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Paired as rivals in A History of Violence, Ed Harris (who also directs, produces and co-scripts) and Viggo Mortensen stand together as friends and for-hire peacekeepers Cole and Hitch in a character-driven, bullet-hard Western based on Robert B. Parkers novel. As the woman who arrives in town with only a dollar and a keen sense of survival, Renée Zellweger adds feelings things that can get you killed to a quest to bring murderer Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) to justice. Blood will spill in the town called Appaloosa.]]>
- Commentary by director Ed Harris and screenwriter/producer Robert Knott
- Additional scenes with selectable Ed Harris/Robert Knott commentary
- Bringing the Characters of Appaloosa to Life
- Historic Accuracy of Appaloosa
- The Town of Appaloosa
- Dean Semler's Return to the Western
Top Customer Reviews
They get a break in the case when a young former hand of Bragg's agrees to testify. That happens about the time when the widow, Allie French (Renee Zellweger) comes in on the train.
Allie complicates matters a lot. As Hitch so eloquently puts it, "she wants to be with the herd stallion and there can only be one of those at a time." Cole, who claims to not have feelings, actually does care for French. She's not like any woman he's ever been with, she's clean, she's got good manners, etc.
"Appaloosa" has all the elements of a great Western, a little romance, some realistic gun play, excellent characterization, great scenery (principal film site Austin, Texas) and the typical western sense of humor. For example, when a gun battle gets both men injured, Hitch says, "That was quick." Cole's response, "Yeah, everybody could shoot."
Clearly, Harris and Mortensen had a lot of fun making this film. These two are friends in real life and this project was a labor of love for Harris who said in an interview that he's a fan of the author of "Appaloosa," Robert Parker. He usually reads the detective novels, but picked up the Western because he liked the cover and that's how the movie came to be.
If you enjoyed "Pale Rider" and "Unforgiven," this is a film you'll probably want to see. The "R" rating is for a little language, small nudity, and violence, but both my husband and I have seen a lot worse on broadcast television.
Rebecca Kyle, October 2008
Here the stories of Warlock and Appaloosa diverge. Warlock makes great use of the idea that fighting outlaws with mercenaries is a morally questionable solution, while Appaloosa features only one scene that ponders the question, even though the setup seems tailor-made for further conflict. Harris' character, Virgil, has been made uncomfortable and embarrassed by a conversation with his romantic interest (played by Renee Zellwegger), so he takes it out on some workers having a drink at the bar. Though drunk, they are doing no harm, and Harris' explosive temper and sense of impunity are first exhibited as he viciously pummels one of them before being restrained by Viggo's character (Everett). One of the town's officials questions this behavior, but beyond that it is never addressed again.
Other story similarities include a confrontation at the jailhouse (though the specifics of the scene were more reminiscent of one in ...Read more ›
Many reviewers have missed the whole point of the movie. It was not about two buddies/lawmen bringing peace to a town, although that does happen (mostly) and the gun fights are quick, brutal and ugly. The movie is about what happens when such a partnership is disrupted by a woman. Look at the DVD cover art and you can see it symbolically represented - there is Renee Zellweger standing between Mortensen and Harris.
****Spoiler alert****The rest of the review is just full of spoilers******
In this case, the woman is a pathetic, despicable thing. The movie comes from a Robert B. Parker book and his books are full of people (mostly women, but not always) that claim to be in love but really they are psychologically needy and act out sexually in strange, disruptive ways.
There are four main characters in this story: Marshal Virgil Cole, Deputy Everett Hitch, Bragg (a rancher/hotel owner) and Mrs. French, a pathetic woman that leeches onto powerful men out of some deep seeded need that we never quite have explained. Suffice it to say, Mrs. French is a survivor because she uses sex to endear herself to the most powerful man in her immediate area.
Many have misinterpreted (in my opinion, anyway) the "big" fight scene at the end. Here's my take
Hitch kills Bragg, but not to defend the honor of Zelweger character, Mrs. French, because she has none to defend.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great actors, but the story did not hold up. It was silly. I didn't really believe in the relationships enough to justify how the movie ended.Published 13 hours ago by thea m. karas
What I received was very edited and cut. Sucks. That was the first movie we went to see when we started dating.Published 1 day ago by Carin L. Ludlow
One of my favorite westerns. Much like Eastwood's Unforgiven, this film stays to true to Life elements along the way- a taste of the time, not relying on sensational explosive... Read morePublished 2 days ago by What Would You Say
This is how a western should be! Excellent movie with a strong presence by all the cast! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it..Published 9 days ago by pjknine
Are all the reviews written by family members of the cast? I watched westerns all my life. I'll get straight to the point: BORING. Read morePublished 15 days ago by SaraF.