In early 20th-century Montana, Col. William Ludlow lives in the wilderness with his sons, Tristan, Alfred and Samuel. Eventually, the unconventional but close-knit family encounters tragedy when Samuel is killed in World War I. Tristan and Alfred survive their tours of duty, but, soon after they return home, both men fall for Samuel's gorgeous fiancée, Susannah, and their intense rivalry begins to destroy the family. Written by
The brothers enlisted in the Canadian Army, and appear to have served in the 10th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, by the badges on their uniforms. The 10th Battalion was formed from the 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), which was later known as The Calgary Highlanders. Several soldier extras were current members of the Calgary Highlanders. See more »
When Samuel and Susannah are playing tennis early in the movie, as Tristan comes towards them on his horse the weather is clearly hazy. There is then a quick shot of Pet smoking a pipe which shows a perfectly clear blue midday sky. In the next shot of a visible sky showing Tristan with a windmill in the background, it's overcast or a completely different time of day again. See more »
Indians! Indians were the issue in those days. I can assure you, gentlemen, there is nothing quite so grotesque as the meeting of a child with a bullet; or an entire village slaughtered while sleeping. That was the Government's resolution of that particular issue and I have seen nothing in its behavior since then that would persuade me that it has gained either in wisdom, common sense, or humanity.
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Moved me like no film I've seen in a long damn time!
I watch a lot of movies & I can't remember the last time a film held me so spellbound. Not only are the characters engaging & vividly portrayed by an excellent cast, the subtle dynamics of their interactions are portrayed with inspired undertone & nuance. Star billing or even an Oscar should also have been awarded to the spectacularly beautiful scenery of Montana for the vast majesty it bestowed.
This complex saga of love, grief & loyalty is narrated with stark simplicity by old Stab, long-time friend to retired Colonel Ludlow & his 3 sons: staid Alfred, the eldest ("old even for his years"); idealistic Samuel, the youngest ("There was nothing these brothers would not do for him."); & wild Tristan ("Such people become crazy or they become legends."). The conflict between Ludlow's fiercely anti-government anti-war stance & his sons' determination to do what they see as their duty is but a small part of the story; the heart of the tale is the rift that threatens the mutual devotion of these 3 loyal brothers as they all come to love the same woman. "She was not to blame," Stab tells us, "She was like the ice that freezes in the rock and splits it apart."
A tragic tale, yes; heartbreaking at times, but never boring. Every time I felt certain I knew what was coming next, the plot took another unexpected turn & I sat there riveted, softly breathing "Wow!" now & again into the darkness. This film immediately became one of my all-time favorites; I've watched it half a dozen times since then & its scope & power never fail to move me.
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