Film and Video
Items shown in
are believed to be available for purchase
at the time this bibliography was last revised.
No attempt has been made to include entries from
encyclopedias or similar reference works, or home-made or student videos such
as those on YouTube.
"John Muir: A Glorious Journey" by National Park
Service. A 20-minute introductory film shown on demand throughout
the day at John
Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California. Covers the story of
Muir's life, with special emphasis on his life in Martinez, and his efforts
for Yosemite National Park and Hetch Hetchy. Unavailable for purchase,
this film is highly recommended for viewing on site at the John Muir National
Historic Site and on You Tube:
Written and narrated by W.
Order from W.C.
19229 Sonoma Highway,
This video begins and ends as a travel documentary,
but focuses on three stories of Alaska,
including a fulfilling treatment of John Muir's "Stickeen"
-- Muir's adventure on an Alaska glacier with a canine friend.
A Portrait of John Muir as a Young Man by
the Sierra Club's 2010 Outdoors Youth Ambassador, Evan Geary. Streaming Video: YOUTUBE. As part of the Sierra Club's Best Internship on Earth program, Evan created this entertaining video featuring John Muir historian Bonnie Gisel. Dr. Gisel gives a straightforward narration, while Evan and his animations "ham it up."
"The Boyhood of John Muir" A dramatic family film. A Hott Production of
(Produced by Diane Garey;
Directed by Lawrence R. Holt;
Screenplay by Ken Chowder.
Starring Gerda Stevenson, Ken Drury, Joanne Bett, Colin Bruce,
and introducing Gary Hollywood as the young John Muir.
VHS Videocassette, 1997).
Distributed by: Bullfrog Films,
P.O. Box 149,
Oley, PA. 19547.
For International Distribution:
Jane Balfour Films Ltd.,
Burghley House ,
35 Fortess Road,
London NW5 1AD England.
Phone: 0171 267 5392
Fax: 0171 267 4241
"The Boyhood of John Muir" is a dramatic and compelling
look at the early life of America's first great
spokesman for wilderness.
The film is divided into three parts. In the first part, the
dramatic battle lines are drawn: the free-spirited boy John
Muir is pitted against his well-intentioned but unforgiving
father, and the joy of nature is John's escape from the
pious solemnity of their rugged life on a Wisconsin farm in
the 1850s. In the second part, John gets help in his
struggle from both his mother and from an older neighbor
called the Yankee -- help that helps him live with his
father and learn the beautiful and just laws of the natural
world. In the third part, John begins to make inventions, a
skill that carries him away from the backbreaking labor of
the farm; but a trick of fate shows him what he really cares
about. At last he abandons mechanical science to pursue his
overwhelming love of nature and God's creatures.
"California Dreams: Yosemite National Park, Wilderness Man" VIDEOCASSETTE.
(KOCE-TV Foundation; produced by Patrick Griffin; written &
directed by J. Francis Gladstone (29 min.., 1/2 in., VHS Videocassette). Narrator:
Documentary on the life of John Muir, concentrating on his conservation efforts
which led to the creation of the National Park at Yosemite. For general audiences.
"California's Gold: John Muir" #5005". VIDEOCASSETTE.
Huell Howser Productions, 2003. Free streaming video available from Huell Howser California's Gold Archive from Chapman University.
30 minutes. $19.95. Also available in DVD as part of Huell Howser's "Yosemite
Week" series, available from Huell
Howser Productions, (818) 710-0016.
Part of Huell Howser's "California's Gold" television series, this episode
involves views and two interviews conducted outside on location in Yosemite
National Park. The first brief interview is of Scott Gediman, National Park
Service spokesman, who gives a concise summary of who John Muir was and his
importance. The rest of the video is an interview of John Muir himself (embodied
by actor Lee Stetson). Part of the interview is conducted in the middle of
a meadow in Yosemite Valley, with views of the spectacular granite cliffs in
all directions; the final portion is conducted at Glacier Point, as Muir explains
the geological history of these glaciated mountains.
"California's Golden Parks: Hetch Hetchy # 138." DVD or VHS. Huell Howser Productions, 2005. Free streaming video available from Huell Howser California's Gold Archive from Chapman University. Huell Howser Productions, 2005.
