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|Index||26 reviews in total|
Granted, both the original Lonesome Dove novel and film are unique works of extremely fascinating classic story telling. Streets of Laredo obviously has a great deal to live up to and, when viewed or read in conjunction with Dove, it does suffer in the sense that our familiarity is slightly snubbed. Of course not much can measure up to the original, and so obviously this is something that cannot be helped. This sequel is far more brutal and violent that its predecessor. Violent death or at least the threat of it is an ever present character awash on Laredo's landscape much more than Dove.That said, Streets of Laredo as a film stands firmly upon its own merits which are quite impressive.Firstly, the cast is sublime. James Garner, always a vastly underrated actor, creates a stoic yet tragic Call. His final scene is at once heart breaking and resonating with strong quiet hope. His performance is all about what film acting aspires to become: he moves mountains without words.The rest of the cast is on equal footing with Garner. Playwrite Sam Shepard's Pea Eye, although losing much of Tim Scott's original Bentonesque forlorn rube, is filled with earthy heroism and and poetry. Sissy Spacek, as the whore re-incarnated as a schoolmarm Lorena produces the tough backbone needed to survive the Texas prarie. Comedian George Carlin's finely drawn panhandle scamp solidifies the theory that the border between comedy and tragedy is narrow at best. These are just a few of the excellent standouts in the sound ensemble.Secondly, there is the very narrative itself. It plays like a Sunday funeral dirge-ever aware of the passing of an era, yet peering into a glimmer future of simple optimism and hope. In McMurtry's frequently brutal world, everyone has a shot at redemption. Grace isn't free but it is availble to all willing to run the gauntlet, as long as they have a pure heart. In this film, pure of heart may not necessarily mean pure of deed, but at least evil is evil and good is good.This film bravely balances the aformentioned violence with scenes of wry humour and gentleness. In that regard, Laredo comes the closest anyone has come to honoring Peckinpah's greater works.The film, because it was produced for television is already mostly forotten by the minnions, but richly deserving of an audience. Enjoy and Savor.
Streets of Laredo - The sequel to Lonesome Dove
Streets of Laredo has much to offer - a long tale of famous Texas legends - some fictional, like Captain Woodrow F. Call, others real - John Wesley Hardin (played by Randy Quaid) and Judge Roy Bean (played by Ned Beatty).
If you're looking for a film to take you back to the wild, wild West, this one will do. It's a quiet story though, not full of action, as some shoot-em-ups are. Like Lonesome Dove it has heartbreak and pain, and some very quiet humor. Roy Bean and Call have a particularly great scene together, as do the young killer Call is after and John Wesley Hardin.
The story is also full of great ideas, something sorely lacking in most films. Family. Loyalty. Old Age. Change. Eastern values. Western traditions.
And while Sam Shephard has always been a respected actor, he MAKES this movie as he is at the center of one of the oldest conflicts on Earth - what makes a man a man, family or duty. He is so quiet! And so powerful when he does speak. His wife Lorena, played by Sissy Spacek, speaks for him most eloquently. Is she, or is she not THE greatest actor Texas ever produced? Who knew George Carlin could act?
James Garner is genuine, and authentic, as he always is.
The story is full of great characters - who fall away until the principles are left to resolve, or not resolve their conflicts.
The score is haunting, the cinematography is especially beautiful, the story is timeless, which is what one expects from Larry McMurtry.
First of all, the vast majority of those giving "Streets of Laredo" bad
reviews have no legitimate complaints whatsoever. People whine about
the dark tone, the killings, the acting, et cetera. Rather, this film
has much more in common with the real old west, to a greater degree
even than series like "Deadwood". Of course, many of the immature,
misguided western fans seem to want happy horse-riding hippies who talk
hard and rough but don't live it. How stupid to expect such from the
real killers of the west.
Woodrow F. Call (James Garner) is not a nice man. And he should not be pigeonholed as one, either. Garner plays him the way he should be, and is even more impressive than Tommy Lee Jones in "Lonesome Dove", the series which preceded this one. Indeed, despite the rabid fanbase of "Lonesome Dove" (of which I very nearly belong), this series is undoubtedly superior. First of all, the direction is a vast improvement. Joseph Sargent handles the scenery and actors with far more intelligence and grace than Simon Wincer, who proved his woeful inadequacies when he returned for the prequel "Comanche Moon" last year. That series was pure trash, horribly acted and directed despite the great actors involved.
