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Geronimo - An American Legend
Geronimo - An American Legend
Actors: Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Wes Studi, Matt Damon
Director: Walter Hill
Genres: Westerns, Drama
PG-13     1998     1hr 55min



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Movie Details

Actors: Jason Patric, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Wes Studi, Matt Damon
Director: Walter Hill
Creators: Lloyd Ahern II, Walter Hill, Carmel Davies, Michael S. Glick, Neil Canton, John Milius, Larry Gross
Genres: Westerns, Drama
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Drama
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/17/1998
Original Release Date: 12/10/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 12/10/1993
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 1hr 55min
Screens: Color,Full Screen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Gloria B. (glowbird) from SPOKANE, WA
Reviewed on 11/25/2018...
This is an early Wes Studi film in which he excels in his role of Geronimo, Goyaał (Goyathlay), (Mescalero-Chiricahua) who was a prominent leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua Apache. The all-star cast also includes Jason Patrick, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, and Matt Damon. Other than Studi, Patrick's role was pivotal to the film as "an unsung military officer by the name of Charles Gatewood . .. Gatewood was apparently an individual of some integrity and . . .(carried) out his orders with dignity and compassion. (He) was rewarded for his exemplary service by becoming the victim of the pettiness and selfish self-centeredness of Nelson Miles, the officer commanding the Apache campaign." You can't help but feel compassion for individuals on both sides. In particular how the Chiricahua scouts that had served the military interest for years were disarmed, arrested, and exiled along with Geronimo and other Chircahua to Florida with the rest of the Apache.
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 5/16/2014...
This is exactly the type of movie that makes me resent the "teaching" I got back in the 1950's and 1960's regarding our history because so much was mus-interpreted and just plain wrong back then! This is more real and factual than any old history books plus has a tremendous cast. The visual and background is mostly in Moab Utah and is beautiful! Easy to see why the Apache did not want to leave it behind. Excellent movie!
Kathy T. from WINAMAC, IN
Reviewed on 6/18/2010...
A really great movie! We really enjoyed learning about the Native American history thru this movie as well.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jon G. from DELHI, CA
Reviewed on 1/21/2010...
Good film. This is actually the dual widescreen/fullscreen dvd. SwapDVD has it listed only as fullscreen.

