Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Broken Trail |
Actors: Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church, Greta Scacchi, Gwendoline Yeo, Chris Mulkey
Director: Walter Hill
Genres: Westerns, Drama
SET IN 1897, PRINT RITTER & HIS NEPHEW TOM HARTE BECOME THE RELUCTANT GUARDIANS OF 5 ABUSED & ABANDONED CHINESE GIRLS. THEIR ATTEMPT TO CARE FOR THE GIRLS IS COMPLICATED BY THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO DELIVER A HERD OF HORSES ... more »
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Larry N. from BEALETON, VA
Reviewed on 4/26/2015...
Excellent 2-part mini-series western! Robert Duvall does his usual great acting in a western and Thomas Haden Church surprised me with a fabulous job as a gun-slinging good guy. If you're a fan of either of them or just a fan of westerns, don't miss this one.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Virginia M. from SIERRA VISTA, AZ
Reviewed on 5/3/2013...
Excellent movie! I recommend this to anyone who likes westerns. The acting of course was great with Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church, but the supporting cast held their own. All in all it was a great movie about something that isn't addressed much on the silver screen. The West meets East story line shows both, in a good and bad light, during a time when life was cheep in both countries. America had supposedly outlawed slavery but it still continued with the cheep labor provided by China with their excess population. So many came to our shores looking for riches only to find death. Chinese families would sell their daughters or have them stolen and those girls would be forced into a degrading short life of prostitution. Still the movie manages to combine good acting, and writing with history, to make a feel good movie.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lyrical, Sweeping Western a Triumph...
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 08/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Broken Trail", a dream project for producer/star Robert Duvall, and AMC's first original film, is the spiritual heir to Kevin Costner's 2003 "Open Range" (also starring Duvall), and one of the most moving, involving Westerns of recent years.
With a charismatic, extremely effective performance by Thomas Haden Church, as Duvall's long-estranged nephew, the film is one of only a handful of Westerns that combine epic sweep, superb characterization, and an understanding of the 'Real West', without shortchanging decency, or respect of an individual's worth. The era was hard, justice could be swift and brutal, and Duvall, as aging but upright Prentice Ritter, lives by his own rules; to protect the helpless in his care, to respect others, and to be unafraid to resort to violence, if necessary. Tom Harte (Church), despite some family history problems with his uncle, lives by the same code, and the two men, driving a herd of horses from Oregon to Wyoming to raise cash for a ranch, become the 'saviors' of five young Chinese women, sold into prostitution, who inadvertently fall into their hands.
These are good men, in a jaded world, and their journey picks up other 'strays', as well as the women; young Virginian fiddler Heck Gilpin (an engaging Scott Cooper), is rescued by Tom in a saloon; aging Chinese laborer Lung Hay (Donald Fong), and careworn prostitute Nola John (the wonderful Greta Scacchi) join the group after Tom saves the Chinese women from rapists, in a boarding house/bordello. While neither Ritter and Harte were overjoyed at the strange direction the drive was taking, they would not allow harm to fall on 'innocents', and the group bonds into a warm 'family', with Nola and Ritter finding a mature attraction between each other, and Tom and Sun Foy/#3 (Gwendoline Yeo, who speaks only Mandarin, in the film), gently falling in love.
Danger is never far behind them, however, as brutal ex-con 'Big Ears' (Chris Mulkey), with a score to settle with Nola, and a 'contract' to return the Chinese women to whorehouse owner Kate 'Big Rump' Becker (Rusty Schwimmer), trails them, leading a gang of killers...
While the film is long (240 minutes), director Walter Hill, an old hand at Westerns (his "The Long Riders" is one of my favorites), keeps the story constantly engrossing, and Duvall and Church have a warmth and authenticity as the characters that will stay with you, long after the movie ends.
Shot in the Canadian Rockies, "Broken Trail" combines grandeur and intimacy seamlessly, has moments of great humor to lighten the drama, explosive action, and a bittersweet sense of nostalgia...
It is, simply, superb!
A Western you can take a date too...
M. A. Ramos | Florida USA | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this film on AMC. This is AMC cable network's first original production starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. It is a fictional story that everyone will want to watch. The background for this movie is based on historical fact of the time. I knew I was going to watch this western as soon as I read that Robert Duvall was involved in the project.