There are many great performances beside Garner. Charles Martin Smith, Sam Shepard, and Sissy Spacek are pure class. Smith, especially, has always been an excellent unnoticed actor. This is perhaps his best performance since "Never Cry Wolf" (1983). He is sympathetic and identifiable as the nervous railman. Shepard and Spacek play husband and wife quite intuitively. Their character development is well-performed to the highest degree. This is also one of Spacek's best performances.
Larry McMurtry has a very intuitive writing style, and the film carries over much of his subtlety. There's no overblown dialogue or direction to be found in "Streets of Laredo", something that the original "Lonesome Dove" series sometimes slipped into. I would say, without reservation, that this is one of the very best and most realistic depictions of the true west. A great film, with stunning acting and direction. A must see for any true film fan - narrow-minded western fans looking for a 'Hollywood' west need not apply.
RATING: 8.5 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found this to be a decent follow-up to the excellent Lonesome Dove TV
miniseries. Although a different cast and a different story, it does
the original story justice and follows that if you liked Lonesome Dove,
then you'll like this, too. However, in my opinion, Lonesome Dove was
decidedly superior and holds up better in multiple viewings. I liked
this a lot the first time I saw it; not so much the second time.
There is just one constant in the two stories: the character of Capt. Woodrow Call, played by Tommy Lee Jones in the first series and by James Garner in this sequel. You can't go wrong with either actor.
On my second look at this long story (227 minutes), I didn't enjoy it as much the first time because I found the last hour just too bleak and depressing. Watching character after character getting killed and listening to Sissy Spacey's constant complaining wore me down. I liked the unique finish: an uplifting, sentimental postscript in which Garner shows a human side to him that hadn't been shown the first three hours. That was a nice touch, but was "too little, too late."
In summary, mixed reviews: this is definitely worth a look, especially for Garner who is fascinating. I gave it nine stars after that initial viewing. But, trust me, unless you enjoy being depressed, one trip down the Streets Of Loredo might be all you will want. But do see it, especially if you like "realistic" hard-bitten westerns.
One of the first things I do after watching a movie I really like, is checking reviews of others...professionals and amateurs, as listed here. It's very frustrating reading some of them. Why do people compare them? Why do they look for faults? Why do they not see and praise the positive aspects and ease up on critical commentary? It's like comparing apples & oranges & bananas & strawberries, etc. Comparing a film to the book or a previous film seems overly critical to me. It always bothered me when Siskel & Ebert & Roeper, et al. rated films as bad or good...thumbs up or down...see it or don't see it. Streets of Laredo is a perfect example. A lot of superb work was put into this fascinating sequel by the director, the cinematographer, the actors, the music composer, the art directors and more. It deserves more than comparisons with the equally superb mini-series Lonesome Dove and its fabulous other sequels. James Garner's Woodrow Call was terrific, so was Tommy Lee Jones' but is it fair to compare them? Cissy Spacek's Lorena was just as good as Diane Lane's as were Sam Shephard's and Tim Scott's Pea Eye interpretations. How do you rate cake and pie? Is one better than the other? Should you condemn it to thumbs down or tell others to avoid it? Maybe to some people this is the way. One constant in all the LD sequels is Larry McMurtry's brilliant characterizations. And don't complain about character development. It takes time to develop a character's nuances and profile. E.G Archie Bunker, Mary Richards, Barney Miller and friends. How long a movie do you want to watch? To wrap it up, Streets of Laredo is a superb film with great acting, directing, cinematography, and a stirring musical score and more. So was Lonesome Dove, Return to Lonesome Dove, Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon and the TV series. They're all different but great!
If you haven't seen any of the other "Lonesome Dove" movies, "Streets
of Laredo" is a strong drama with an excellent cast. James Garner is
arguably America's least appreciated actor because he was always so
handsome and charismatic. News flash: He's a terrific actor, not just a
movie/TV star. Sissy Spacek is always wonderful. And all supporting
parts filled with fine actors.