60 minutes. $24.95 (Price Includes Sales Tax), available from Huell
Howser Productions, (818) 710-0016.
Huell Howser's "California's Golden Parks" television
series. Before it was dammed in the early 1900s, John Muir called it more beautiful than Yosemite Valley itself. And now, in a one-hour special, Huell travels to this historic and spectacular place to document its past and talk about its future.
"California's Golden Parks: John Muir Home" #129". VIDEOCASSETTE
or DVD. Free streaming video available from Huell Howser California's Gold Archive from Chapman University. Huell Howser Productions, 2004.
30 minutes. $19.95, also available as part of "Yosemite Week" series,
available from Huell
Howser Productions, (818) 710-0016.
Part of Huell Howser's "California's Golden Parks" television
series, this episode involves views and interviews conducted on location at John
Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, the Victorian residence in Martinez
where the naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914. After a
brief introductory interview of National Park Service spokesman Tad Shay and
a visit to Muir's "scribble den," Huell interviews the woman, Faire
Sax, who, with her husband Henry, was responsible for restoring and preserving
this important site, and then placing it under the protection of the National
Park Service. An inspiring example of the difference one or a few people can
"Conversation with a Tramp" VIDEOCASSETTE.
A KQED-TV S.F.
Lee Stetson's Wild Productions
Midpines, CA 95345
Telephone: (209) 742-7838.
Lee Stetson Official Home Page (offsite link)
Same title as Stetson's audiocassette, this is a video
recording of Stetson's one-man stage play of John Muir's
story-telling while waiting word from Washington concerning
the fate of Hetch Hetchy Valley.
"Giants in the Wilderness," a 60-minute drama, set on a bluff overlooking
Pike’s Peak, Colorado, October, 1896.
One-act play and film portrays
John Muir, Charles Sprague Sargent, and John Muir on a tour of the Western
forests with the intent of writing a National Forest Report to be presented
before Congress. Sargent and Pinchot lock horns about what the report should
say, while Muir acts as a spiritual and philosophical buffer, providing insight
into the sacredness of the wilderness at stake. Filmed at at Mount Wachusett
Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts., July 21, 2000. © 1998. Script/rights
for performance available from Genevieve Fraser, 211 Dana Road, Massachusetts
01364 U. S. A., telephone (home) 978-544-1872.
Website1 : http://heniford.net/4321/index.php?n=Citations-G.GiantsInTheWilderness-3m
Website2 : http://www.heniford.net/1234/3m_gitw.htm
"Heimgang" A film by Scott W. Harden. (310) 824-587. E-mail: email@example.com
A UCLA film student presentation, a "short" showing Muir, frustrated at his desk
writing articles about the wilderness, leaping up and taking the train to Yosemite
to re-experience the wilderness. Narration is solely from Muir's writings. Filmed
on location at John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California, and Yosemite
"In the Spirit of John Muir" by Zeki Basan. Filmed and Directed by Zeki Basan. Edited by Zeki Basan and Kirk F Watson. Music by Rob Webster. Streaming Video: ViMEO. 10:13.
A 15 year old Scottish student travels the backcountry of Yosemite National Park to experience first-hand what John Muir experienced a hundred years ago Zeki.lives in the Scottish highlands where Zeki he leads groups of adults in wilderness and ancestral living skills - tracking, foraging, tanning, shelter building, natural fire-making etc. He is planning a trip to Alaska to continue the 'spirit' of John Muir theme. He is also working with a group of Bushmen in Namibia to learn their skills with a view to preserving them.
In the Spirit of John Muir: Zeki Basan from Zeki Basan on Vimeo.
"John Muir: An Animated Life," by pupils at Law, Messelburgh burgh, and Dunbar Primary Schools in East Lothian, Scotland.
A short animated film exploring the life of John Muir.
Available to view on vimeo.com.
John Muir - Coming Home - short film directed by Michael Coleman, 2016, Streaming video on Vimeo.com. 4:30 minutes.
Director: Michael Coleman. Music by Dylan Roop and Steven de la Roche. Narrated by Nolan Mecham.
A brief series of John Muir quotes, set against a visual background of
several places authentic to Muir's life including his home in Martinez, California, northeast of Oakland and Muir Woods National Monument just north of San Francisco, California. Muir's original writings and books shown in the film were shot at his home including the windmill that accompanies the 2,600-acre fruit orchard that surrounded his families property and John Muir's desk in the "Scribble Den". Sources for each quote used in the film available on its vimeo.com page.
