Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the ... See full summary »
A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.
Monte Walsh is an aging cowboy facing the ending days of the Wild West era. As barbed wire and railways steadily eliminate the need for the cowboy, Monte and his friends are left with fewer and fewer options. New work opportunities are available to them, but the freedom of the open prairie is what they long for. Eventually, they all must say goodbye to the lives they knew, and try to make a new start. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
So says Monte's friend as they sit on a front porch, wondering what they'll do now that their way of life is coming to a close. One of the most touching and poignant westerns ever made, "Monte Walsh" is a love poem written to a way of life that only lasted about 20 years, but defined much of American culture. The cowboy period only lasted from about 1865 to 1885, and this film shows several friends who have been cowboys for most of that time, deeply in love with their work, who see it all ending, and are powerless to stop it. Barbed wire fence and one really hard winter (which really did happen, and single handedly changed the western cattle industry, and eradicated the cowhand) do away with their blissful existence, forcing them to confront themselves. What do they do now? It isn't always pretty, and the decisions they make when the chips are down tell you most everything you need to know about human nature. The wonderful theme song by Mama Cass Elliot "The Good Times Are Coming" is just marvelous, and perfect for the film. All in all, one of the 5 best westerns ever made, and the absolute best one dealing with the working cowhand culture. Don't watch this movie if you are embarrassed about crying, because it will break your heart. Truly a work of art. The words "I rode down the gray" will haunt you for the rest of your life.
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