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Monte Walsh
Monte Walsh
Actors: Tom Selleck, Isabella Rossellini, Keith Carradine, George Eads, Robert Carradine
Director: Simon Wincer
Genres: Westerns, Drama, Television
NR     2003     1hr 57min

Times change, Monte Walsh doesn't. For him, being a cowboy isn't a job, it's a life. And that's something the fenced-in, corporate-bean-counting ways of the onrushing 20th century must never alter. Tom Selleck plays Monte,...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Selleck, Isabella Rossellini, Keith Carradine, George Eads, Robert Carradine
Director: Simon Wincer
Creators: Bobby Roberts, John Albanis, David Zelag Goodman, Jack Schaefer, Lukas Heller, Michael Brandman, Robert B. Parker
Genres: Westerns, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Drama, Television
Studio: Turner Home Ent
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/29/2003
Original Release Date: 01/17/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/17/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 7/24/2023...
A classic with Tom Selleck at his best in a western role. He was made for the Monte Walsh role! Many others such as Keith Carradine, George Eads and others played their roles well! A nice look at how cowboys lived and died. Yellowstone likely took cues from this movie! A must watch! A movie that you can watch over and over during the years!

Movie Reviews

When riding fence is all that's left
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 03/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Directed by Simon Wincer (LONESOME DOVE, QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER, CROSSFIRE TRAIL, INTO THE WEST), MONTE WALSH, which won the 2004 Bronze Wrangler Award for Outstanding Television Feature Film, didn't even register as a faint blip on my radar when it was first released. I'm glad that I've since come across it.

Tom Selleck, in the title role, is an aging cowboy at the turn of the 19th century. Arriving back in town after wintering on the range minding a cattle herd, Monte and his trail pardner, Chet Rollins (Keith Carradine), learn that the hard season has broken the backs of the local ranch owners and their spreads are being bought up by a consortium of Eastern dudes. Jobs are scarce, but Walsh and Rollins are hired by Cal Brennan (William Devane), a former owner now managing the consortium's local holding. Cowboys are a dying breed and, as Monte and Chet soon discover, times only get tougher as even the distant bosses can't show a profit.

Ostensibly in Wyoming but actually filmed in the gorgeous Canadian Rockies, MONTE WALSH is a bittersweet tale of a man, supremely talented in a very narrow niche, finding himself outliving his best friend (Chet), his long-time lover, the aging saloon whore "Countess" Martine (Isabella Rossellini), and his own ability to earn a living in the only craft he's ever known.

Except for Selleck, Carradine, and Devane, the film is populated by actors that you may not recognize, though it's good to see again Barry Corbin (Deputy Roscoe Brown in LONESOME DOVE) as Bob the Storekeeper and William Sanderson (Lippy in LONESOME DOVE, E.B Farnum in DEADWOOD, and Larry of NEWHART) as the odiferous ranch cook, Skimpy.

Perhaps the most poignant and tragic scene involves a cowboy nicknamed "Fightin' Joe Hooker" (James Gammon), who, at the end of his career, is relegated to "riding fence", i.e. stringing barbed wire to a line of fence posts stretching endlessly across the landscape - the most hated of ranch jobs. Joe got his moniker from having ridden alongside the real General "Fightin' Joe" Hooker at the Battle of Missionary Ridge back in '64. Now, his spirit crushed by age and lack of prospects, Joe deliberately races his mount over a precipice to their deaths. Only after his demise do the other ranch hands, while going though his meager belongings, learn that his real name was simply Albert Miller.

MONTE WALSH isn't a great film, but I enjoyed it immensely for its perspicacity regarding the end of an era in general, and the challenge confronting the individual at life's useful end in particular. At some point, I suspect, we're all faced with "riding fence".
More of a portrait, less of a traditional movie
DWD | Indianapolis, IN | 10/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is not a plot-driven movie so much as it is a portrait of that moment in time when the Old West was disappearing and the men who made the Old West what it was had to adjust, die or just fade away.

It is beautifully shot and there is a lot of attention to detail. If one is looking for a ton of action, this is not the western you are looking for. But, if you love cowboy movies this one is a real treat. It would make the watcher wistful for those days when the horse ruled the west, except that you know that Monte Walsh would have none of that pointless sentiment.

No living actor looks more like a cowboy should than Tom Selleck and I'd be thrilled if he focused on those movies for the rest of his career."
Joseph Haschka | 08/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Not since Will Penny starring Charlton Heston has there been a western that defies the stereotypes and presents a story that requires some thought--real thought. The thinking person's western doesn't get a lot of attention but when it does...well, Monte Walsh with Tom Selleck is all the evidence that you need.Don't get me wrong, I love a good, classic, predictable western as much as the next armchair cowboy. But Monte Walsh, and, especially Tom Selleck in the role, is a breath of fresh air. It's too bad that Mr. Selleck wasted all that time on Magnum PI (okay, I loved that too) when he should have been defining the new western hero as he has done with Quigley Down Under, Crossfire Trail and, now, Monte Walsh.Along with Selleck, great performances by Isabella Rosselini, Keith Carradine, William Devane, Robert Carradine, George Eads, and Marshall Teague assure us that, whether it is on the silver screen or on the open plains of Wyoming or Montana, the Cowboy Spirit rides on."