John Muir - Coming Home from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.
"John Muir: Environmentalist (1838-1914)" (Part of "Portraits: The Americans" Series)
A GPN Production (Great Plains National Instructional Television), 1997.
Product Code: 706.009. For grades 4 - 8; 15 minutes; color; Price: $39.95.
Great Plains National Instructional Television,
Lincoln, NE 68501-0669; Phone: (402) 472-2007 or Toll Free: 800-228-4630;
Fax: 800-306-2330: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website:
Preview the video here (offsite link):
This educational video, intended primarily for grade 4-8, tells Muir's life
story in a conversational style presented by two engaging young people narrating,
with an "expert" teacher occasionally appearing in the background. The video describes his immigration from Scotland to the deep woods of Wisconsin at the age of 11, his role as an inventor and amateur botanist, his educational pursuits, and his move
to California where he spent much of his time in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Yosemite Valley. The emphasis is on Muir's interest in forest protection. A major failing is that the Hetch Hetchy issue is not mentioned at all.
The producers state that this video "encourages an appreciation of one man's
accomplishments sparked by his view of the need to preserve the wilderness
and facilitates the integration of history-social science, and science."
SUPPORT MATERIALS: The teacher's guide includes a brief program synopsis, pre- and
post-viewing activities, and cross-curriculum integration.
The California Educational Technology Clearinghouse suggests these classroom activities
to be used in conjunction with the film:
Make a map that shows the places that John Muir explored. Explain how this exploration ultimately led to environmental legislation.
Go on a nature walk. Try to observe the signs of flood, erosion, and pollution, as well as sounds (both natural and man-made). Compile observations upon returning.
Debate the points of view between developers and environmental groups.
Compare John Muir's lifestyle as he was growing up with that of the typical teenager of today.
Read and discuss poetry based on nature. Write and illustrate short nature poems.
"John Muir in the New World" -
A 90 minute Film Documentary - premiering on PBS April 2011
Preservationist, naturalist, author, explorer, activist, scientist, farmer,
John Muir (4/21/1838 - 12/24/1914) was all these things and more. Nearly
a century after his death, this Scottish American is remembered and revered
as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra
Club, the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the
United States. the PBS series American Masters premieres John Muir in the New World, on air nationally Monday, April 18 at 9 p.m. (check
local listings) Explaining his impact then and now, this 90-minute documentary delves into
Muir's life and influences with reenactments filmed in high definition throughout
the majestic landscapes he visited: Wisconsin, Yosemite and the Sierra
Nevada, the Alhambra Valley of California, and the glaciers of Alaska. Placing
our nation's most important natural assets in a cultural and social context, John
Muir in the New World is a timely reminder of America's unique
and, ultimately, threatened ecosystems.
John Muir: from BBC One series "The Last Explorers." Episode 3 of 4. One Hour. First Broadcast: 08 Dec. 2011.
In this series, Neil Oliver follows in the footsteps of four Scottish explorers who planted ideas rather than flags - ideas that shaped the modern world we know today. This episode, set in the spectacular Yosemite Valley in California, is the story of the father of the modern conservation movement and one of the founders of America's National Park movement. John Muir was a 19th-century adventurer who explored the natural world and devoted his life and work to persuade others to see the sacred beauty of his discoveries.
Website: BBC One: The Last Explorers, John Muir (off-site link) - includes summary and 3 online video clips from the program (may not be available outside of Scotland).
"John Muir: The Man,
The Legacy" VIDEOCASSETTE.
A KRON-TV S.F.
Production in Association with Chronicle Productions,
Produced by Ziggy Stone.
Canyonlands Publications, 4860 N Ken Morey Dr., Bellemont, AZ (928) 779-3888. Color with b&w sequences,
VHS and PAL format.
An enthusiastic and comprehensive historical recounting of
Muir's entire life by Thayer Walker which traces the events
of Muir's life from his boyhood in Scotland and youth in
Wisconsin, to his years of exploration and his career as a
conservation crusader. Visits many of the places Muir lived
and explored, with visual re-enactments, performed with
heart-felt appreciation and respect for John Muir. For
general audiences, excellent for classroom use.
