Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Open Range

Kevin Costner, 2003 (10*)
This is a tremendous western, starring Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall, who says his "great Western trilogy" is comprised of Lonesome Dove, Open Range, and Broken Trail (two tv miniseries and one film). This tale of the open range is a gritty, uncompromising look at property rights, corruption, and human values in the wild west. Costner and Duvall play two men who, along with their fellow cowboys, are driving a herd across the western open prairie and run into injustice along the way. Add in Annette Bening for beauty and romance, in her typically understated but dead on performance, this is perhaps my favorite western ever.

It's hard for me to believe this doesn't show up on film polls, it's as good as any John Ford western, it's just missing Henry Fonda in Costner's role, but Duvall is perfect for any era. The location for the scenic valley used here [see photo below] was found by helicopter and was practically inaccessible by land vehicles before they used it as the perfect setting for this title.

©2003, Touchstone Pictures


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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