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Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (1978)

In 1911 in Northern California, a rancher found a naked, unconscious Indian, near death, lying in his horse corral. After he was revived and brought back to health, it was eventually ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Weaver ... Prof. Benjamin Fuller
Eloy Casados ... Ishi - as Man (as Eloy Phil Casados)
Devon Ericson ... Lushi -as Teenager
Joaquín Martínez ... Grandfather
Geno Silva Geno Silva ... Elder Uncle
Joseph Runningfox ... Ishi - as Teenager
Lois Red Elk ... Grandmother
Gregory Cruz ... Timawi -as Teenager (as Gregory Norman Cruz)
Arliene Nofchissey Williams Arliene Nofchissey Williams ... Mother
Michael Medina Michael Medina ... Ishi - as Boy
Patricia Ganera Patricia Ganera ... Lushi - as Girl
Eddie Marquez Eddie Marquez ... Timawi -as Boy
Dennis Dimster ... Tad Fuller
Wayne Heffley ... Sheriff Lockhart
Peter Brandon Peter Brandon ... Dr. Robbins
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Storyline

In 1911 in Northern California, a rancher found a naked, unconscious Indian, near death, lying in his horse corral. After he was revived and brought back to health, it was eventually discovered that the Indian, named Ishi, was the last surviving member of a small tribe called the Yahi, which had been decimated by disease, starvation and clashes with other tribes high in the mountains, and was so reclusive that none of the area's white residents, and few of its Indians, knew of their existence or had ever even heard of them. Ishi was studied and eventually befriended by a San Francisco anthropologist, who wrote a book about him, upon which this film was based. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heimonsa viimeinen See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Connections

Version of The Last of His Tribe (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A wonderful sentimental film
27 February 2011 | by rh_chamberlainSee all my reviews

I saw this wonderful film many years ago and loved it. Although I have a copy of the excellent Rattlesnake Productions Documentary done for American Experience and narrated by Linda Hunt, the film starring Joseph Runningfox as a young Ishi has a deep emotional impact - guaranteed to make you cry. Ishi never talked about his time before he emerged from his hiding place, so the film with Dennis Weaver and Joseph Runningfox is speculative. Neverheless, I believe the story that it tells is probably very close to the way it must have been for Ishi, his mother, sister and grandfather as the last of the Yahi remained in hiding. By the way, the film does NOT give the impression that other tribes contributed to the genocide of the Yahi - instead it is quite clear that the bounty on Native Americans was responsible. My Grantfather's brother was an intern under Dr. Saxton Pope, who took care of Ishi when he became ill with tuberculosis. My Grandfather would sometimes go with his brother to visit Ishi and our family has always been very interested in Ishi's story. While the Rattlesnake Productions Documentary is the gold standard for the real story of Ishi, the 1978 TV movie is worth watching for the deeper emotional impact, even if the flash backs to Ishi's life prior to his coming out of hiding are only speculation on the probable lives of the last Yahi while they remained in hiding from the outside world.


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