Wild America
(1997)

SHORT VERSION:
Marty Jr., Mark, and Marshall successfully shoot most of the footage they set out to get (including the fabled Bear Cave and the many bears that resided in it) and return home to Fort Smith. They put on a showing of their footage to some of the townspeople in the gymnasium of the local high school, and their film initially gets a decent round of applause. However, after their rival D.C. makes a rude comment about it, their father Marty Sr. – who was previously unsupportive of their filmmaking dreams – shows up and starts clapping, and then their mother Agnes follows suit, followed by the rest of the audience, and the brothers end up receiving an even greater round of applause than before.

In the epilogue, the title cards state that the brothers eventually finished their documentary – which they titled “The Predators” – and it aired on NBC on April 6, 1977. All of them would go on to become successful wildlife filmmakers, and Marty Sr. and Agnes take their dream vacation to Hawaii.

LONG VERSION:
Marty Jr. (Scott Bairstow), Mark (Devon Sawa), and Marshall (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) successfully shoot most of the footage they set out to get (including the fabled Bear Cave and the many bears that resided in it) and return home to Fort Smith. Shortly after their return, their mother Agnes (Frances Fisher) rents out the gymnasium of the local high school so they can show their footage to the townspeople.

However, their father Marty Sr. (Jamey Sheridan) crashes his truck one night and becomes hospitalized, forcing them and Agnes to continue on with his business until he heals up. As the family and Leon (Tracey Walter) are working the day before the film’s premiere, Marty Jr. informs everyone that he is bowing out of it, feeling that he will never be able to break away from a life of working on car parts, especially since the film isn’t finished. Marshall ends up using reverse psychology on him to get him to throw his weight behind the film again.

Just before daybreak the next day, Marshall – despite earlier finding out that his father and Leon had never flown any of the planes they had repaired during the war, and thinking about what Marty Jr. had said yesterday – decides to realize his dream of flying the “Skybolt” plane that he and his father had been working on. He gets it out of its hangar and starts it up, intending to fly it over the hospital so his father can see it in flight. The noise of the plane’s engine wakes his family and Leon, and Leon tries to stop Marshall before he can take off, but he ends up being forced to come along as the co-pilot. As his family follows him in their car, Marshall flies the plane over the hospital, and he waves at his father. After landing the plane back home, he returns to the hospital to see his father, and tries to make him understand that the family will not stay together unless he lets him and his brothers be who they want to be.

The brothers show their footage that night to a half-full audience, and their film is met with decent applause. However, after their rival D.C. (Zack Ward) makes a rude comment about it, their father suddenly shows up and starts clapping. Agnes follows suit, and then the whole audience, and the brothers end up receiving an even greater round of applause than before.

Afterward, Donna Jo (Anastasia Spivey) and Tanna (Leighanne Littrell) pay the brothers compliments on their film, and Marty Jr. and Mark let them know of their plans to finish it and sell it to a TV studio and maybe get some famous person like Robert Redford to narrate it. In the epilogue, the title cards state that the brothers did finish their documentary – which they titled “The Predators” – and it aired on NBC on April 6, 1977 with Robert Redford narrating. All three brothers would go on to become successful wildlife filmmakers (with Marty Jr. attaining the most fame through being the host of his own show, Wild America), and Marty Sr. and Agnes take their dream vacation to Hawaii.

Thanks Tornado Dragon!