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John Kent Harrison
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...but quite different from the book. I saw this film first, then read Wister's novel, which was reminiscent of the better Zane Gray tales, in their portrayal of the real West and what westerners were like.
Bill Pullman did a fine job, as star and director, but I have to wonder why they made a number of pulp western-y changes. The shootout in the book was simple and powerful, compared to the film's version. The book had examples of rude horseplay and one-upmanship that was the basis of Trampas' hatred for the Virginian, and went deeply into what kind of a man you had to be to survive out in the West of that time.
In some way this gives you the best of both media: see the film first, for the enjoyment it provides, and then dig up a copy of the novel for an interesting, considerably different version of the story.
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