Best known for the novel "Shane," Jack Schaefer also wrote the novel "Monte Walsh," a depiction of the life of the itinerant cowhand. There's not a lot of plot, but a hugely detailed and wonderfully described slice of life, tough, tender, and comedic. The first film of "Monte Walsh" was a great little picture, with a nice uncharacteristic role for Jack Palance as Monte's pal Chet. But this TV remake may in fact be a better film. Tom Selleck is just grand as Monte--getting a bit old for bronco-busting, but still full of piss-and-vinegar. And Keith Carradine is swell as Chet, the cowboy who gives it all up to marry the hardware widow. Everything about this film is done extremely well. The costumes are superb--colorful and mythic while at the same time obviously useful and well-used work clothes. This is not a clean-hat Western, one of my pet peeves. The music is really touching and classic and romantic, and the cinematography is, to coin a cliche', stunning. All the performances are really quite good, and the movie left me with the feeling that I'd really spent a few months with a bunch of cowhands. What plot there is is realistic and uncontrived, and is ultimately moving. But "Monte Walsh" really earns its spurs by showing a 21st century audience how wonderful and horrible life on the 19th century range could be.