Set in the Texas Republic in the early 1840's, a time in which three cultures - Anglo, Hispanic and Comanche - were in furious conflict over the same harsh land, we are introduced to Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call, th... more »e heroes of LONESOME DOVE. Gus (David Arquette) and Call (Johnny Lee Miller) are young Rangers, ripe for adventure, and they get it with the Texas-Santa Fe expedition, and ill-conceived effort on the part of some freebooters and adventurers to capture Santa Fe and annex New Mexico. Led by the land pirate Caleb Cobb (F. Murray Abraham), and guided by the legendary Bigfoot Wallace (Keith Carradine) and his mountain-man friend Shadrach (Harry Dean Stanton), the group fights several engagements with the great Comanche warchief Buffalo Hump (Eric Schweig), is whittled down by the silent Apache, Gomez (Victor Aaron), and is captured without resistance by the Mexican army. Marched south by a resolute Mexican officer, Captain Salazar (Edward James Olmos), they survive bear attacks, ice storms, and the rigors of the barren desert known as the Jornada del Muerto. In the end, they arrive at the leper colony of San Lazaro, where black and white beans are drawn to determine which of the invaders will live an which will die. Accompanying the men on this trek is the colorful, amply fleshed whore known as the Great Western - Matilda Jane Roberts (Patricia Childress). In Austin, Gus meets the love of his life, Clara Forsythe (Jennifer Garner), and in San Lazaro, they encounter the great English lady, Lucinda Carey (Haviland Morris), who, in the startling climax, helps them survive a last encounter with the wild men, led by the great Comanche, Buffalo Hump.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 10/1/2020...
Loved this "prequel" to the awesome Lonesome Dove which I have watched many times! This shows how the two buddies Gus and Call were best friends for many years preceding the Dove movies and what brought about some early history in the rough and tumble south-west!
One Hell of a Nasty Walk!
Archmaker | California | 01/03/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gus & Call: The Early Years. This prequel to Lonesome Dove detailing some of the adventures of the young Rangers, Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, was written by Larry McMurtry and features all of his trademark specialities: complex heroes, pitiless & mean villains, politically incorrect fierce & merciless Apaches & Comanches, a wild trek lead by a half-mad pirate (F. Murray Abraham), a motley collection of wilderness folks, wise & unruffled Scouts (Keith Carradine & Harry Dean Stanton) and a young whore with more guts and heart than most men.In short, it is a hell of a tale, well told. The cast is excellent all the way around, and the choices made for the young Woodrow Call (Johnny Lee Miller) and Gus McCrae (David Arquette) fortuitous. In Miller we see the beginnings of the stubborn iron will and dtermination of Woodrow Call, as well as his natural acceptance of responsibility and leadership. David Arquette catches the free spirit, insipient laziness and romantic dreamer in Gus.The story of an ill-fated trek to wrest Santa Fe and thereby all of New Mexico from Mexico, becomes a hellish mess as one thing after another goes wrong, not the least of which is a determined Apache, Gomez, picking them off one by one. And, there is yet a worst trek after their failure in Santa Fe, and that is the Dead Man's Walk of the title, lead by a resolute and unswayable Mexican Officer (Edward J. Olmos), with other surprises to come.If you liked Lonesome Dove, you will like this as well. If you didn't like Lonesome Dove (more's the pity on you), better give this a pass. 4-1/2 stars. Worth it."
"First off, the title should tell you that the pacing and tone of this story is not swift and uplifting. It is brutal and grinding, so those who may have been expecting another LD experience were apparently disappointed. However, this is a very worthy story in its own right and is a way for us to understand the early years of Augustus McCrae and his true love, Clara Forsythe; and also the taciturn Woodrow F. Call and his relationship and feelings for Maggie. The storyline itself has already been recounted here, so no need to repeat. As far as the previous comment that the soundtrack was essentially dull and uninteresting, I disagree. I think it was beautiful. The filming was also very well done. I also think the two main stars did a creditable job in handling roles that were, let's face it, definitively portrayed by Duvall & Jones in LD. Jennifer Garner as Clara was, as always, a pleasure to behold, and certainly she helped me understand McCrae's falling head-over-heels in love with her. In many ways, I think that on the whole the main supporting cast was better than in LD. Keith Carradine, Patricia Childress, Edward James Olmos, Harry Dean Stanton and F. Murray Abraham were all outstanding.I knocked this down to 4 stars because it ain't LD, so comparatively speaking it simply could not garner 5 stars. Also, there are a couple of glaring technical errors. At the end of Disc One, when the group is leaving the burying of some of their companions and about to embark on the Dead Man's Walk, the camera is on a wide shot and you can clearly see a very large vehicle(!) moving across a roadway on the horizon. This is unforgivable. Later, while wandering in a rainstorm, the huge stage fans used to whip the rain can easily be heard. Both of these flaws are so conspicuously and outrageously bad that I'm surprised they weren't caught by the editor.All in all, though, Dead Man's Walk is a fine DVD and should be in any LD fan's collection."
A very very enjoyable movie based on Larry McMurtry's novel.
SK5A@aol.com | USA | 01/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dead Man's Walk is based on Larry McMurtry's book by the same name. The main characters, Woodrow Call and Gus McRae (from his best known in this series - Lonesome Dove) are shown as young men - probably in their late teens or very early twenties. This one is a little bloody at times. David Arquette (fiancee of Courtney Cox and they guy on those goofy 10-10-321 commercials) is Gus McRae. Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Hackers, Afterglow) is Woodrow Call. Jonny Lee is the standout in this video. His interpretation of Woodrow Call is right on the money - he says so much with just an expression and since Woodrow doesn't say much - that's pretty important. We really enjoyed it but again, younger kids might want to skip this one."
An excellent prequel to a Western classic.
Alison Hosker | 07/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Dead Man's Walk' is a wonderful introduction to the characters of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call.I was most impressed by Johnny Lee Miller's Texas accent--he is one of England's rising stars and his accent was very believable.David Arquette captured Gus and his mannerisms perfectly and I thought that he and Johnny had great chemistry.Special mention has to go to Keith Carradine and his performance--he is one of America's finest actors. The picture quality was not as good as I had hoped as the video was in extended play format.I would like to know if there is a video in SP version.Other than that I would recommend 'Dead Man's Walk' to anyone who loves Westerns."
Alison Hosker | 03/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of the original "Lonesome Dove" film with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, I enjoyed "Dead Man's Walk" on that alone, visiting those characters once again. I think sometimes we expect too much, wanting a sequel to be the same as the original. Having said that, I think this film can stand on it own merits. The actors playing the young Woodrow and Gus characters did a great job, keeping us entertained with their individual dispositions and antics. The settings, realism, color and harshness of a rough country in a hard time, as in Lonesome Dove, are all here. The stubbornness of the Mexican army officer to accomplish his goal under the circumstances,was a bit farfetched I thought. But even this made for great entertainment. As in "Return to Lonesome Dove" and "Streets of Laredo", "Dead Man's Walk" was recorded in EP and makes for poor quality video. Try to find it in SP if you can. This film depicts a rough, tough, mean and hard life in an unforgiving land. A very good western, a la Lonesome Dove."