The rise of national socialism in Germany should not be regarded as a conspiracy of madmen. Millions of "good" people found themselves in a society spiralling into terrible chaos. A film about then, which illuminates the terrors of now.
1882, New Mexico Territory. Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are itinerant lawmen, hired by desperate towns as marshal and deputy. The city fathers of Appaloosa hire them after Randall Bragg, a newly-arrived rancher with money and a gang of thugs, disrupts commerce and kills three local lawmen. Cole and Hitch contrive to arrest Bragg and bring him to trial, but hanging him proves difficult. Meanwhile, a widow has arrived in town, Allison French, pretty, refined, and good-natured. Virgil falls hard, and it seems mutual, but there may be more to Allie than meets the eye. Can friendship and skill with a gun overcome a pernicious villain and green-eyed jealousy? Written by
Ed Harris originally intended his character to have hair. He selected a wig and screen tested it before eventually deciding to play the part bald. See more »
When Virgil and Everett first approach Bragg's men in the saloon, the cowboys are relieving themselves at the bar's "piss trough." Virgil demands that they "button up." After the shooting is over, when the bodies are shown on the floor, there is no trough or any sign of wetness in that area. See more »
We can't have our law officers beatin' people half to death for no reason.
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While being credited, items relating to positions and roles are displayed. Examples: Producers are listed as money is shown, an antique ink dryer is shown for the editor, production designer shows an antique tin cup and costume designer shows the top of a hat. See more »
Finally, a western by people who understand real conflict
I suppose this film is as vulnerable to deep analysis as the next one, but, why bother? This is entertainment the way I like it, straight up without a lot of foolish over the top action. The real west must have been fraught with similar dilemmas as that confronting the town of Appaloosa: What to do with a lawless band of men determined to live as they please by preying on timid town dwellers? I doubt there were many men like Virgil Cole or his partner Everett Hitch in the real west having lived among their great, great grandchildren (I've no idea what the real genealogy is) for a time, but men have often tried to live like they do with the result that they lived undeservedly short lives. Still, guys like me can't get enough of their stories and Ed Harris apparently feels the same way. Only Clint Eastwood in my memory has attempted to tap into this same wellspring of folklore as in The Unforgiven. Though we all love Clint, I'd have to say Ed outdoes him here. He's got a wonderful sense of what a real gunfight might have been like. And though he's trimmed off the cries of pain and the gore, it still has the ring of truth.
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