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|Index||15 reviews in total|
What can you say when something's perfect?
This movie is a love song to the west and to the man who made us love it too, Louis L'Amour. They got it all RIGHT in this one ... the script, the breathtaking cinematography, the casting, the acting, the costumes, the sets, the scenery, the direction, and the overall feel of the piece. And the frosting on the cake is that the book comes alive here, respectfully and faithfully transfered to film.
We see the tough and solitary life of a cowpuncher as it was, the dirt, the sweat, the never ending dust, the loneliness, no punches pulled. It exudes values and ethics while never preaching, and it shows the courage of one woman alone with children in the west. It's a tribute, a slice of history, a love story, and a lesson in standing up for what's right. Mostly it's just plain beautiful.
I think the thing that impresses me most about this movie is the casting ... not only the leads and supporting players, but the casting right down to the smallest bit part. And none of the roles are more perfectly cast than those of the children who manage to transcend time from now to then. The rest of the supporting cast reads like a Who's Who of American Westerns ... Barry Corbin, Ken Curtis, Buck Taylor, Dub Taylor ... and the newcomers here hold their own well in this distinguished bunch.
I try not to watch this movie more than once a year. That's difficult for me because I miss it between viewings like I miss an old friend. And every time I rewatch it my heart yearns to return to the west. This film is easily in a class with "Will Penny," and can stand proudly with any western ever made. Watch it.
PS: Yeah, it's got plenty of action too.
Sam Elliot is the quintessential cowboy, and this film allows him to portray the Louis L'Amour character perfectly. He is dangerous, gruff, decisive, courteous, as well as gentle and loving. He can stay in the fight after sustaining injuries that would lay-up a normal man, and prosecute the fight to the fullest extent. He can spend days on the trail, enduring the hardships, but will wash his hands before eating dinner. He is the perfect gentleman to a lady, as well as a hard-boiled barroom brawler. He always plays fair - one reason the cowboy in film history has become such an admirable personality. Sam also is able to portray "the same character" in The Quick & The Dead, with Kate Capshaw and Tom Conti, also a Louis L'Amour adaptation. The only reason not to absolutely love this picture is that is "made for network TV" picture, and there is limited to the fullscreen format and only has mono sound.
This was a solid lower-key Louis L'Amour-written western, meaning a
little bit less action than the normal film of its genre. The action
scenes they did have in here were short, too.
This is mainly a movie with several stories weaved in it: 1 - Cowhands slowly being sifted out as the times change and they are no longer needed; 2 - traitors among the main group, men who go to a competing gang of rustlers; 3 - a story of a lonely widow who has to take care of two kids after he husband disappears (killed).
Katharine Ross is the mother ("Evie Teale") who turns cook at a lonely stagecoach stop that also is being eliminated. She is a good woman, and it's nice to see the female star of "Butch Cassidy And the Sundance Kid" still looking good out there is the prairie over 20 years later. Also refreshing to see was her young boy "Laban," one of the nicest, most respectful kids I've ever seen on film: the exact opposite of the many brats I've seen on film in the last quarter of the 20th century. Cody Braun was excellent as the son, and, that's the only movie role he ever played.
The man "Evie" eventually falls for is the hero of the film, "Conagher," played by Sam Elliott. If anyone in the modern era of films ever looked like he was born to play a cowboy, it has to be Elliott. He has the weathered looks and the voice that go perfectly with westerns.
Overall, this is another beautifully-photographed, nice story and a real "keeper" for those who love a good fim of this genre.
First, let me say, for you "Conagher" fans out there, it has finally
been released on DVD, in May 2005, by Warner Home Video.
Second, on behalf of my wife, this is her favorite western of all time.
And she has seen a bunch of them!
In addition to being a cowboy movie, it's a romance. A realistic one, too. Katherine Ross' strong female character provides an excellent counterpoint to Elliot's rough cowboy ways.
Sam Elliot gives his finest performance, I think. He certainly seems to be having fun while doing it, too.
In many ways, this movie reminds me of "Will Penny", another fine western, starring Charlton Heston. If you liked "Will Penny", you will like "Conagher".
An exemplary Western in the tradition of "Shane". Conn Conagher is my
of man... tough, courageous and most of all honorable... and Sam Elliott
is the epitome of "cool", plays him to the bone!
This movie has the feel of how it really was in the West back then with authentic dialog, scenery, dress and props of the time. It has a well written script with action, drama and warmth. For true Western fans, I recommend it highly.
As far as books that become movies go, this is arguably the most
faithful adaptation I've ever seen. This film follows L'Amour's novel
of the same name so close that most of the dialog is word for word with
the book. Like HONDO, also a L'Amour, the only parts left out of this
film are minor pieces that had to be omitted because the film would be
4-5 hours long if every single scene was included. Even HONDO though,
which is a wonderfully faithful adaptation doesn't follow as close as
CONAGHER. The parts from the book that are left out are explained
rather than shown.
That being said, the film is in my opinion one of the great westerns of all time. Not THE best, but definitely worthy of mention among the best. Sam Elliott & real life wife Katherine Ross are excellent, as is the supporting cast, comprised of a who's who of western actors, including Barry Corbin, Buck Taylor, James Gammon, & Ken Curtis (who was actually one of John Ford's "boys"). I can't think of anything but praise for this film. If you're a fan of great westerns it's definitely for you, but also anyone who likes a good film of any kind where we have a hero not trying to be a hero, but rather just doing what he has to, you'll like it too.
Excellent. Very true to the original story. Sam Elliott is the quintessential "cowboy" actor. Louis L'Amour took a great deal of time researching his characters: from central characters to "extras" - this piece rings authentic with the way the Old West sounded,looked,and the way the people dressed and behaved. Its also quite romantic - a fact enhanced by the scenes between Elliott and his real-life wife and costar, Katherine Ross.
I can hardly put into words ,my love for this movie.I have seen it at
least 50 times.I wore out the first video and have started on my second
I am a great fan of Louis L'amour and the making of this book into a film was one of the best things that could have happened,for me.
The cast and crew could not have been better picked. The roles of Evie and Conagher could not have been better done than with the husband and wife team of Sam Elliott and Katherine Ross.
I am transported to the old west every time I watch this movie.I suppose I like it so much because the book does the same thing when I read it.It is a movie to enjoy time and time again.
With Sam Elliot and Katherine Ross's smoking chemistry, this delightful adaptation of the L'Amour classic is a winner all the way.The horses, horsemanship (most of it anyway) and tack and equipment are correct for the time period, a rarity in TV movies. The range of emotion is beautifully captured in the sweeping cinematography, rich with sunsets and broad expanses of prairie. The story, one of LAmour's finest, tells of a woman facing the harsh reality that sometimes husbands never do come home...and the kindness of strangers may be the saving grace. Several songs have sprung from the imagery of this film,one of the best being Juni Fisher's "He'd Be Home By Now" on her "Sideshow Romance" album, (Red Geetar Records, 2004) Enjoy this one with a bowl of popcorn and keep a hankie ready.
The book and movie is every bit a classic as Owen Wister's The Virginian.
On one level the movie may seem a bit slow, but that is the beauty of it.
Like Lonesome Dove, Conagher follows the book very closely and could not have a better cast chosen.
The only negative is that it is not available on DVD, WAKE UP TED!!
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