Sam Elliot drifts through a landscape familiar and haunting. Filmed as a tribute to the late Lous L'Amour (who had died two years previous to this movie's release), we get to see bits and pieces of the Western landscape that L'Amour knew best. Native Americans struggling to survive the endless arrival of settlers, cowpokes ready to shoot it out over the slightest slight. Aestetically, how nice to see a real cattle drive by modern cowboy wranglers. CGI (Computer Graphics) can never compare to the real thing. The landscapes are beautiful and the terrain unforgiving whether you're on the run from cattle rustlers, or just a mom trying to raise her kids at a stagecoach checkpoint. As the Executive Producer, Elliot doesn't dominate the story, he knows just the right moments for the glare, the big entrance, and the big sendoff of bad guys. I really liked the ending of the movie with a surprising twist that I can't give away.
I take a point off from the DVD release as this wonderful movie is simply a cheap VHS videotape transfer to DVD. For what it is, it was well done, but the analog videotape to digital transfer shifted all the colors heavily to the red. The credits say the print was done by "De Luxe". That means there is a beautiful film of Conagher lying in some film vault somewhere. Shame on Warner Brothers and whatever lawyer told them they could save a few dollars by issuing this blurry, red-shifted videotape on a DVD, rather than giving us the film that Sam Elliot fans deserve. You don't chase a wounded Conagher into the rocks, and I only wish the legal team at Warner Brothers had received a similar glare from his deadly eyes as they pondered whether to cut corners on this release. Disgraceful what they did to this beautiful film, Warner Bros were the real cattle rustlers here!
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