1882, New Mexico Territory. Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are itinerant lawmen, hired by desperate towns as marshal and deputy. The city fathers of Appaloosa hire them after Randall Bragg, a newly-arrived rancher with money and a gang of thugs, disrupts commerce and kills three local lawmen. Cole and Hitch contrive to arrest Bragg and bring him to trial, but hanging him proves difficult. Meanwhile, a widow has arrived in town, Allison French, pretty, refined, and good-natured. Virgil falls hard, and it seems mutual, but there may be more to Allie than meets the eye. Can friendship and skill with a gun overcome a pernicious villain and green-eyed jealousy?Written by
Diane Lane was originally cast as Allison French but left the project during pre-production. See more »
The framing of the house being built appears to modern construction, using modern lumber, not the rough cut lumber of the day. It also appears to be double wall construction, not the single wall type of the era. See more »
While being credited, items relating to positions and roles are displayed. Examples: Producers are listed as money is shown, an antique ink dryer is shown for the editor, production designer shows an antique tin cup and costume designer shows the top of a hat. See more »
There are two tough partners in justice Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) that have been riding together for more than one decade and they understand each other just fine So they're not initially supposed to talk about their easy, warm, intuitive solidarity We intuitively catch there's something between them, that special bond, that profound respect, and obviously that sense of esteem, of attention and sympathy and most of all each other's needs
Ed is particularly fine It may not be a romantic conception, but he gives his role great vitality He's melancholy, laconic and assured as the cool, nerveless professional hired gun who becomes the town's peace keeper... His justice is rapid and simple Follow his law or get locked up; if you deny, you're going to be shot He's also very faithful, and you see this in his friendship with Everett Hitch
Virgil trusts Everett completely because Everett is very sincere and truthful with him
With his formidable shotgun, Everett is a kind of Virgil's straight man, his worshiping right hand and conscience Mortensen is a sharpshooter He's never seen on foot, in any scene, without his huge weapon His heavy rifle has become almost another character in the film It doesn't matter where, either in his hands or right next to him And that's in the bar, in the restaurant, in the office, and even in the bedroom
Renee Zellweger plays the role of Allison French, a mysterious woman who seduces everyone After Cole and Hitch meet her in a restaurant, they knew that she is a refined widow, that she arrives to the brutal New Mexico town with one dollar in her purse, that she plays piano and likes to be called Allie
Cole takes a liking to her, and makes a very tough decision to stick with her Zellweger plays the malicious new-gal with a great sense of sweetness and gaiety She brings liveliness and refinement to her role
Another strong character in "Appaloosa" is the miscreant cold-hearted rancher Randall Bragg The film starts with the killing of the town's last Marshall and his deputies at the hands of the nefarious Bragg played by Jeremy Irons Bragg is a wealthy man whose ranch henchmen run menacingly and aggressively over the town
"Appaloosa" is a Western of real depth and sophistication Every punch seen in the film is like a word of dialog moving the story forward, creating tension and drama
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