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Legends of the Fall (1994)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  13 January 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 105,125 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 322 user | 57 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

Epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, love and betrayal.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Bill Wittliff) , 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Desmond ...
Robert Wisden ...
James O'Banion (as John Novack)
Sam Sarkar ...


Set in the Rocky Mountains of Montana in the early 1900s, this is a tale of love, betrayal, and brotherhood. After being discharged, Colonel Ludlow decides to raise his three sons in the wilds of Montana, where they can grow up away from the government and society he has learned to despise. The three brothers mature and seem to have an unbreakable bond, until Susanna enters their lives. When Samuel, the youngest of the three, returns from college he brings with him his beautiful fiancée, Susanna. The eldest son, Alfred, soon finds himself in love with his brother's fiancée, and things get worse when he discovers a growing passion between Susanna and Tristan. Colonel Ludlow's favorite son, Tristan is willful and as wild as the mountains. As the brothers set out to fight a war in Europe, suspicion and jealousy threatens to tear apart their once indestructible bond. Written by saunders11@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was a rock they broke themselves against however much he tried to protect them See more »


Drama | Romance | War | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, and for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

13 January 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Leyendas de pasión  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


£2,403,399 (UK) (19 May 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Neither Brad Pitt nor Julia Ormond had ridden before making this film. See more »


After Samuel tells his father that he's going to fight in the war, there is a shot of him where Alfred's shoulder is barely visible behind him. When he runs to the stairs to talk to Susannah there is a closeup of him. Even though he has moved about five feet he is still in the same position as earlier in the closeup, and Alfred's shoulder is still visible. See more »


Tristan: You know when Samuel died... when Samuel died, I cursed God. Did I damn everybody around me as well as myself?
Colonel Ludlow: No. You are not damned, Tristan... I won't allow that.
See more »


Referenced in Absence (2013) See more »


Twilight and Mist
Written by James Horner and Brock Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

A wonderful, emotional melodrama
21 April 2000 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

A really good film. Basically a melodrama. Repeat, MELOdrama. Hollywood used to churn out this sort of film all the time with no apologies. OK, many of them seem corny now, but why do people think that every movie made has to be stark realism?

I was tremendously impressed with Brad Pitt's performance. (I'm a guy, so I mean that, and am not swooning over his looks). I had never seen him in anything before, and had barely heard of him. Anthony Hopkins was, as always, fantastic. In fact every single actor hit every single note with the possible exception of Henry Thomas. One of Aidan Quinn's best films, also. The photography of Alberta is magnificent, and I think no one can begrudge LOTF its cinematography Oscar.

The film makers have an excuse for the occasional credibility lapse, in that there is a story frame, the recollections of One Stab, the old Cree. This covers things like Susannah falling for Samuel, who seemed to be an empty suit, Tristan keeping his long hair while in the British Army, etc. Excellent performance by Gordon Tootoosis, by the way, although his manner of speaking is very reminiscent of Chief Dan George.

I highly recommend this film, if you can watch it without trying to dislike it.

60 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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