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Comes a Horseman (1978)

Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Frank 'Buck' Athearn
... Ella Connors
... Jacob 'J.W.' Ewing
... Neil Atkinson
... Dodger
... Julie Blocker
... Billy Joe Meynert
... Virgil Hoverton
... George Bascomb
James Kline ... Ralph Cole
... Emil Kroegh
Clifford A. Pellow ... Cattle Buyer
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Storyline

Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and Frank fight back through stampedes, jealousy, betrayal, and sabotage, they eventually find love. Written by cactusjump

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of love and freedom See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comes a Horseman Wild and Free  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Farnsworth's Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominated performance was the only one in the category not in a Best Picture nominee that year. See more »

Goofs

Frank's saddle has a holster but no rifle when he leaves his horse outside the ranch house near the end. He later uses the rifle from the holster to shoot the bad guys. See more »

Crazy Credits

Our thanks to the Forest Service for allowing us to film in the Coconino National Forest See more »

Connections

Featured in Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The west is still wild
29 September 2016 | by See all my reviews

Although at times the pace of Comes A Horseman is maddeningly slow, the players acquit themselves well in this old western type plot from the 19th century updated to 1945 and the end of World War II.

Stars Jane Fonda and Jason Robards, Jr. have history together, were even married at one time. He's the local Ponderosa owner, she's barely getting by on the small spread her dad left her.

Robards is in a cash flow situation though for the life of me he should be prospering during World War II and army beef contracts. The demand will slacken some due to war's end. There's possible oil on the property that oilman George Grizzard would like to exploit. Possible oil on both properties. Also on neighbor James Caan's small spread. He joins forces with Fonda against Robards.

Jane might have gotten a few pointers from her dad who was never a western star as such, but Henry Fonda did a few classic westerns in his time. She comes across as a real western woman. Director Alan J. Pakula did some real good photography in those wide open spaces. That frontier square dance could have come from a John Ford western.

Richard Farnsworth established a career as a player with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. That drawl at times is slow, but he's also unbelievably realistic as a veteran cowboy who has lost a step or two and realizes he can't quite the help to Fonda he'd like to be. That fall from his horse after those explosions is agonizingly real for a man getting on.

Slow paced, but well done, Comes A Horseman is a fine modern western if indeed a western of times of the last century can be classified as modern. You might want to watch this back to back with Giant, another modern western about cattlemen and how they adapt to the coming of oil.


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