"Earth-Planet Universe: John Muir". MOTION PICTURE. Same as above in
16 mm film format. One 16 mm. reel, 29 min.. (Said to be no longer available
for purchase, but it may be available for rental from Indiana University,
Audio-Visual Center, Bloomington, Indiana 47405; Toll Free Telephone ordering:
(800) 552-8620 outside Indiana. Rental Price: $15.90 for up to five days;
Purchase Price: $360. Order catalog No. NC1450,16.
"John Muir" FILMSTRIP. Great American Film Factory, 1975. (52
frames, color, 35 mm. with audio cassette, 15 min.).
Depicts the life of conservationist John Muir, emphasizing his campaign
for the preservation of Yosemite National Park and wilderness areas. This
program tells us the story of his life in his own words and those of others.
For grade levels 5 - 7. Rental Price: $10.00 plus shipping (around $3.00)
for a two-week booking; Purchase Price: $34.95.
Available for purchase from Educational Images, Ltd., 306 Academy Pl.,
P.O. Box 3456, West Side Station, Elmire, N.Y. 14905.
"John Muir's High Sierras" VIDEOCASSETTE. Dewitt Jones Productions,
Los Angeles: Churchill Films (distributor) (1973). 1/2 in., VHS Videocassette.
(27 minutes; School Version: 21 1/2 min..; color with b&w sequences).
Film-maker Dewitt Jones worked in Yosemite National Park for 18 months
to gather footage for this film. Jones retraced some of the hikes of naturalist-conservationist
John Muir in the 'temples of nature' during the late 19th century. Excerpts
from Muir's diary are read over these majestic images. The video presents
the land Muir cherished and wanted to share, and the role he played in conserving
the National Parks, founding the Sierra Club, and more. Rental Price: $60.00.
Purchase Price: $310; School Version: $290.00. For ordering, see next listing.
"John Muir's High Sierras" MOTION PICTURE. Same as above,
in 16 mm. film format. Rental Price: $60.00; Purchase Price: $445; School
Version: $415.00. Rental available from: Audience Planners, 5107 Douglas Fir
Rd., Calabasas, CA 91302. Toll Free: (800) 624-8613; in California (818) 884-3100.
Available for purchase from Churchill Films, 662 North Robertson Blvd., Los
Angeles, CA 90069.
John Muir Conference Lectures, 1990, University of the Pacific.
3 vols. VIDEOCASSETTE. $19.95 each ppd, or $55 for all three volumes. John
Muir Center for Regional Studies, UOP, Stockton, CA 95211.
(1) Paul Sheats, Edmund Schofield, Elizabeth Pomeroy; (2) Richard Fleck,
Don Weiss, Keith Kennedy; (3) Stephen Mark, James Heffermen, Frederick Turner,
Nancy Slack, Neil Fahy.
See John Muir Newsletter v.3 no.3 (Summer, 1993) for details, or compare
1990 conference proceedings in John Muir Life and Work ed.
by Sally Miller, above.
"John Muir". MOTION PICTURE - UNAVAILABLE. Corsair Films: Released by
Walt Disney Educational Materials Co., 1973). 15 min., color, 16 mm. With
Traces the events in John Muir's life which led to his successful efforts
to secure environmental protection legislation. Lib. of Congress Cat. Call
"The John Muir Trail: A Video Trail Guide"
(Purple Dragon Ventures; produced by Joe and Carol McVeigh; with special
appearance by Lee Stetson as John Muir (90 min.., 1/2 in., VHS Videocassette,
1994). Narrator: Carol McVeigh.
Presented in two parts; Part One is a video excursion of all 212 miles
of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to the top of Mt. Whitney. Not
a slick commercial film, the video gives one the experience of hikers who
really know and love the Trail, sharing their intimate experiences and the
beautiful scenery. Part Two traces the length of the trail on topographic
maps; a bit hard to read in a video format even on a fairly large screen.
The video concludes with information on trail heads, permits, re-supply points,
guidebooks, side-trips, and addresses.
"The John Muir Trail"
(Earth Images; Filmed, edited, and written by Lee Turkelson. John Muir
quotations spoken by Mike Wilson. John Muir portrayed by Al King. (75 min..,
1/2 in., VHS Videocassette, 1996). Narrator: Joe David.
