An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy ... See full summary »
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An intimate story of the enduring bond of friendship between two hard-living men, set against a sweeping backdrop: the American West, post-World War II, in its twilight. Pete and Big Boy are masters of the prairie, but ultimately face trickier terrain: the human heart. Written by
HI-LOW's characters, with Big Boy and Pete central, and Mona as the obsessive lure for both, were perfectly developed and portrayed. Big Boy was a prototypical strutting, macho "stud duck" in a remote west-Texas grain farming and cattle region, along the base of the sharp, towering escarpment which splits the LOW and HIGH PLAINS. Big Boy and Pete were among the WWII combat veterans returning home to find draft dodgers acquiring property and wealth by any means -- most often questionable legal tactics. This happened throughout the Western U.S., even the Mid-West and South East. Many of these accumulated great wealth, but without respect within their communities or region. That lack of respect continues for many of their wealthy families to this date among "natives." Mona represented forbidden fruit, not because of anything she controlled, because she was a lost soul out of control, trapped in a miserable marriage to one of the despised prototypes of the era, a WWII draft dodger, who was foreman for the villain's growing ranch. Sam Elliott's villain earned the scorn by becoming a totally unscrupulous wealthy draft dodger. Mona was a poor, ill-educated nearly starving woman during the war years, forced to make a choice between abject poverty and creature comforts in a loveless marriage as trophy wife to a cowardly excuse of a man. "Draft Dodging" was the one unforgivable sin for any man of that era. Sleeping with his wife, and taking her, was "morally right." The Cruz character could not have more perfectly developed and portrayed as a young Latina woman, a "Mexican" in that culture. English was not her primary language. Attractive, and especially "available" Latinas were welcome to dance in the "whites' tonks", while in most communities, "Mexican" males might be permitted to stand along a back wall. At the end, while loving her, Pete still walked away because mixed marriage was unacceptable. In remote 1940s western areas, "dime vending machines' were common.
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