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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 »
Frank's saddle has a holster but no rifle when he leaves his horse outside the ranch house near the end. He later uses the rifle from the holster to shoot the bad guys. See more »
Our thanks to the Forest Service for allowing us to film in the Coconino National Forest See more »
I only downrated this movie from 10 out of 10 for the predictable script. I was amused by the comment that Richard Farnsworth seemed out of breath. I am not even Farnsworth's age at filming yet, live in the sticks and I am similarly out of breath when doing heavy work. I have had to quit roping at age 60 due to back pain from previous ski racing injuries and occasional horse falls. In any case this is a very accurate description of cattle ranching anywhere. I have visited places in our Big Smoky Valley where real cattle ranches lived, raised kids and worked in mud, snow, very little for conveniences and without the power grid. We will go to a real cattle roundup near McDermitt, NV next fall of 4000 cattle. This is done by a pioneer family with four brothers, and offspring and is a prized invitation.
Watching home movies from real ranchers might convince some city people who don't notice things like such rudimentary sparse conditions. One example of a goof in the movie was Fonda putting on a watch which would have been an extreme extravagance in 1945. Had this movie had writing as realistic as the filming, it would have been much better. Robards was just to vicious to be real. This was 1945, not 1875, and he couldn't have gotten away with all the murders. The automobiles used, Fonda's 1928 or 29 Model A pickup, and Robard's 41 convertible, the Sheriff's 37 Dodge, and the Banker's 42 Plymouth were all very typical. In 1945, people didn't have the kind of money that they do now, and drove a lot older cars and there were no new cars between 1943 and 1946, and very few 1942 models due to the war.
The simple conversations are typical of cowboys and rural people who work hard and don't play boom boxes and don't say much. They are not driven like city people and work much more quietly. The courting buildup between Caan and Fonda had to do with each adapting to the other gradually and trust forming. It wasn't that Caan was laid back as much as he distrusted Fonda's impetuous reactions at first. The writers really got dialog and realistic conditions right.
I am from a rural background, went to college, drafted into the Army, then finished college and lived and worked in bigger and bigger places and did travel to a lot of places including Europe and Asia. I finally got tired of it, knowing I could create my own job in a small place. This is why a lot of people live in simple places and why so many retire in simple places. They don't care that there are no cable systems, malls, stores, or hospitals. That last long ride to a hospital hopefully will finish you off in the time it takes to get there. Simple places with low housing prices, and a simpler more outdoor life allow retirement poor couples to survive with a decent lifestyle which is far divorced from city/suburban pressured lifestyles. When people wonder why anyone would choose such a life, particularly after "seeing the world" some of it is the above. Handshake business, people who care about each other but still fight and argue, and leaving your doors unlocked is real rural culture, particularly in the west, but you always distrust government and you keep your guns ready.
I highly recommend this movie, I would have given it 8.5 out of 10, but the software is whole numbers, so it is rounded upward.
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