Saturday, August 2, 2014

Movies In History: Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove

This television mini series, based on the Larry McMurtry novel, which itself was closely based on actual events of frontier era cattleman, set a new standard for clothing accuracy. And as the novel was itself closely based on actual persons and their history, the details in general are remarkably accurate.  Indeed, this movie is to Westerns what Band of Brothers is to war movies, in that it set the bar so high, that nothing that's come after it has been the same compared to those films which came before it.

Based closely on actual early cattle drives out of Texas going north, this gritty film has almost all, if not all, of the material details right, which almost no film prior to it did.  Indeed, this is so much the case that I've actually heard it criticized by the otherwise knowledgeable on some of what it portrays as it stands in such stark contrast to earlier films.  No cattle drive film compares to it.

Even wise, it's pretty good as well, showing the slow nature and remoteness of early drives.

If a person was to criticize it, what could be looked at is that like all McMurtry works, it's somewhat more focused on the unseemly side of things than it needs to be, which is McMurtry's hallmark in some ways.  Having said that, McMurtray isn't afraid to show various peoples and groups in a pretty unvarnished light, which many portrayals are not willing to do.

And the economic nature of the drive, without which it wouldn't make any sense, is largely omitted, a fault common to many western  movies.

Having said that, this film sets the bar for westerns.

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