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The Jack Bull (1999)

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After being wrongfully denied justice, a horse trader seeks his own justice on a treacherous rancher.

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Judge Tolliver
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Henry Ballard
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Cora Redding
...
Woody
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Slater
...
Billy
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Conrad
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Shelby Dykes
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Atty. Gen. Metcalfe
...
...
Ollie (as Nicholas E. Gillie)
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Edsel Fraser
...
Judge Wilkins
...
Col. Jeffries (as Glen Morshower)
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Storyline

The Jack Bull tells the story of Myrl Redding, a Wyoming horse trader who clashes with Henry Ballard, a fellow rancher, after Ballard abuses two of Myrl's horses and their Crow Indian caretaker, Billy. When Judge Wilkins throws out Myrl's complaint, the war he wages to force Ballard to nurse the emaciated animals back to health escalates into a vigilante manhunt, murder and the possible defeat of Wyoming's bid for statehood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All men want justice. Few are willing to pay the price.

Genres:

Drama | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some Western violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jack Bull  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is derived from the names of two dog breeds - Jack Russell and Bulldog. Myrl Redding (John Cusack) is said to have the tenacity of a Jack Russell and the strength of a bulldog when angered. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, the statehood congregation parades through town with flags containing 50 stars. The proper flag for the period would have been the 43 star flag. See more »

Quotes

Judge Tolliver: Well, I worry about you and me, Judge Wilkins. I swear to God I do, 'cause if this country gets ruined... it'll be ruined by people *like* you and me. This is a territory of unimportant people; most folks around here...
[laughs softly]
Judge Tolliver: can't even write their name. You and me... we're the important people. Trouble is, there's not enough of us important people to go around - we're spread thin, so sometimes, important things get ignored or don't get said. Like... take care of the little feller; see...
See more »

Connections

Version of Michael Kohlhaas (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring them Bells
Written by Bob Dylan
Performed by Bob Dylan
Courtesy of Columbia Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Above average TV Western in which a horse trader seeks justice and takes the law on his own hands
4 June 2012 | by See all my reviews

Good Western with satisfying and impressive directorial by John Badham and produced by the prestigious HBO . The Jack Bull narrates the tale of Myrl Redding (John Cusack , also producer) married to Cora (Miranda Otto) and with a son (Drake Bell) , he is a Wyoming horse trader who clashes with Henry Ballard, a baron land . Jack along with fellow Woody (John G. McGinley, also producer) transport a herd of horses across the country but Ballard abuses two of Myrl's horses and their Crow Indian caretaker , Billy (Rodney A Gant) . After being wrongfully denied justice, a horse trader seeks his own justice on the treacherous rancher ( L.Q. Jones) and his hoodlums (John Savage and Nick Gillie) . When Judge Wilkins (Ken Pogue) throws out Myrl's complaint , the war he wages to obligate Ballard to nurse the emaciated horses back to health but it leads into killings , a vigilante manhunt , and the possible defeat of Wyoming's bid for statehood carried out by the governor (Scott Wilson) and the General prosecutor (Jay O Sanders) .

This stirring and melancholic picture is acclaimed like one of the best Western TV of the last years with some prizes and nominations . It's an excellent Western with interesting issues , noisy action , shootouts, breathtaking scenarios ; but also melancholy , interracial friendship between Jack and the Indian Billy , unlovable camaraderie and emotionalism . Sensitive and moving Western where a cowboy must say goodbye to the life he knows and undergoes an extraordinary and dangerous travel , seeking justice and vengeance . Based on a novel by Heinrich von Kleist , whose title is "Michael Kohlhass", being well adapted by Dick Cusack, John Cusack's father . In fact , ¨Jack Bull¨ is a familiar film , starred by John Cusack , written by his father Dick Cusack and play roles sons's Dick as John , Bill Cusack and the same Dick as a Jury foreman . Great acting for all casting with magnificent main roles by John Cusack , L.Q. Jones and John G McGinley . Secondary cast is frankly excellent as Kurt Fuller , Rex Linn , Duncan Frazer , Jay O Sanders, Scott Wilson and many others . Gorgeous landscapes, reflecting wonderfully the wide open spaces , are splendidly photographed by Gale Tattersall , filmed on location in Calgary , Alberta , Canada . Emotive and sensible musical score by Lennie Niehaus , Clint Eastwood's usual .

The movie follows the wake the last Television Western starred by Sam Elliot , Tom Selleck, or Robert Duvall such as ¨Monte Walsh¨, ¨Crossfire trail¨ and ¨Broken trail¨. The motion picture was professionally directed by John Badham . He's a nice director who achieved his greatest successes in the 80s . He directed several hits such as ¨Saturday night fever¨ , ¨Short circuit¨ , ¨Blue thunder¨ , ¨Drop zone¨ , ¨War games¨ ,¨ Skateout¨, though today making TV movies such as ¨Obsessed¨ , ¨Floating away¨ and of course ¨Jack Bull¨ at his best ; furthermore , he realized television episodes as ¨ Crossing Jordan¨ ,¨ Psych¨, ¨ Las Vegas¨ , ¨The event¨, ¨ Standoff¨ , ¨ Heroes¨ . Rating : Better than average for the proficient film-making . It's a magnificent movie , and an unforgettable , unchallenged classic TV western .


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