Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and ... See full summary »
Two students from neighboring colleges in upstate New York are swept up in a tragic romantic interlude calling for a maturity of vision beyond their experience of capabilities. Pookie Adams... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
Three years after his divorce from his model-wife is the psychologist Larry Livingstone ready for a new commitment. He falls in love with the young widow Beth who has two children. But Beth... See full summary »
Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »
An ambitious reporter gets in way-over-his-head trouble while investigating a senator's assassination which leads to a vast conspiracy involving a multinational corporation behind every event in the worlds headlines.
Alan J. Pakula
Nora Helmer has years earlier committed a forgery in order to save the life of her authoritarian husband Torvald. Now she is being blackmailed lives in fear of her husband's finding out and... See full summary »
Ellen Gordon, a New York executive's mistress falls for the executive's young business associate when the young man is accidentally sent to use the apartment where the executive and his ... See full summary »
A photographer, who has been hired to photograph the wild west of America where he has lived his entire life, tells his client of a photograph he has that was taken one hundred years ago by... See full summary »
A group of misfits decide to leave for a place that they can all be free. There mode of transportation is a PBY flying boat. The only problem is that the PBY needs a lot of work and they ... See full summary »
Richard and Priscilla Parker's lives take a turn for the better when Eddy and Kay move into the house next door. Eddy's a risk taker and shows his new neighbours how to enjoy life at the ... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and Frank fight back through stampedes, jealousy, betrayal, and sabotage...they eventually find love. Written by
Most Western movies are set during the second half of the 19th century with some being set in the first half of the 1800s but this western was actually set in the middle of the 20th century, in 1945. See more »
When Ewing is shot and falls of his horse, his foot slips THROUGH the stirrup. When the horse gallops away, the foot of the stuntman doubling for Jason Robards is TIED to the stirrup by a long strap, that can be safely released. See more »
Our thanks to the Forest Service for allowing us to film in the Coconino National Forest See more »
I'm a fan of the late Alan J Pakula's naturalist style of direction, low on action but high on character, particularly his earlier contemporary political thrillers "The Parallax View" and of course "All The President's Men" and so came to this low-key out-west drama set during the second world war, (not that you'd know from the storyline itself). With an A-list acting cast boasting James Cann, Jane Fonda & Jason Robards you just know there's going to be a fair bit of intensity on display. In fact Fonda, despite being on screen from pretty much the start takes ages to utter her first line and it's fair to say that the director employs the "say more with less" approach throughout.
The plot, characters and indeed cinematography recall to mind classic films of yore, like Hawks' "Red River", Stevens' "Giant" and even a touch of "Gone With The Wind" with the fire at the conclusion, but the action is a little laboured, with, to these ears slow-talking drawling dialogue quite often proving fairly difficult to decipher, at least to my ears. The camera however picks out some wonderful scenery in natural clear light and throughout there's a sympathetic musical soundtrack adding shading to the pictures up front.
Back to the plot, which is a little melodramatic, I fear, with its casual slaughter of various individuals and depiction of Jason Robards as the smouldering resentful villain of the piece - I found all this much harder to swallow in its mid-40's settings than if it had been set in the old west. Ditto in fact all the other main characters - if it wasn't for the appearance of the oil derricks, light aircraft and contemporary cars, this story could have happily slotted into a mid 1860's time-line.
Of the acting, it's obvious that Pakula is going to get his handsome leading couple romantically involved although when it's done it's at least done without preamble, subverting the romantic courtship ritual of every other western since the year dot. Caan is fine as the strong-willed individual well able to look after himself (he early on dispatches a couple of Robards' thugs in short order in one of the few action scenes in the film), at least willing to consider adapting to the present-day, while Fonda is probably a bit too mannered in her portrayal of the independent single woman being driven to sell up her ranch by a combination of failing resources and Robards' machinations. She overplays occasionally with her eyes acting more than the rest of her, especially when she swears her "Damn your soul" oath against Robards. Robards himself, late of "All The President's Men", of course, does moody and stolid throughout, with sometimes variable results.
In summary then, a slow-moving but reasonably involving tale of the new old-west, which could have stood more enlivening in my opinion.
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