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Open Range (2003)

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A former gunslinger is forced to take up arms again when he and his cattle crew are threatened by a corrupt lawman.

Director:

Kevin Costner

Writers:

Lauran Paine (novel), Craig Storper (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,536 ( 398)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Duvall ... Boss Spearman
Kevin Costner ... Charley Waite
Annette Bening ... Sue Barlow
Michael Gambon ... Denton Baxter
Michael Jeter ... Percy
Diego Luna ... Button
James Russo ... Sheriff Poole
Abraham Benrubi ... Mose
Dean McDermott ... Doc Barlow
Kim Coates ... Butler
Herb Kohler Herb Kohler ... Cafe Man
Peter MacNeill ... Mack
Cliff Saunders ... Ralph
Patricia Stutz ... Ralph's Wife (as Pat Stutz)
Julian Richings ... Wylie
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Storyline

Boss Spearman, Charley Waite, Mose Harrison and Button freegraze their cattle across the vast prairies of the West, sharing a friendship forged by a steadfast code of honor and living a life unencumbered by civilization. When their wayward herd forces them near the small town of Harmonville, the cowboys encounter a corrupt sheriff and kingpin rancher who govern the territory through fear, tyranny and violence. Boss and Charley find themselves inextricably drawn towards an inevitable showdown, as they are forced to defend the freedom and values of a lifestyle that is all too quickly vanishing. Amidst the turmoil, life suddenly takes an unexpected turn for the loner Charley when he meets the beautiful and warm spirited Sue Barlow, a woman who embraces both his heart and his soul. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No place to run. No reason to hide.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Open Range See more »

Filming Locations:

Alberta, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,047,781, 17 August 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$58,331,254

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$68,613,992
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dog's name is Tig. Kim Coates played a character named Tig on Sons of Anarchy (2008). See more »

Goofs

In the run up to the final gun fight, 9 bad guys are seen riding up on horses. Baxter then directs them to split up into a group of 5 (including Baxter) and 3 (for a total of 8). Of the group of 5, 2 are killed very quickly. A 3rd is killed at the doorway. A 4th is left alive crawling away. The 5th, Baxter, lives until the end. For the group of 3, one is killed being shot through the wall by Boss. One is killed by Charley. The 3rd one suddenly appears with another person, making the group into a group of 4. So the group of 9 guys riding in became 8 bad guys, then turned back into 9 again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boss Spearman: [indicating a thunderstorm] Think she'll get over this-a-way?
Charley Waite: Might.
Boss Spearman: Best bed 'em down.
See more »

Alternate Versions

AMC version severely edits Butler's death. The sound of the gunshot that kills him is played at a lower volume, and the scenes of him falling back is sped up, so as to avoid showing the hole in his head from the shot. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 11 February 2015 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Holding All My Love for You
Written by Michael Kamen (BMI) and Julianna Raye (BMI)
Performed by Julianna Raye
Produced by James Harrah
(P) (C) K-Man Corp. (BMI) / Ziffy Music, Inc. (BMI) / Open Range Productions USA, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Costner's best!
4 March 2004 | by jethelredSee all my reviews

(This is my first written review, so bear with me)

I've seen many of Kevin Costner's movies (both acting and directing), and even more westerns, and I'd have to say that this movie is the best in either category. I've always thought Costner a sub-par actor, but I couldn't imagine anyone else playing the role of Charlie. He had it down.

The rest of the cast was superb as well. Luna (Button) and Benrubi (Mose) are both destined for greatness. Gambon (Baxter) and Duval (Boss) have been around long enough to do things right. Bening (Sue) is a better (and better-looking) actress than ever before. The supporting cast, and the characters they create, all flowed together so strongly and believably that I would've watched a movie about a week in the life of the town before Mose showed up that fateful day. The shopkeeper and Percy (Jeter) particularly shined, but every single citizen of that town gave the impression they had a story to tell. But I digress, because cast and characters alone do not a movie make.

The dialog in many movies today is too geared to what the audience needs to hear. Rather than a fly-on-the-wall point of view on a realistic event, we normally get verbose exposition and other generally out-of-character dialog, so that the less intuitive viewer doesn't get left behind. In "Open Range", we're given a story. Four men and the task they must accomplish, with only the words any four men in a similar situation would say to each other. There wasn't anything directed to our tutelage alone, simply a bare-bones character drama. It felt real, like I could have been right there in the midst of things. That is the way movies SHOULD be. I applaud the creative minds behind this, and Costner, the ringmaster, above all others.

I have not seen another film that captured the beauty of the title character (the open range, nyuk nyuk) in such a light. While I'm sure that at least some of the footage was shot in a studio, and picturesque backdrops appeared to be inserted in the terrain at some points, the believability that this was 1880's "Old West" was always there. From the wide open skies and rolling hills to the pebbled creeks and fresh-built townscapes, I was thoroughly impressed.

The set/art direction weren't the only elements that capitalized on this beauty. Often, the camera operator (and undoubtedly Costner himself) had found amazing camera angles/motion to accentuate the finer elements of the sets. One such picturesque moment came in the form of an establishing shot of the cool, clear pebbled creek, shot from just inches above the surface, as the horses drank the purity of nature itself. Another shot shows the hills/mountains with lightning crashing around them as a storm billows its way to town. Was this an effects shot or not? I don't rightly know, and I was too impressed to care. The movie is beautiful.

There is also a beautifully mastered scene in which Charlie awakes from an unsettling dream and at first doesn't know the dream from reality. The use of camera motion and picture superimposition here isn't so over-the-top that it feels out of place in the rest of the "artistic" film. It's hard for someone to accomplish that.

All technical terms aside, this film was born from talent. The writers, actors, and most importantly the director knew how to make a film enjoyable. When a movie just plain works, it's because the producers have assembled a group of personalities that work well together. This movie obviously had that. I'm very much looking forward to whatever it is that Costner decides to bring us next. I have been shown the light.

9 out of 10, "classic"


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