Exceptionally Fine Western Mini Series (by MagicStarfire)
I gave this 10 stars.Both parts of this 2 part mini series deserve 10 stars. It was an extremely well done film.I got the impression at the end of the film that this was based on real people and their experiences, which I had no idea was the case when I began watching it.Robert Duval as Print Ritter carries the film, although all of the performers did good jobs.The storyline was fresh, original and interesting, something I see so seldom these days, it really made it stand out. Another thing that made this stand out from the usual garbage that passes for entertainment in film these days - was <more>
the heroes really were heroes. These men were brave and did the right thing. They had values and ethics.The story revolves around Print Ritter Robert Duval and his nephew Will, I think was his name, and sorry but I didn't know who any of the actors were except for Duval driving a herd of horses north to sell.They end up with people they didn't count on being along for the trip--4 or 5 young Chinese girls, who do not speak a word of English, a fiddle player, and a couple of other people who join the group later in the story.The Chinese girls are very young, the oldest might be 18. They have been sold by their parents and sent to America where they will be forced into prostitution.None of the 4 men who eventually travel with the girls and protect them, try to take advantage of them, and the two romances in the story, are kept low-key.The bad guys in the film are just that - they're wicked through and through. No explanation or psycho-analysis given or needed. This picture is getting back to the basics of the American western, good vs. evil.There's gunfire when needed, confrontations when needed, and great characterizations, as our group journeys along and encounters various people and adventures.And yes, there's even a plot! Another element I've discovering missing all too often in films of late.
How does an honest man make his way in a corrupt world? Walter Hill has been investigating this question since his days as a screenwriter, with a couple of stopovers in Dashiell Hammett country his dauntingly unsuccessful version of Hammet's RED HARVEST, filmed as LAST MAN STANDING , comedies 48 HOURS , but here, in this leisurely western, he has found a perfect vehicle for this problem, and the right actor for the role in the ever-watchable Robert Duvall. And the answer is that you wind up accumulating a pack of people as wounded as yourself, ducking your head against the storm and <more>
slogging on through: a nephew estranged from his mother, your sister, a Virginian who can't stop traveling, five Chinese virgins intended for a mining camp's whorehouse... the list goes on. In the midst of a beautiful land -- the magnificent Canadian plains, west of Calgary where they rise to the Rockies -- they slog on, doing their best.To what end? When death and violence surround you, then the wise man comes to recognize that the effort is all he can offer.It is a pleasure to watch canny old pro Duvall at work, and to watch Thomas Haden Church, as his nephew, play off against him. And the beauty of moving horses across the Canadian plains is the revival of a seemingly lost art; the westerns, once the myth of America and bedrock of the film industry, are now an occasional production from people nostalgic for the form. But their nostalgia is suffused with a strong sense of film-making and this mini-series should not be missed.
Just finished watching part two. Great story. I can not wait to read the book. Both Duvall and Church brought so much to their characters and the story. I really hope that the "great west " was settled by men like these. Men who were not afraid to do the right thing. Men who showed courage, morals, kindness, and stood up to those who would bring harm and injustice to the innocent. . The kind of men that I would consider it an honor to "ride" with. I could not help sharing in the pain and confusion that the girls felt. I feel ashamed as a man to know that we treated <more>
innocent women that way and still do. I am glad the story ended as it did. Duvall's character showed that he could be tough as nails but still have a heart when it came to the girls. Church's character showed true grit and also had a soft side that he could not hide. Overall it was a truly great story brought to life by two men who did an excellent job portraying their characters.
If you're looking for a good view of the old West, this movie is well worth your time.Great storyline, great acting, and fantastic scenery.Duvall seems to be timeless, as always, this time in a story that's all about time. Thomas Haden Church adds his best performance ever, showing he's ready for more serious roles.The plot develops with a made-for-TV pace, which on occasion doesn't develop a scene as deeply as it could, but it does not fail to develop the characters to a fine pitch.On balance, it's the characters and the fantastic western setting which make this a western <more>
that should stand time.I'll enjoy watching it again in a few years.
A good Western is a treat, like comfort food for the soul. Robert Duvall is a favorite of mine, and he is wonderful in this movie, as always, but the surprise factor here is Thomas Haden Church, who I remember as a Mechanic in the sitcom, Wings. Watching him playing a 19th century cowboy in this project, well,- he seems made for the part: serious, soft-spoken, and a little too lean from trying to eke out a living in tough times. Wonderful! I hope to see more of him in the future.The scenery is as beautiful as I expected, and I don't care that it was shot in Canada instead of the U.S. I do <more>
wish there had been a little more emphasis on the horses, though. The promos advertised the movie as being about a horse drive, but that was only a premise for the other story lines. They were supposed to be herding 300 to 500 horses, but it sure didn't look like that many to me. But, I guess I'm getting pretty picky there. It was satisfying to watch, regardless of whether there were hundreds of horses, or only about 75, as it looked like to me.There is one scene in the movie that is almost a reverse "Man from Snowy River"-type scene, where they herd their horses UP a steep hill, and that was interesting. I'm not actually comparing the riding in this movie to the incomparable Charlie Lovick's downhill riding in the most famous scene from Snowy River, but it did bring that movie to mind.If you like western movies, you'll like this mini series, and it might spark an interest in a part of our American history that is not particularly well known,- the Chinese immigration during the gold rush of the 1800s.