Available from: Earth Images, 1127 S. Pinkham, Visalia, CA 93292. Price:
$20.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling (California residents add $1.45 sales
This video presents a magnificent journey along "America's most majestic mountain
from Mt. Whitney to the Valley of Yosemite. Includes grandly scenic footage,
and spontaneous interviews with hikers along the trail. An useful and interesting
feature of the film is to show several places in both early and late summer,
with major snow contrasts. John Muir, portrayed by Al King, is featured at
the beginning and the end of this travelog, while Muir quotations are interspersed
throughout the video.
"John Muir's 1,000 Mile Walk and Other Adventures" Presented by Dr.
Richard E. Shore.
This short video gives excerpts of Dr. Shore's entertaining and informative
presentations as John Muir. Told in the best storytelling tradition, you can
preview clips of this online:
"Kings Canyon National Park: Gem of the Sierra." DVD. Available from Sequoia
Natural History Association.
This 16 minute high definition
film shows three unique regions of Kings Canyon
National Park - the Kings Canyon, the Grant Grove and the High Sierra.
In addition to capturing the incredible range of flora, fauna and terrain
in Kings Canyon, there is a brief appearance of John Muir, portrayed by
Frank Helling. Shown in the Kings Canyon National Park Visitor Center in
Grant Grove, the DVD version includes over 35 minutes of special features.
"Lee Stetson the Voice of John Muir" DVD or Blu-Ray. 90 minutes. Produced by Lee Terkelsen, Earth Images Video Productions, Visalia, California, 2010
The spirit and voice of John Muir is alive due to the artistry of actor Lee Stetson who has been portraying the famous naturalist in Yosemite and throughout the U.S. since 1983. This documentary not only covers Stetson's remarkable career, but shows how Muir's eloquent words, written a century ago, continue to inspire and influence our attitudes to nature today. In this film, you will be inspired by excerpts from Stetson's five stage plays, journey with Stetson as he traces Muir's roots in Scotland and Wisconsin farm fields, and be captivated by the majesty of Yosemite, seen through the spirit of John Muir. Join Stetson as he performs stage plays based on Muir each spring and summer season in the Yosemite Theater and frequently guides visitors on saunters throughout the Yosemite Valley. Stetson has also performed as Muir in countless other venues around the world. A noted actor and historian, Stetson was the voice of John Muir
in The National Parks: America's Best Idea,the acclaimed PBS documentary series by Ken Burns. Says Ken Burns about Lee Stetson, "Our good fortune in this project was meeting Lee Stetson, who knows more about John Muir than anyone else on earth. Hal Holbrook has been able to bring Mark Twain alive for us and does so magnificently. Lee Stetson does the same thing for John Muir. "As we got to know him... he [John Muir] ascended to the pantheon of the highest individuals in our country; I'm talking about the level of Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, and Thomas Jefferson, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jackie Robinson -- people who have had a transformational effect on who we are." " The video includes a half-hour bonus feature of Stetson performing Muir's most famous story: Stickeen. Join Stetson portraying John Muir in the Yosemite Theater as he recounts the famous adventure Muir had with a tiny toy dog in a fierce storm on an Alaskan glacier.
Lee Stetson: The Voice of John Muir is available from Amazon.com.
"Looking for John Muir" MOTION PICTURE. A film by Robert Perkins
- writer, narrator, and star. Cameraman, Graham Johnston. Presented by
England's Channel Four. Shown on PBS, June, 1996.
The LA Times calls this a "Misguided Travelogue" - and they're right! The
film maker here passed up an excellent opportunity to explore what Muir's
1,000 Mile Walk to the Gulf may look like today, but instead provides little
more than scenes of driving a sidecar motorcycle down truck-infested highways;
visiting motels and hotels; and finding almost nothing of Muir left in
the South. Because Perkins travels with a dog, he cannot even visit the
one place Muir visited which is now a National Park - Mammoth Caves National
Park. The only bright spot in this dismal documentary is the visit to Bonaventure
Cemetery, which appears to be as beautiful today as when Muir slept there
in October of1867. This film is not usable for educational purposes due
to its mostly irrelevant focus.
