Monte Walsh is an aging cowboy facing the ending days of the Wild West era. As barbed wire and railways steadily eliminate the need for the cowboy, Monte and his friends are left with fewer and fewer options. New work opportunities are available to them, but the freedom of the open prairie is what they long for. Eventually, they all must say goodbye to the lives they knew, and try to make a new start.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm not a newcomer to Westerns and I'm pushing 72. I've had a life-long interest in the American West, studied its history, and even wrote a novel set in the 19th century. Somehow, I never got around to watching 'Monte Walsh' until recently, though I'd heard it was supposed to be a bit of a classic. While I wanted so much to like it given its cast and genre, it just did not hook me. This despite the fact that Lee Marvin is one of my favorite actors and in his prime. The film didn't hit many right notes for me. Something was off. None of the characters really grabbed me. Marvin was fantastic in 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance', 'The Professionals', and 'Cat Ballou'. Heck, he even did well in the atrocious 'Paint Your Wagon'. And those were just his westerns. He appeared to coast through this role. The usually dependable Jack Palance, to me, phoned in his role.
A story of friends aging in the passing of the West was done so much better in 'Lonesome Dove' and 'The Wild Bunch'. Marvin and Palance were miles better in 'The Professionals'. I have no idea what the casting director had in mind when they cast Jeanne Moreau. She was completely unbelievable. It may be that the film just has not held up well in comparison to many others.
I've watched most of John Wayne's films over years along with all the Spaghetti Westerns, all the TV shows, Tom Selleck and Sam Elliot's work, and everything in between. I know my subject matter and this film doesn't cut it for me. JMO.
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