John Sayles' murder-mystery explores interpersonal and interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. Sam Deeds is the local sheriff who is called to investigate a 40-year-old skeleton found in the desert....As Sam delves deeper into the town's dark secrets, he begins to learn more about his father, the legendary former sheriff Buddy Deeds, who replaced the corrupt Charlie Wade. While Sam puzzles out the long-past events surrounding the mystery corpse, he also longs to rekindle a romance with his old high-school flame. Sayles' complex characters are brought together as the tightly woven plot finally draws to its dramatic close. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the "Best of Film 1996" at position #4 in the in their year end review issue dated December 23, 1996. See more »
When Mikey and Cliff are in Mikey's sculpture studio, around 55 minutes in, Cliff holds up a fired .45 bullet that had clearly pancaked against a smooth, flat surface and he asks, "What's a pistol slug doing on a rifle range?" Pistols are fired all the time on outdoor rifle ranges, even if not in official events. Also, at the beginning of that scene around 54 minutes in, the camera pans over a collection of mostly spent cartridge cases, including many pistol cases for .44 Magnum or .45 Long Colt, .45 ACP (including one live round with a modern jacketed hollow point bullet), and more. See more »
[cataloging the flora]
We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave, nopal... What's that stuff? Yeah that's it, that's whatchamacallit. That's horse crippler.
This place is a gold mine.
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I just bought this movie on DVD and watched it for the first time in a couple of years, and once again it amazed me. While most scripts stumble recklessly from one hackneyed plot device to another, "Lone Star" flows like a steady, winding river, never letting the viewer see too far downstream. The spine of the film is Sherrif Sam Deed's investigation into a thirty-year-old murder, yet this story is quickly absorbed by many finely scripted subplots and an overall theme on the futility of trying to escape history. While most directors can't help but show off when using flashy camera movement and jumps in continuity, Sayles employs such a subtle directing style that his leaps in time and location are seamless. Sayles fleshes out his script with subplots on racism, national pride, censorship, generation gaps, politics, social revisionism, and on and on. Most directors don't tackle this many topics in a career, yet Sayles juggles them all in one film without jamming them down the audiences' throats. If the subplots in Sayles' "City of Hope" were connected like a series of dominos, here they are gently woven together like a colorful, well-worn Southwestern quilt. The love story between Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Pena is both wistful and steamy. The film's social conscience is compelling. The father/son conflict between Otis and Delmore Payne (Ron Canada and Joe Morton) feels totally realistic. The dialoge is concise and insightful. Fate hangs over every character and every moment. Plus "Lone Star" has one of my favorite "final scenes", one that perfectly sums up the ironies of the film. It is simply one of the best movies I have ever seen.
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