A prospector sells his wife and daughter to another gold miner for the rights to a gold mine. Twenty years later, the prospector is a wealthy man who owns much of the old west town named Kingdom Come. But changes are brewing and his past is coming back to haunt him. A surveyor and his crew scout the town as a location for a new railroad line and a young woman suddenly appears in the town and is evidently the man's daughter.Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Around the 1:43 mark when the prospector is torching the town we see a ski lift running in the background with people on it. Again around the 1:54 mark in the last few minutes of the film we see the ski lift again in the background for a good 10-15 seconds. See more »
[first lines - overlapping conversations]
Alright ladies, let's go. I'm Vauneen, I take care of you from this point on. Ya get down, and we're going to get you to work real soon...
Alright gents, let's hand-up your firearms.
It's a town's rule.
These firearms are the property of the Central Pacific Railroad.
That don't matter, Mr. Dillon says no firearms in town, so no firearms in town, come on...
You can't take these weapons...
I said, leave that...
Well then you can't come into Mr. ...
[...] See more »
This is a rare British attempt at a Western, albeit an uncharacteristic one about a small mining town clashing with the oncoming railroad: it's reasonably well served by the stark cinematography, Michael Nyman's dramatic underscoring and a surprisingly able cast (the most impressive being Peter Mullan as the town leader with a secret past and Milla Jovovich as the chanteuse who has hooked up with him).
Given the director, the film strives for absolute realism (down to the varying accents of the multi-national townspeople and the kind of entertainment provided in the dingy saloon); this, coupled with its relentless solemnity and a plot which isn't as engaging as it should be - actually containing a good deal of padding, particularly its baffling emphasis on the blossoming romance between a prospector and a prostitute - results in a rather uneasy film, one that's not remembered with affection! However, the tragic finale - with Mullan's dreams literally going up in flames - is effectively handled.
Curiously enough, watching THE CLAIM I was reminded of Nicolas Roeg's similar EUREKA (1983) - which also revolved around a family undone by the lust for gold - though it lacks that film's striking imagery (not to mention its equally distinctive eccentricity).
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