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>
Amongst those able to view Billy Bob Thornton's original cut, which ran for 3 hours 40 minutes, opinions were divided. Ben Affleck remarked that it was "brilliant, a masterpiece". Former Miramax marketing head Dennis Rice had this to say: "It was the most self-indulgent director's cut I'd ever seen. It was like torture to watch that movie." See more »
At the end, when John Grady Cole is riding into Lacey's ranch, we first see him galloping across the field, with the two horses running free on either side of him. After the camera breaks and comes back to John talking to Lacey, both horses have bridles on and John is holding onto them. 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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