4.1/10
104
13 user 3 critic

Rockwell (1994)

| Western
Story based on Porter Rockwell, bounty hunter and body guard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Randy Gleave ...
...
Willie Akers
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Bozung ...
1st assasin
...
Chauncey Higbee
Linda Gilbert ...
Mrs. Neff - Mary Ann's mother
Shantal Hiatt ...
Mary Anne Neff
...
Elijah Abel
Scott McMillan ...
Paul Mugerian ...
Trapper #1
Meilani Paul
Michael Ruud ...
Lance C. Williams ...
Levi
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Storyline

Story based on Porter Rockwell, bounty hunter and body guard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

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mormon | independent film | See All (2) »

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Western

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Also Known As:

Rockwell: A Legend of the Wild West  »

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User Reviews

 
The movie's pretty good, and here's why my friends and I liked it
30 March 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My friends and I actually enjoyed this movie. Point by point, this is where we disagree with one earlier review:

1.) The movie may be a "weak western" for that reviewer, but for us, it was actually much better than we expected, despite the obviously limited budget.

2.) The acting isn't great by some of the actors (obviously not a high budget for actors), but much of the acting is pretty good - especially the actors who play the young guy Willie, the chief antagonist Higbee, the mob leader Worrell, the ears outlaw, and maybe a few others.

3.) The "villains" are far from being broadly written, as the reviewer claims, and are not at all like those of the early silent movies he alludes to. This film goes into the motivations and to some extent the psyche of the main antagonist, Higbee.

4.) There is much more to the sets than "the same log cabin to film everyone's exteriors," as claimed by the reviewer. We saw sets with many buildings and cabins. A couple times maybe a single cabin is used for different scenes (again, apparently the budget), but the same cabin was obviously NOT used for scenes in two different states - Illinois and Utah, per the reviewer's claim. I think if you watch the film you will notice the many buildings used.

5.) Some of the costumes were GREAT, others did look like old clothes brought from home - I agree with the reviewer half way on that point. I'm no hairstylist but he may be right about the hairstyles being too modern. Some definitely looked nineteenth- century to me however.

6.) As for modern doorknobs, the reviewer might be right on that also, I didn't notice them as a distraction, but most if not all the props looked pretty authentic.

7.) What he sees as a "modern city in the background of one shot" (when a corrupt judge rides into town) isn't in focus for the background, so one cannot tell if it's modern or old. Not sure it can be accurately criticized as a modern city, as no cars can be seen and the reflecting windows could have come from buildings in a frontier town OR a modern town.

8.) The character of Rockwell, he says, is "hit on by not one, but TWO preteen girls trying to find a husband. Both scenes are really squirm inducing." Man, I totally disagree. My buddies and their wives thought that was the funniest running gag in the whole movie. Rockwell has ZERO interest in them, so nothing is there to squirm about. (Actually there are THREE such girls, not two, and a couple of them appear to be 13 or 14, which were in fact the ages that girls in the 1800s were when starting to look for a future mate.) Rockwell has his sights set on a woman much older than these young gals, and he dismisses them. We thought it was done in good taste, and the humor came through.

9.) Everyone I know thinks Karl Malone looks like he's having fun - and when the movie came out he was on the news - I saw him on "Entertainment Tonight" and a couple other shows - talking about the fun-ness factor. By contrast, the reviewer claims Malone "looks clueless as to how he got stuck in this in the first place." That's a funny reviewer line, actually, but I don't agree with it. Karl pulls off what he is supposed to in good stride and is obviously enjoying it.

10.) Karl's character is necessary to the "buddy film" aspect of the three main characters, showing his humor and willingness to support his friends. He is not just "shooting and running around," as the reviewer claims. In fact his character obviously has some inner turmoil and complexity because he states how he doesn't want to take up gunfighting again - yet does, to support his friends and neighbors.

11.) "The play" scene is actually pretty funny, especially where Rockwell sees his girlfriend and forgets his lines. The reviewer however says his "jaw was agape in how bad the scene was." Well I respect his opinion, but in my opinion it wasn't in the same league as truly bad scenes in films I've seen over the years that did leave my jaw agape. To me and my friends it's a scene that is far from "embarrassing" and "trying to be funny" -- it was actually quite funny. The reviewer complained that scene "dragged on," but that was how the main characters on stage were supposed to be feeling when Rockwell forgot his lines; thus they wanted to get off stage; so the moment was SUPPOSED to drag on for them. But it didn't for me. The scene works.

12.) Characters using "ain't" and "reckon" are in line with many westerns, but the reviewer didn't like it. I'm a huge westerns fan.

13.) The movie wasn't hard to find on video, as the reviewer claims. I saw it in several video stores when looking for other westerns when I was traveling on business from California to Pennsylvania in the mid-90's. Plus I saw it advertised on Pay-per-view and I think HBO or Showtime. The movie was rated PG-13 in its last rating. He mentions it was rated R. The VHS tape was a couple years earlier, but it obviously didn't deserve it so it was changed to PG-13, which it is today. I've seen other Independent films given different ratings a couple years apart also.

Not a great movie, but for the obviously challenging budget, it's entertaining.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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