Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the ... See full summary »
Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the range and the occasional trip into town. Monte has a long-term relationship with prostitute Martine Bernard, while Chet has fallen under the spell of the widow who owns the hardware store. Camaraderie and competition with the other cowboys fill their days, until one of the hands, Shorty Austin, loses his job and gets involved in rustling and killing. Then Monte and Chet find that their lives on the range are inexorably redirected. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A western that's worth watching (and worth comparing to the 1970 version...)
I dearly loved the original "Monte Walsh" (1970), starring Lee Marvin, Jeanne Moreau and Jack Palance. That was one of the best westerns (and best movies) I've ever seen.
This version, a more modern telling of the same story, is also quite good, but I found it lacking in the "grit and dirt" of the earlier one. Tom Selleck is convincing enough as a cowboy, but unfortunately he still has that "just stepped out of the pages of GQ magazine" aura to him that I don't think he is ever going to shake. There is nothing wrong with being as handsome as Tom Selleck, it's just that I found it hard to feel totally convinced of his portrayal of an authentic, hard-scrabble cowboy of the dying Old West.
I felt that too much attention was devoted to making it all so "pretty pretty" instead of letting it gather a patina of cow dung, as must have been the case in the *real* old West. Here the cowboy costumes were a bit too gorgeous and hokey to be convincing, and the cinematography, while breathtakingly beautiful, seemed distracting, as if it were all a travel-documentary. It all seems to have been "made for TV" sanitized, giving it more style than atmosphere.
But I'm being too critical here, and I don't want to spoil a good film by being unnecessarily nit-picky. All said, it's really a good movie with a powerful, timeless story about people losing their way of life thanks to rapid technological progress and corporate cynicism. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? I would recommend this film to any die-hard western movie fan, but please try to pick up a copy of the earlier 1970 version, and watch that one as well. The West is the Best, bar none.
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