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Book and Mini Series both excellent
I enjoyed the novel but enjoyed the mini series even more. I am surprised that William Atherton didn't get more roles like 'Jim Lloyd' after that, because he looked and played the part of a hard-working rancher so well.
The cast was excellent but I did think that David Janssen was terribly miscast as Paul Garrett. I didn't think he was as appealing as the character should have been.
I still chuckle at the memory of how the Wendell family came into their fortune, which enabled their grandson Morgan (played by Robert Vaughn) to have a political career. It was a delight to watch Anthony Zerbe play the actor/con man Mervin Wendell.
The Horse Whisperer (1998)
Very silly, but beautiful scenery.
This film could have been much better. Professional horsemen such as myself find lots of goofs in the continuity and the story. However, it was entertaining and visually beautiful.
This film and the book were NOT based on nor inspired by Monty Roberts! Nicholas Evans, author of the book, DENIES that Monty Roberts had anything to do with the book.
Evans wrote, "I spent many weeks traveling across the West and met three amazing horsemen: Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt and Buck Brannaman. Some of you may have read that someone called Monty Roberts was the model for Tom Booker, The Horse Whisperer in the book, and that he helped me with my research. It's not true. met Mr Roberts once, briefly, in England but have never seen him with a horse or seen him since. He had no involvement whatsoever."
Horse training "guru" Buck Brannaman was the main horse trainer whom Robert Redford consulted for this film and Brannaman also doubled for Redford in some of the scenes. Rex Petersen, a Hollywood veteran and excellent horseman, was trainer of the horses that had to exhibit specific behaviors.
Run, Appaloosa, Run (1966)
More plot information
I saw this movie in the theater when I was a child and enjoyed it tremendously. I am going to offer more information about the story here, with the hope that time hasn't caused me to blur the details.
Mary Blackfeather decides to ride her Appaloosa horse, Holy Smoke, in the dangerous endurance ride, The Suicide Race. Of course, along with the challenging terrain they encounter treacherous co-competitors.
While researching this movie on the net, I found that many sites that list it have clearly gotten that bit of the story WRONG.
They have posted: >In "Run, Appaloosa, Run," follow Mary Blackfeather, an Indian girl, and her horse Sky Dancer as they participate in the wildest, roughest horse race in America -- rodeo bull riding. >
Ahem. Rodeo bull riding is not equine endurance racing, LOL. And her horse's name was Holy Smoke.
Soldier in the Rain (1963)
Both comical and poignant
This funny and sweet film brings together three characters whose personalities are in sharp contrast to each other.
McQueen is known for his roles as a "tough guy," but in this movie, his remarkable comedy skill was shown. If you have seen McQueen only as a tough guy, then seeing him in this movie will impress you with the range of which he was capable.
Conversely, Gleason, the great comic, as the straight man here, is sweet and touching and tragic.
Tuesday Weld plays a ditzy bimbo who oddly enough, becomes a girlfriend for Gleason's character in a May/December pairing that is even more peculiar on account of her fluffiness contrasted to his quiet and sober nature.
The film is in black and white, which was very effective for the story.
The Glitter Dome (1984)
Depravity for sale
John Lithgow's character, a man who was unable to push away the atrocities he had seen in his work as a cop, was heart-rending tragic. (The scene of an abused little boy whom he had rescued is haunting.) Colleen Dewhurst's character was an odd mix of crustiness, worldliness and a little bit of Mother Teresa, with regard to how she took a runaway teen/porn actress under her wing. Although the movie doesn't address it outright, we suspect that Dewhurst's character was a lesbian. It was interesting to see Willie (played by Margot Kidder), react to being treated like a lady by Garner, after having coming on to him in the S&M manner that she was accustomed to.
No, this movie isn't a great, timeless classic. But I found myself intrigued by the characters and the story. Stuart Margolin directed the movie, acted in it, and also composed music for it. It is interesting to see this versatility from a gentleman who has made a career of playing sleazy slimeballs.