Problem is, for those of us who've seen the others in this saga, much of this one doesn't make sense. We have no idea of the year. "Lonesome Dove" was set in 1877, a year after "Custer's Last Stand." Gus, Woodrow and Pea Eye were "old men" about 50 years old who'd been together for 30 years. Lorena was in her early 20s, shy and illiterate. Now Woodrow is perhaps ten years older, Lorena is much older, and is a strong, worldly schoolteacher married to a Pea Eye who's at least ten years younger than the original Pea Eye. They've been married for at least 15 years, and have five children. And Woodrow and Pea Eye have STILL known each other only 30 years.
We wonder why Woodrow is in Laredo instead of at his thriving ranch in Montana. We wonder how and where Lorena and Pea Eye got together, given she went to San Francisco while Pea Eye stayed at the Montana ranch.
The novel doubtless fills in lots of these gaps, but the movie shouldn't require reading the novel. Perhaps McMurtry, a true American literary treasure, just threw this screenplay together.
But even those of us who know and love "Lonesome Dove," still one of the three best things ever made for television (with "Gettysburg" and "Band of Brothers"), can detach "Streets of Laredo" from the other three, ignore its many flaws, and just watch it on its own. When we do that, we enjoy a lot of wonderful acting in a very good drama.
This is my favorite movie. It may be long, but it's not drawn out. It doesn't have the regular ol' western theme.. you know, and older man, a widowed woman, a crazy horse... no no no, this movie is real. I watch it from time to time and enjoy it even more each time. Alexis Cruz does a fantastic job as Joey Garza. Samuel Shephard is also fabulous in his role, and fits the part perfectly. 9.5 out of 10 stars.
Streets of Laredo is just as compelling as the original the only difference is that James Garner now holds the reins as Captain Woodrow Call,One of the most legendary Texas Rangers ever. Times have changed and so has Call's West. Things are changing as the 20 century looms closer and the wild west becomes Civilied. Woodrow Call is now a feared Bounty hunter and one of the greatest bounty hunters of his age. Call is now older but no wiser in the ways of the world and when he's hired to track down a Mexican Bandit named Joey Garza. Call Drags his ever loyal Corperal Pea-Eye Parker to help him track down the killer despite Pea-Eye now being married and having a family of his own. Streets of Laredo is a study of loyalties and betrayals to old ideas. Garner is simpling outstanding as Call. he is rivaled by George Carlin in a dramatic role a first for Carlin This movie shows us how the tale Ends but to me it still leaves a lot out maybe to lead to another story in the Lonesome Dove universe about the Final Years of Woodrow Call. Superb acting and a strong script make this a highly recommended movie which is official Canon unlike the sequel Return to Lonesome Dove which wasn't. Streets of Laredo can stand along side Lonesome Dove as one of the very best wild west stories ever told.
Is this better than Lonesome Dove? Depends on who you ask. I think that viewed objectively it is indeed a better mini-series. Two things complicate this in many people's minds. First, when it comes to the books I think most people think Lonesome Dove is a better book. Second, the first mini-series was so one of a kind that it really left an impression with people. Really got in their heads. By the time this came out people didn't find a western mini-series as groundbreaking. But if you watch them back to back now I think this one comes out on top. It features some great performances and, as others have commented, is a bit darker in tone and feel than the previous mini-series. If you liked Lonesome Dove this is a slam dunk for you to like.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Randy Quaid is about as unlikely a candidate to play John Wesley
Hardin, that stone killer, as you could possibly imagine. Quaid
presumably lives in an old trailer waiting for the next National
Lampoon "Vacation" movie -- but he brings it off brilliantly.
Same thing with George Carlin as anything but a shriveled prune of an aging comedian doing conceptual humor ("Why do they call bread a staple? It doesn't have little sharp points. Weird.")But he, too, is perfectly cast.
As sequels go, this one is a welcome surprise. I've attempted to watch some of the other "Lonesome Dove" sequels, but had to give up after a few minutes. I assumed the problem was the absence of most or all of the original actors -- but maybe the presence of McMurtry himself as screenwriter made all the difference.
Yes, it would have been great to have Tommy Lee Jones back as Woodrow Call, but James Garner does a fine job. Sissy Spacek is also perfect as Lorena some years on.
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