Movie Reviews

An under-rated movie
Smallchief | 08/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I share the opinion of several other reviewers that "Geronimo" is an outstanding -- but undervalued -- Western. Let me tick off some of the reasons why this is such a good movie. First, the scenery and the cinematography are fabulous. Some of the photography deliberately imitates great scenes from other Westerns in the past. I was overcome with deja vu at the scene in which a file of mounted Apaches is silhouetted on the skyline. This is right out of John Ford's "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" if memory serves me right. Secondly, the performances of Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, and Wes Studi, as Geronimo, were outstanding. Matt Damon and Jason Patric were fine as young cavalry officers, and I liked the performance of Steve Reevis as Chato, a friendly, trusting -- and ultimately disillusioned -- Apache scout. Third, the movie was reasonably true to fact and avoided the "noble savage" philosophy that made movies such as "Dances with Wolves" tiresome. Nor did the movie gloss over the perfidy of U.S. policy toward the Apaches. The story of the long pursuit of Geronimo and his tiny band of Apaches by thousands of soldiers and Apache scouts is an American epic. Perhaps what "Geronimo" the movie doesn't have, and thus didn't capture the attention of the critics and the public, is a blockbuster scene that raises you out of your seat. But I thought "Geronimo" was an honest, informative, well-made film that should be rated among the top twenty Westerns of all time."
Terrific cinematography only adds to a fine film
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 01/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sometimes, stunning camera work adds significant value to a film's overall merit. Case in point is 2001: A SPACE ODDYSSEY, in which the visuals (and musical score) contributed to make it one of the great films of all time. (I saw it 8 times when originally on the big screen.) Yet the acting and storyline were so nondescript that who can remember who the actors or their characters were beyond Hal? Although certainly not carrying the same weight as 2001 in the evolution of movie making, the 1993 release GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND is elevated for the same reason, and the acting is much better besides.Matt Damon plays 2nd Lt. Britton Davis, newly commissioned out of West Point, who arrives in Arizona in the mid-1880's just in time to accompany the savvy 1st Lt. Charles Gatewood, played by Jason Patric, on a mission to accept the surrender of Geronimo, and bring the Apache leader to the reservation. Eventually, Geronimo abandons the reservation to again take up arms against the white man, ultimately fleeing into Mexico. The local Army cavalry command led by Gen. George Crook, played by Gene Hackman, and which includes Davis and Gatewood, must then go retrieve the war chief and his followers. Robert Duvall has the role of Al Sieber, the army unit's Chief Scout.As I've indicated, the cinematography in GERONIMO is absolutely gorgeous, the film being shot in the scenic expanses of southeastern Utah. Moreover, the acting doesn't deserve the reproach it's received. The Crook character, criticized as too bland, is played just right. By that time in his long military career, Gen. Crook had seen it all when it came to battling the Indians, and his unflappability, evenhandedness, and strength of character were fully established. There is no need for flamboyant theatrics on his part. The moody reserve of the Gatewood character is perfectly understandable. He came from a patrician Virginia family and, had it been 30 years previous, would have fought for the Confederacy. Fighting for the victorious Federals against another oppressed people (as the Southerners saw themselves) was certain to cause much self-examination. As Sieber put it to Gatewood, "You don't love who you're fighting for, and you don't hate who you're fighting against." Duvall, as Sieber, plays a role somewhat reminiscent of his Gus McCrae in LONESOME DOVE, but without the easygoing humor. In any case, his on-screen time is way too short. Wes Studi as Geronimo is more than adequate. I can't think of another Native American actor - and how many of those are there? - who could have done better. Matt Damon, as the likable Britton, serves as the film's narrator for the viewers' perspective. True, the plot incorporates no dramatic, climactic battles. That's because there weren't any in the real-life Geronimo saga, and Hollywood mercifully refrained, for once, from the unashamed embellishment of history. Rather, the story is portrayed for what it was - the inexorable, relatively low-key subjugation of one people by another - with all its attendant moral and ethical issues. The ending is particularly poignant.Maybe I just like westerns, but I think this a wonderful, haunting film. It's definitely worth seeing, especially if you have one of those home entertainment centers that aspires to be a big screen theater."
Steven Hellerstedt | 11/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the second Walter Hill movie I've seen recently, and I believe I'm getting the hang of it. At least as far as his westerns go. Hill takes as his subject matter a larger-than-life character, in this case the Apache warrior Geronimo, and embellishes the facts to fit a larger truth. I say that without sarcasm or disapproval. Hill turns a bandit queen into a prostitute, kills off one of his characters in the wrong place at the wrong time (to give a big star a death scene,) invents a fight between two men who probably never met, much less knew of each other. There's a good reason this one is subtitled "An American Legend." It's a fair approach for a filmmaker to take, but the raw material of his films have been so finely sifted by so many passionate students for so long they're almost magnets for those prone to nit-pick the tiniest historical accuracy.
When I set aside my concerns for historical accuracy I discovered I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. It looks beautiful, always a plus with a western shot on location. Wes Studi, an American Indian of the Cherokee Nation, really reaches deep into the core of Geronimo - courageous, proud to the point of arrogance, and ultimately doomed. To Hill's credit Geronimo isn't a two-dimensional wooden noble. Likewise, his "bad" guys, in this case racist scout Robert Duvall, aren't caricatures either. Hill doesn't paint in bold contrasts, and GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND feels real. This mature approach comes at a price. It's hard to build up to big dramatic moments in an action film when you don't have highly contrasted Good Guys and Bad Guys. Fortunately for the film and the audience GERONIMO'S cast is filled with high-caliber actors able to portray complex characters without losing the audience in the process.
There's also a highly developed sense of intervention in GERONIMO. Gene Hackman's General Crook ("They don't realize it, but I'm the best friend the Apaches have") shields the Indians from a harsh interpretation of his orders. Jason Patric visually embodies this theme - in a number of scenes he steps in between an angry aimed gun and the Native American it's pointed at. Ultimately, I believe, Hill also intervenes between his audience and awkward facts and sour interpretations. It's an approach that drives some historians to distraction, but also occasionally results in highly entertaining movies.