This movie takes place during the late 1800s. It starts with two horse wranglers played by Duvall and Church. Duvall's character, Print Ritter, is Church's uncle. They decide too wrangle horses and sell them to the British Empire who needed them for the Boer War. In the movie we follow this magnificent heard of horses as they are driven east across beautiful country. During the drive they run into five Chinese women who were being kidnapped from the West Coast and brought to the interior west to serve as prostitutes. The story of our horse drive and the story of five Chinese women become intertwined.
What makes this western special is we see the personal growth of Print Ritter from lonesome cowboy to father figure. And what makes this western unique is we see the story from the view of the female characters. Though the movie did not end exactly as I expected, it was close, yet seemed more real.
This is a must see movie. The story line, acting, scenery, background are all top notch. It was hard for me to believe that this was not very large big screen production."
A Romantic Yet Gritty Western - Top Notch!
James Koenig | Minnesota | 12/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow! This is why filmmakers make movies. This movie will capture your imagination and heart. It is a big epic of a western, beautifuly filmed, with an intriging story line that will keep you guessing right up until the very end.
I am a devoted western movie fan, and this movie ranks up there with the very best of the genre.
Robert Duvall, best known as "Agustus" in Lonesome Dove, dons western garb once again and stars in a lengthy, yet thoroughly enjoyable tale of a horse drive across the plains to Sheridan, Wyoming. Duvall employs his nephew in the endevor, and they unexpectedly meet up with a variety of both endearing and unsavory characters along the way.
This is not a shoot 'em up western. It is not action-packed. It meanders at a leisurly pace, as an actual horse drive would, yet an enjoyable pace from beginning to end. Duvall, as the patriarch Print Ritter, and his nephew Tom Harte, (played exceedingly strongly by Thomas Church) take about 500 head of horses to Wyoming. On the trail, they cross trails with an evil pimp who is moving five Chinese girls to a mining camp where they will be sold into the living hell of prostitution. The Chinese are sweet innocent beings who are being mistreated by the pimp, and through a series of incidents, the girls become the responsibility of Ritter and Harte. From there, the group picks up additional characters: another trail hand, an aging abused prostitute, Nola, played wonderfully by Greta Scacchi(who becomes a potential love interest of Duvall), and a Chinese man. This western is unusual in that the men portrayed have an inate sense of honor, and they treat their "guests" with dignity and kindness, which is unusual treatment indeed. The men vow to protect their companions until they can be safely dropped off in a town where they will be protected and not abused.
On the trail we are treated to the troup interacting with each other. Nola falls in love with Duvall's character, as she senses the goodness inside him. She has never been treated with respect or kindness, and she sees a future with Duvall that would be romantic and tender in their love for each other. Meanwhile, nephew Tom has his shy eye on one of the Chinese girls, and they form a tentative, but budding relationship along the way. Throughout the trail drive, the viewer wonders how the love interests will play out.
As with any good western, there is a chief antagonist, and in this case, he is a former customer of Nola's, "Big Ed", who is obsessed with her, yet absues her, and in the past nearly killed her. He is paid to bring the Chinese girls to the mining town, and like any evil man, he surrounds himself with three other equally evil companions to accomplish the job. Plans are made to overcome Duvall and his group, take the Chinese girls, and steal the horse herd.
The climax occurs at the very end of the film, so it keeps you guessing right up until the very last minute. I will not spoil the ending here, yet suffice to say that the ending is tension-filled, action-packed, and beautifully directed for maximum suspense and impact.
Robert Duvall is magnificent. He is the quintessential cowboy, a role that he was born to play. His easy mannerisms and style of acting rank an A+ in my book. Thomas Church plays a powerful role as well, as the chief protector of the group. He is as physically hard as Duvall is tender-hearted, and the two make a fine contrast. All the actors portray their roles wonderfully and most believably. It is as though you are along for the ride, watching it all unfold. One is not aware that these are actors playing roles, no, these are reallife characters, and that is what draws you into this 4-hour movie, and keeps your interest.
This is a movie that is not suitable for young children due to gun violence and a brief rape scene. It is however, a movie that both men and women will enjoy together, for the male-female relationship is continually explored throughout the movie. Most westerns do not appeal to women, but this one is different, as much of the movie is interpreted through female eyes.
In conclusion, this is a great western that is worth every minute of the 4-our time span. It will engage you and show a side of the west that no other film has attempted. Highly recommended without reservations. Find a nice easy chair, sit back, and enjoy this beautifully-made film.
Jim 'Konedog" Koenig