"The Mountains Call My Name" VIDEOCASSETTE. American Folklore Theatre,
October 2, 1989. Written by Frederic "Doc" Heide, Ph.D.
First performed in 1989 and later in 1996, 2012, and 2013, this is a musical theater presentation depicting Muir's troubled youth and nature-inspired
adulthood. See description and reviews on The Mountains Call My Name Northern Sky Theater website. The title song from the musical, The Mountains Call My Name by Fred "Doc" Heide, is available on his album Lessons I Learned From The Moon. A 2012 production by the "Lake Superior Big Top Chataugua" in Washburn, WI performed the musical theater production "The Mountains Call My Name: A Musical Portrait of Environmentalist John Muir" on August 18, 2012. This version describes the show as follows: "Join the Blue Canvas Orchestra for their musical portrayal of John Muir, founder of the national park system and the Sierra Club. Mount Ashwabay and the towering pines around the tent prove an ideal setting for the stories of Muir, a Scottish-born Wisconsin resident for much of his early life. Written by American Folklore Theatre co-founder Frederick "Doc" Heide, the show has been adapted by our own Tom Mitchell who plays Muir, and our Musical Director Ed Willett who leads the BCO in a moving selection of songs that celebrate the glorious natural wonders Muir encountered and wrote about in his travels. That glory is illuminated on the big screen with photography and film curated by our Visuals Director Betty Ferris. This show will be a feast for all of your senses and promises to become a new favorite Big Top Chautauqua show." The song The Mountains Call my Name is also available on YouTube, performed by Steve Koehler and Jimmy Kaplan in 2013 in the Fishstock Music Series, at Camp David's concert barn in Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
"The Most Important Camping Trip in U.S. History" - movie trailer. Watch trailer on YouTube. (2015)
Watch how MacGillivray Freeman Films will take moviegoers back in time to watch the camping trip that led to the creation of the U.S. National Parks.
MacGillivray Freeman IMAX Film (original working title was America Wild; now re-titled National Parks Adventure) will take moviegoers back in time to watch the camping trip that led to the rapid development of the National Parks. To bring this history to life, MacGillivray Freeman Films turned to actors Joe Wiegand and Lee Stetson. Wiegand is well known for his work as President Theodore Roosevelt, while Stetson has portrayed the character of John Muir in Yosemite National Park for more than 30 years, and was featured in the acclaimed Ken Burns series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea.Narrated by Academy AwardÂ® winner Robert Redford, "National Parks Adventure" takes audiences on the ultimate off-trail adventure into the nation's awe-inspiring great outdoors and untamed wilderness. Immersive IMAXÂ® 3D cinematography takes viewers soaring over red rock canyons, up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America's most legendary outdoor playgrounds. Join world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb and explore their way across America's majestic parks â€“ including Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, and Arches â€“ in an action-packed celebration that will inspire the adventurer in us all, and highlight how important it is that we protect these treasured landscapes. Scheduled for release in theaters around the world, on February 12, 2016 in select IMAXÂ®, IMAX 3DÂ® and other giant-screen theatres.
"Muir: Man among Giants" by Stone Soup Studios Motion Picture Company LLC.
Described by the producers as a " a low budget independent feature film" that will tell the story of Muir's life. The production company indicates that the movie "MUIR" will be filmed during late winter and spring/summer of 2011. Scenes will be filmed in Yosemite, San Francisco and Mt. Shasta areas of California as well as historical scenes in various locations in Oregon. Later in the spring and early summer they will be filming in Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida as well as several other states and possibly Scotland, Canada and Alaska if funds permit. For more information, see the producer's website: http://www.muirmovie.org/
"Muir" by Ian Timothy (2014)
Timothy's first year film at Cal Arts School of Film /Video in the Experimental Animation program (BFA) - A short stop motion film exploring the writings and adventures of naturalist, author, and father of the National Parks, John Muir.
An excellent selection of Muir quotations, voiced with an expressive Scottish accent, in less than three minutes sums up Muir's life.
Film by Ian Timothy,
Voice of John Muir: Brad Will,
Music: Marianna Filipp,
Puppet Costume: Lucia Tello.
The film "Muir" by Ian Timothy is available on Vimeo.com.
