Into the Wild

Trivia: Hal Holbrook was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role as Ron Franz. At the age of 82, Holbrook became the oldest nominee in Oscar history.

Trivia: The bus shown in the film where Chris makes his camp in Alaska, and eventually dies, remained there until it was airlifted from the site in June 2020 by a USAF Chinook helicopter - its whereabouts and fate are unknown. Travelers from all over the world had trekked there and in notebooks left inside the bus, recorded where they were from, their trips there and their feelings on Chris and his life, but in the process dozens of people got into difficulties in the rugged terrain around the bus, and at least two died.

Trivia: While certain details of the story were altered for the confines of film, the characters Jan Burres played by Catherine Keener and Ronald Franz played by Hal Holbrook were both, according to research, entirely accurate. In fact when Jon Krakauer, the author of the book with the same name, contacted both people, they remembered Chris well and expressed great loss when learning of his death.

Trivia: When Chirs gets to Slab City, which actually exists by the way (I was there a year ago, and it's populated by some wonderfully kind people, I might add), he climbs Salvation Mountain. He is shown around by a sweet old man who explains the mountain to him. That is the actual builder of Salvation Mountain, Leonard Knight.

Other mistake: The closing captions state that Chris McCandless' sister Carine flew "his" brother's ashes home, instead of "her" brother's ashes.

More mistakes in Into the Wild

Christopher McCandless: If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.

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Question: Chris didn't take any ID or such with him. It's OK that he could work with the country guys, but how could he get an "official" job in a fast food restaurant without any identification document or card?


Answer: Chris probably knew what his Social Security Number was, and providing this could be enough to legitimately get him on the payroll. The people he worked for along the way could have been used as references. It is also possible that he was able to get a transcript and/or other documentation from Emory University; maybe a phone call to check if he graduated was more than enough. Christopher was also somewhat older and educated/ intelligent than others seeking such employment - in his early 20s compared to high school kids - which may have given him an advantage. There was probably a high job turnover rate among the employees, making it easier to get hired. Fast food restaurants tend to hire people from all walks of life, many who do not have much, if any, formal education or prior job experience; they often hire whoever applies.


Not entirely disagreeing with your answer, but having worked at a university, I can say that someone cannot simply make a phone call to obtain a student's academic information, even their own. A 1974 U.S. federal law (FERPA) protects student privacy. Every school is different, but there is usually a process requiring identification, paperwork, and signatures to prove identity. As Chris had left all his I.D. behind, it would take some time for him to get any college information, particularly from a school in another state.

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Answer: One possibility is that it wasn't an "official" job and his boss was paying him 'under the table' (unreported employment). It is illegal, but it's more profitable for an employer to avoid reporting anything to the federal government, disregard regulations, not pay the usual employee taxes, benefits, etc.

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