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Richard C. Sarafian
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In the 1840s, trappers with government backing push the Yellow Hands Sioux off their sacred land; they retreat into an apocalyptic spirituality, passively waiting for supernatural wrath to descend on their usurpers. Meanwhile, in England, Lord John Morgan feels his spirit weaken, so he returns to America to live again with the Yellow Hand. Finding them dispirited, he invigorates them as well as himself through self-imposed torture and other rituals. Once he convinces the clan to take direct action, Horse must devise a strategy to take the trappers' fort. The clan's women and boys take on special assignments to aid the assault to regain the sacred land. Written by
What TV did for this sequel is almost "Horse feathers".
As mentioned I watched both this and the classic original last night (03/27/08)back to back because my local library had both.
In my review of "All Quiet On The Western Front",I stated that re-makes are hard to do,especially a TV movie version. TV sequels to theatrical films are just as difficult. The idea and story of John and/or Horse returning to seek solace and then fighting battles with his adopted tribe should have easily been,not just a great adventure but a film that makes some strong statement,like the original.
Unfortunately,the constraints and pitfalls of TV make this difficult sometimes. One thing for sure in my view is the use of that "Little House On The Prarie"-like music in scenes. In the opening it's fine,he's returning to America and looking forward to seeing everyone again.
When things get more serious & violent later,it really has no place here. This kind of story and this kind of music do not mesh very well. As for the actors playing Native-Americans,TV always did go for an easier route. I mean,this was the same medium that wanted us to believe John Travolta was 16 on "Welcome Back Kotter" when he was actually in his 20s.
On the upside the movie,for 70s TV,is fairly daring and represents the times as they were then. What's really best about it,is that it concludes the true story of a unique man and character. It's just too bad it wasn't made for the cinema,with writers and directors and larger named actors. It could have given a much greater sense of urgency and compassion on our part as viewers.
The first movie is really the only reason to watch this sequel,aside from the story of it's central character. Seven out of ten,2 points off for what it lacks and 1 more for that corny 70s TV music. (END)
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