See also: Claymation Sensation: Artist Animates John Muir by Maren Hunsberger (Sierra, Green Life, May-June 2014) Interview of film-maker Ian Timothy.
Muir from Ian Timothy on Vimeo.
"My First Summer in the Sierra: Illustrated Edition," by John
Muir & Scot Miller, Book
Trailer YOUTUBE, 2010.
This video - a 3-minute "video trailer" for the forthcoming book - was prepared by the book's photographer, and interweaves splendid video with samples of the final photographs used in the book. Musical piano accompaniment is "Ca' the Yowes" by Robert Burns, performed by Tom Bopp. Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the book's original publication, "My First Summer in the Sierra" - to be published March 2011 -- is illustrated with Scot Miller's stunning photographs, showcasing the dramatic landscape of the High Sierra plus John Muir's illustrations from the original edition and several previously unpublished illustrations from his 1911 manuscript. This newly illustrated anniversary edition will be a major landmark in John Muir's continuing inspiration to our modern world.
The book details Muir's first extended trip to the Sierra Nevada in what is now Yosemite National Park, a landscape that entranced him immediately and had a profound effect on his life. The towering waterfalls, natural rock formations, and abundant plant and animal life helped Muir develop his views of the natural world, views that would eventually lead him to push for the creation of the national parks. The brand-new photographs from Scot Miller are a fitting contribution from the photographer who previously brought Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" and "Cape Cod" to life.
This book is being published in collaboration with Yosemite Conservancy and, for each copy sold, Scot Miller is making a donation to Yosemite Conservancy.
National Parks: America's Best Idea" a film by
Ken Burns. DVD, Blu-Ray, or iTunes. Directed by
Ken Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan. Narrated by Peter
Coyote. Muir quotes (and interviews) performed by Lee Stetson. Produced
by Florentine Films and WETA Washington, DC. Released by PBS television
in September, 2009.
Filmed over a six-year period, emphasizing the history of the national
parks, the first two episodes of this superb six-part series feature John
Muir, as follows:
1: Muir's Arrival in Yosemite
Episode 1: Muir's Return to Yosemite
Episode 2: Preservation vs. Conservation
Episode 2 Sidebar: Roosevelt and Muir
Episode 2 Sidebar: The Petrified Forest
Episode 2: Hetch Hetchy Dam
This film emphasizes how all our national parks were protected by people
like John Muir who cared and made a difference. The film shows how the national
parks are essentially democratic, preserving glorious landscapes for all
citizens, rich or poor. Extensive texts, photos, video clips, and interactive
features are available on the PBS
National Parks: America's Best Idea website.
The PBS website also includes an extensive text,
video, and photo biography of John Muir.
Do not miss the 404-page companion book (also
available as an audio book on CD or from iTunes).
"The Naturalists: Earth-Planet, Universe - John Muir". VIDEOCASSETTE -
directed by Jim Case, Written by Kay Eldredge. (KRMA-TV Denver, PBS Video, 1973)
Videocassette (28 min.); Color 1/2 in. VHS (from the series "The Naturalists")
Cast: Voice of John Muir by Karl Swenson; Narrator: Bob Gladstone; Photographed
by Mike Halvajian and Bill Loeffler; Music by David Pew; Consultant: William
Made possible by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; © Rocky
Mountain Public Broadcasting Network, Inc.
The emphasis is on quotations from Muir and nature photography as the life story
of John Muir is told. Excellent, inspirational overview of Muir's wilderness
exploration and conservation campaigns. The only failing in this video is that
there is no mention of Hetch Hetchy. Out of print until recently, the video is
now available from the John
Muir National Historic Site Bookstore.
Spirit of Yosemite - The Spectacular Visitor Orientation Film at Yosemite National Park. Produced by Greystone Communications/The Yosemite Fund; Directed by David Vassar. John Muir is played by Ben Goger. Available in VHS or DVD from Yosemite Association. 23 minutes; (2001).
This state of the art orientation film for Yosemite interweaves the beauty of Yosemite with the historical influences that helped to create it. The film includes stunning vistas of Yosemite Valley, the giant sequoias, Tuolumne Meadows, and the High Sierra, often notable for amazing time-lapse photography. Historical vignettes include depictions of Galen Clark's discovery of the Mariposa Grove, and John Muir exploring Yosemite and drawing a map to show the boundaries of his proposed Yosemite National Park.
