Bearskin | Modern Interpretations

The story of Bearskin and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.

Modern Interpretations

Bearskin: A Grimm Tale Paperback – June 1, 1998

NOVEL: This is a Graphic Novel adaptation of a Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale. It is the story of a discharged soldier who, homeless and destitute, agrees to a deal with the Devil. For seven years he must wear the pelt of a bear, and neither bathe, shave, cut his hair or nails, nor sleep in a bed. If he dies during the seven years, he will lose his soul, but if he survives he will be the wealthiest man in the world. 80 pp. b/w.

None so far!


None so far!


To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


Bearskin (1982). Tom Davenport, director. Davenport Films Production. Buy it on DVD or VHS.

Davenport Films, an independent film company, has a wonderful short film titled Bearskin. This is the same film company that produced Willa: An American Snow White which has appeared on PBS. Please follow these links or click on a photo still to visit their website and learn more about this film. These movies are some of the best renditions of folklore on film.

You can also preview this film on YouTube at From the Brothers Grimm: Bearskin.

Bearskin: An Urban Fairy Tale (1989). Ann Guedes and Eduardo Guedes, directors. Buy the movie on DVD (Region 2).

Tom Waits .... Silva 
Damon Lowry .... Johnny Fortune 
Charlotte Coleman .... Kate 
Júlia Britton .... Laura 
Bill Paterson .... Jordan

"The Soldier Who Didn't Wash." Part of the Storybook International series. 1985. Buy the movie on DVD.

LIVE ACTION: Based on a Russian variant of the Bearskin tale. A poor, lonely soldier makes a deal with the Devil. In exchange for great wealth, the soldier agrees not to wash for fifteen years. The soldier becomes a social outcast but ultimately comes to the aid of a money-strapped king on the condition that one of the princesses becomes his wife. This tale is often known as Bearskin in its American variants.

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