Fortunately I read reviews - from the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and the Houston Chronicla only after seeing Broken Trail.I am so glad that Robert Duvall re-edited the film to make it more a time/place and character piece than an "action film." Unlike the Washington Post reviewer I think that is the strength of the piece instead of a weakness.Unlike the Boston Globe reviewer I found Thomas Hayden Church's laconic delivery to be exactly suited to his character.I was delighted by Broken Trail, and agree with the Salon reviewer who proclaimed it to be "almost as good <more>
as Lonesome Dove... and coming from me that's high praise indeed." If you found either the pace of the work or Thomas Hayden Church's vocal delivery to be dull, either you weren't paying attention or I don't care to meet you: I'm sure you'd be a little too dull for my taste.
Never doubt a Western that Duvall is attached to (by TheMovieMark)
Watching AMC's Western miniseries Broken Trail is similar to reading a compelling novel - the beauty's in the details. Rather than rushing story and character development in order to get to the next action scene so as to appease those with Attention Span Deficit Syndrome , Broken Trail understands that the mark of a really good Western lies with interesting, colorful characters and a storytelling style that convinces you to keep watching.I've always been a fan of Westerns and always will be; that's why it's so disappointing that today's movie/TV landscape doesn't <more>
seem to have the time, money, or patience to do the genre right. Hopefully, Broken Trail is just the beginning of a reversal to this trend.If you're a fan of Western epics in the vein of Lonesome Dove then I strongly suggest you check out Broken Trail. The story is a little unconventional as far as Westerns go, but you know what? It works. And it works well.I was initially curious how captivated I would be by watching two men accompany five Chinese girls across the Western wilderness, but rather than focusing on the concept, this is all about the journey and the adventures and characters that are encountered along the way. Church proves himself quite a versatile actor how far has he come since Wings? , and Duvall puts in the type of effortless performance that I could watch him deliver every week. He's not unlike Augustus McCrae, but what does it matter? He plays the character flawlessly. Here's a tip - never doubt a Western that Duvall is attached to.Moving at a smooth, campfire pace, Broken Trail presents characters you'll care about, conflicts you'll want to see resolved, cinematography that will convince you to take a trip out West, and enough Western justice to keep the die-hard fans of action content. Just keep in mind that the shootouts aren't thrown in for the mere sake of satisfying those who demand violence in their Westerns. All the gunplay comes as a necessity to the story and is allowed to happen exactly when it needs to. It's never forced for the sake of hurrying things along.This is a miniseries that is reason enough alone to justify your cable or satellite bill, and we can only hope that enough viewers tune in to influence more quality programming like this in the future.
"We're all travelers in this world Birth till death We travel between the eternities " (by Nazi_Fighter_David)
The film opens in Chinatown San Francisco, 1898 where we five exotic virgins from the Celestial Empire are bought by Captain Billy Fender James Russo to be sold as slaves and introduced into the brief and violent life of prostitution Robert Duvall stars as "Print" Ritter, an old cowhand whose sister left a will inheriting all to him rather than to her own son, Tom Harte Thomas Haden Church who lives in John Day Country Oregon...Print ignores why she has done it, or why was crossed between the two, but his sister done it Print got the idea to buy a team of tough, high-desert <more>
mustangsthree to eight years of ageto take them to Sheridan, Wyoming to sell to the British Empire; the money they'll earn will be to increase their capital And on the shares, Print figures a 25-75 split on profits after expenses and loan repayment to the bank From this point, Hill's Western becomes a road movie, with all kinds of odd characters, from ugly villains to a friendly musician, but the key to "Broken Trail" is that through a series of circumstances, fate has placed the five Chinese innocent girls in the hands of Tom and his uncle But the reality is another Their families sold them to that rat captain heading out to the mining camp, where Kate, an odious saloon owner, bought them from an associate in San Francisco Our two cowboys save the girls' lives from rape and take them along on their journey With great photography, gorgeous vistas, perilous ground, sensible brave girls, good and decidedly courageous men, great action when it is necessary, and a big confrontation at the climax of the movie, Hill's Western is a must see film for the fans of the genre
A well done and very enjoyable film (by Lilylangtry1966)
For a film that was not widely advertised, I truly believe this one to be one for my personal library. Duvall is Classic! The entire cast was just shining!! The part of the nephew was played with clarity. Mrs. Johns was a true to life character acted beautifully. The girls show bravery, hopefulness, and even loss to the point of desperation wonderfully. Westerns are not well received in today's world, for the most part. Don't know why though. It's a shame too, because I believe this one exemplifies all that should be taught today. Honesty, dignity, and what's right, even when <more>
it seems all is against you. I highly recommend this movie. Thank You.