature are practically unforgettable. It's immensely serious but no downer," Colin Covert wrote in a review for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"All things considered, including its rough edges, its low budget aesthetic and approach, 'Neither Wolf Nor Dog' is an impressive achievement and feels like an important story made with passion and deserves to be seen by audiences beyond the festival circuit," Dylan Matthew wrote in his review for the EdinburghGuide after the film's world premiere at the Edinburgh Fim Festival in Scotland.


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