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Open Range

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Caught this over at my mom's on cable.  A slightly different western.  In some ways, I guess more realistic than most.

It's about a small group of four or five cattlemen who raised their cattle out on the open range, moving them from place to place.  Around this time towns out west were starting to grow.  That put the open range cattle system at odds with the towns they went past.  And more specifically, robber barons in the area were tempted to steal the herd from them.

I missed the first few minutes.  Apparently, the actor who plays Jerry the receptionist on the show ER got in a barroom brawl.  He was thrown into jail and Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner had to get him out.  The robber baron forced them to pay a fine.  I guess he was injured enough that they had to take him to the doctor.   That introduced the love interest, Annette Benning.

That's all basically background plot.  The story is more of a character study of these two cowboys who had spent years together and still didn't really know much about each other.  The crisis prompts them to open up.  A little, anyway.

I guess I'm not entirely sure what the theme is.  Part of it is the dying lifestyle of open range livestock.  Their conflict with settlements.  Part of it is the relationship of two very private men.  Part of it is... well, not really Good vs Evil.  More like Aloof vs Evil.  The loner guy meeting a beautiful and available woman.

I guess really don't know what it was about.

It ends in a reasonably standard western shootout.  It was pretty well done.   The good guys did a good job of putting themselves in a defensive position.   They got a little help from the denizens of the town.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View.  Low key western.

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Last modified: March 11, 2005
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