The Special Edition DVD version includes over 30 minutes of additional material in the form of 3 new short films highlighting the beauty of Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, and Tuolumne Meadows and the High Sierra. The DVD also provides 8 audio options and 5 different languages: English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese. Options for stereo surround without narration and a director and producer commentary track also are included.
For more info:
- For His Film, You Really Have to Be There, film review by Victoria Looseleaf
- Kodak In Camera Article about this film.
"The Story of Yosemite" DVD and VIDEOCASSETTE.
Produced and Directed by Steve Parry, released by SunWest Media Group, Inc.
This video contains three chapters: "The Poet and the Rough Rider," "John Muir's Yosemite," and "Falling Waters," all of which share much of the same film footage of Yosemite, shown in various seasons. The first Chapter includes narration of the meeting of President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir, with dramatic sequences performed by Joe Early and Roosevelt and Lee Stetson as Muir. Unfortunately, this feature leaves out much of the dramatic re-enactment performed as a two-man play by Early and Stetson, and also fails to give any real details about their camping trip together. In an effort to enhance the drama, the producers misrepresent and exaggerate the differences between Roosevelt and Muir.
The second chapter, "John Muir's Yosemite," features film footage accompanied by quotes and paraphrases from Muir's writings, with Rick Cimino as the voice of John Muir. The first section includes some of is more philosophical writings, while later sections feature his descriptions of waterfalls, forests, and other Yosemite features. A DVD feature includes a text John Muir profile. Unfortunately, the DVD menu for this section includes a photo of someone other than John Muir, whose only resemblance is the beard.
The third chapter, "Falling Waters," features much of the same film footage, along with some additional footage, accompanied by piano music.
"Sweet and Easy" by Kathy Muir - a music video
of the song is on YouTube which includes images of John Muir in Yosemite, along with scenes of the Pacific Northwest depicted by Elizabeth Colborne's 1920's color woodcuts, and photographs (1924-1929) from the Seattle Camera Club, all "artists from a bygone era whose work continues to inspire and is included for the first time ever in a music video."
"Winter is Coming - Seven Days on the John Muir Trail" by Ryan Commons. ONLINE STREAMING VIDEO (2009). available on vimeo.com.
A 40 minute video - slide-show of Ryan Common's 7 days solo backpacking the John Muir Trail from Whitney Portal to Yosemite in October. A rock-style musical sound track accompanies artistic photography, with periodic text panels quoting John Muir and explaining each part of the trip.
"The Wilderness Idea - John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the
First Great Battle of Wilderness" VIDEOCASSETTE (Florentine
Films, a film by Lawrence Hott & Diane Garey) (58 min.,
$29.95) Distributed by: Direct Cinema Ltd.,
P.O. Box 10003,
Santa Monica, CA 90410 310-636-8200
Documentary focusing on the Hetch Hetchy battle,
from historical and contemporary perspectives.
Winner of the Best History award at the American Film Festival, and gold
awards at the Chicago, San Francisco, and National Educational film festivals..
It was broadcast on The American Experience. Part of a series.
For general audiences.
The Storm of Beauty." DVD and VIDEOCASSETTE (1999) Produced, directed,
and photographed by Jeffrey David Nicholas. Narrated, researched, and written
by Lee Stetson based on the writings of John Muir. ( Panorama
International Productions, Inc., 4988 Gold Leaf Dr., Mariposa, CA 95338.
This is a peaceful, relaxing, deliberately slow-moving video journey through
Yosemite, including Tuolumne Meadows, the Giant Sequoias of the Mariposa Grove,
and Yosemite Valley itself. It is an evocative film of Yosemite through the
changing seasons. The sound track features Nature's sounds and New Age type
music, with narration in John Muir's words by Lee Stetson. Many of Muir's
best meditations on the beauties of nature are presented. The photography
and Muir's words flow smoothly throughout this beautiful film.
"Young John Muir Finding Old Home" - YouTube - A short film (6:20 min.). Presented by Dunbar Primary School, titled "A Most Unusual Boy". John Muir returns to his birthplace, Dunbar and meets a couple of local children. He tells them about his school and introduces them to his friends. A strange and beautiful twist to the story happens at the end. View on YouTube.
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