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
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I love all of Robert B. Parker's novels and I have a lot of respect for the craft of Ed Harris. This movie was a very faithful rendering of the book. Harris didn't get in the way of the storytelling rather he gave it a strong visualization. As the novel as written, the story is actually told through the eyes of Everett Hitch, played here by Viggo Mortenson. I love the way, even though he is somewhat of a side-kick, he was allowed to remain the viewpoint character. My only complaint was Renee as Allie. Reading the book I visualized a Faye Dunaway at 35. Diane Lane would have been more in line with the way the character was written in the novel. Renne struck me as a little too coquettish and obviously needy rather than manipulative and needy. It's a matter of taste but I would have preferred it. However, the rest of the casting was spot on and I hope Harris considers doing the sequel, "Resolution."
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