Is Jeremiah Johnson movie a true story?

Answered by Ricardo McCardle

The movie “Jeremiah Johnson” is based upon a true story, although it takes some creative liberties for dramatic effect. The character of Jeremiah Johnson is inspired by a real-life trapper named John Johnston, who lived during the mid-19th century.

John Johnston, also known as “Crow Killer” and “Liver Eater Johnston,” was a legendary figure in the American West. He gained his infamous nicknames due to his brutal acts of revenge against the Crow Indians, who had murdered his wife. It is said that after his wife’s death, Johnston swore vengeance against the entire Crow tribe.

Johnston’s story begins in the early 1840s when he first ventured into the Rocky Mountains as a fur trapper. He quickly became known for his expertise in survival skills and his ability to navigate the treacherous mountain terrain. Despite the harsh conditions and constant danger, Johnston thrived in the wilderness and developed a reputation as a skilled and fearless trapper.

However, tragedy struck when a group of Crow Indians attacked Johnston’s cabin, killing his pregnant wife. Fueled by grief and a thirst for revenge, Johnston embarked on a personal vendetta against the Crow tribe. He vowed to kill as many Crow Indians as he could, cutting out and eating their livers as a gruesome symbol of his retribution.

Johnston’s quest for vengeance led to numerous conflicts with the Crow tribe, as well as other Native American groups and rival trappers. He became known as a relentless and ruthless hunter, feared by both Native Americans and fellow mountain men. His exploits and reputation spread throughout the West, earning him the infamous monikers of “Crow Killer” and “Liver Eater Johnston.”

While the movie “Jeremiah Johnson” takes inspiration from Johnston’s story, it does take some creative liberties. The film exaggerates and romanticizes certain aspects of his life, including his interactions with other characters and the portrayal of his personal journey. Nonetheless, the core elements of Johnston’s story, including his quest for vengeance and his survival skills, are based on historical accounts and legends surrounding the real-life trapper.

The movie “Jeremiah Johnson” is based upon the true story of the legendary trapper John Johnston, known as “Crow Killer” and “Liver Eater Johnston.” While the film takes creative liberties, it draws inspiration from Johnston’s life and his quest for revenge against the Crow Indians who killed his wife. Johnston’s story is a testament to the harsh realities and personal struggles faced by those who ventured into the untamed wilderness of the American West during the 19th century.