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Two young Texas cowboys on the cusp of manhood ride into 1940's Mexico in search of experience. What they find is a country as chaotic as it is beautiful, as cruel and unfeeling as it is mysterious, where death is a constant, capricious companion. Written by
Richard Foxx <email@example.com>
After Billy Bob Thornton completed his cut (said to be somewhere between three and four hours), Harvey Weinstein forced him to cut more than another hour from it. Peter Biskind suggests in his book Down and Dirty Pictures (2004) that this was at least partially done as payback for Thornton's refusal to cut Sling Blade (1996). See more »
The silver airplane in the movie is a 1952 Beech Model 18. The movie is set in 1949. See more »
In the opening credits, the Columbia Pictures emblem is not the 2000 one. Instead, it is the circa 1949 version with the woman holding the torch. This is what would have been used at the time the story is set. See more »
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES is quite effective, though there are some serious gaping holes in the story. The story and characters insist that John Cole and Alejandra have fallen in love; we only get to see a swift montage of sex-making, which is not the same thing at all. Damon made me believe that John was in love through the sheer force of his acting, but the audience needed to be courted along in this romance. Also, Lacey Rawlins at one point crucially (suicidally?) antagonizes a fellow in prison, and we have no idea what bad blood has been brewing between these two.
There are stories about how Thornton's film was first cut at four hours, then the director agreed to deliver a three hour version. The financing studio balked at the length and sold it off to Miramax, who contractually required a cut no longer than two and a quarter hours. What is left runs 117 minutes. What happened? Twenty minutes would have certainly helped smooth out the few rough spots, and a two-and-a-half hour or three hour movie might have been some sort of masterpiece. As it is, some of the epic sweep is contained and the film remains remarkably moving, but may wind up ultimately not finding its commercial or artistic audience because of the compromises. A shame.
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