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Tom Horn (1980)

An ex-army scout is hired by ranchers to kill cattle rustlers but he gets into trouble with the corrupt local officials when he kills a boy.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tom Horn
... Glendolene Kimmel
... John C. Coble
... U.S. Marshal Joe Belle
... Sheriff Sam Creedmore
Peter Canon ... Assistant Prosecutor
... Stablehand (as Elisha Cook)
... Lee Mendenhour
James Kline ... Arlo Chance
... Walter Stoll
... Thomas Burke
... 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett
... Ora Haley
Bert Williams ... Judge
... Corbett's Bodyguard


A renowned former army scout is hired by ranchers to hunt down rustlers but finds himself on trial for the murder of a boy when he carries out his job too well. Tom Horn finds that the simple skills he knows are of no help in dealing with the ambitions of ranchers and corrupt officials as progress marches over him and the old west. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I, Tom Horn  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


The rifle Horn uses to such deadly effect in the film is an original Winchester Model 1876 in .45-60 caliber, fitted with a custom tang sight. Manufactured from 1877-1894, the Model '76 was an obsolete arm by the turn of the century, when the events of the story take place. All the available historical sources state that Horn actually used a .30-30 Winchester Model 1894 for his controversial activities as a "stock detective" in Wyoming. Horn gave this rifle to rancher C.B. Irwin not long before Horn's execution on November 20, 1903. It resides today in the collection of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. See more »


At he beginning of the horse-breaking scene the horse's hair is a mess and covered in mud. Once the horse is lassoed, the horse is suddenly clean and brushed. At the conclusion of the scene, as it runs away, the horse is muddy again. See more »


Tom Horn: Did you get the letter that is telling you to not come around here?
Lee Mendenhour: I got your fucking letter, champion! I rolled it up in the back with tobacco and smoked it!
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Version of Mr. Horn (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Steve McQueen Western twilight with good script, good cast, good photography, good music, and magnificent performances.
6 November 2011 | by See all my reviews

It's Steve McQueen's penultimate film, which is the star and executive producer. The exteriors were shot in splendid landscapes of Arizona.

The action takes place in the town of Hagerville (Wyoming), between 1901 and 1903. It tells the story of the last years of adventurous "Tom Horn", controversial historical figure who, after many vicissitudes decides to return to their homeland. On the way he meets a farmer who, on behalf of the Cattlemen's Association of the place, contracts its services to remove cattle thieves and squatters from their land. Taciturn and solitary "Horn", has in Glendoleene school teacher (Linda Evans) affection and understanding. The version that gives the film recounts the events that are exculpatory, extreme possible, but unlikely based on available documentation. It is a very interesting portrait of the power of large landowners who kept cattle in the early twentieth century, its ability to reach agreements on specific issues of the mixture of public ambitions and personal interests, division of the servers law between the honesty of "Herb" and selfishness of a sheriff pretentious. The book breaks down the actual time in history, greatly shortening the three years in prison for "Horn".

The soundtrack by Austrian Ernest Gold ("Exodus," "Judgement at Nuremberg"), is orchestral format and has a strong descriptive. Join the visual narrative of the great outdoors pastoral melodies and bucolic air, with flute and strings. Violins accompanied by wind In the scenes of love and friendship ring with joy. In the dramatic scenes are heard strains of sadness and gloom to the sound of clarinets singing with deep bass and drum major. The music enriches and enhances the story. The photography, directed by John A. Alonzo ("Chinatown," "Harold and Maude") is presented very carefully. Stands the description of the magnificent scenery, the frequent use of natural light in the afternoon (which enhances the strength of chiaroscuro), the use of natural light twilight (faint, golden), slow motion scenes detailing spectacular presentation of actors backlit to emphasize feelings of intimacy, penetrating frame close-ups of very precise combinations of light scattered and fragmented light. The snowy landscape of the people is reinforced by the vision of a great white side building and the arrival of a rider on a white horse. The visual storytelling is superb, varied, rich in nuances and very attractive. McQueen's interpretation is consistent with the needs of the story and the conviction is made, proper goodbye.

It's an Interesting movie, melancholic, great sound and visual beauty. It is part of the two works that marked the return to the McQueen film that premiered the same year of his untimely death. Both are a celebration of life.

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