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Blackthorn [Blu-ray] (2011)

Sam Shepard , Eduardo Noriega , Mateo Gil  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Shepard, Eduardo Noriega, Stephen Rea
  • Directors: Mateo Gil
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005NGKLX2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,226 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blackthorn [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

It's been said that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were killed in a standoff with the Bolivian military in 1908. In BLACKTHORN, Cassidy (Sam Shepard) survived and is quietly living out his years under the name James Blackthorn in a secluded Bolivian village. Tired of his long exile from the U.S. and hoping to see his family again before he dies, Cassidy sets out on the long journey home. But when an unexpected encounter with an ambitious young criminal (Eduardo Noriega) derails his plans, he is thrust into one last adventure, the likes of which he hasn't experienced since his glory days with the Sundance Kid.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Blackthorn" - Good, but not great October 20, 2011
By D.B.K.
One reviewer's blurb said: "A classic old-fashioned western, every bit as good as 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'." It is neither. It should not even be compared to that film since it's only marginally in the same genre.

There are many good things about "Blackthorn" -- Sam Shepard's acting, for instance. The scenery is also excellent, albeit dully colored. I would have chosen a better film stock. Most of the colors seemed drab and lifeless to me. That may be partially due to the generally overcast skies that were the norm in Bolivia - at least that appears to be the case when they were shooting this film. But I believe that either the film they used did not reproduce the colors well or there was something wrong with the projector at the theater in which I saw it. Yet even with the lack of color saturation, there were some spectacular vistas as our hero made his way across the country. The director made excellent use of the widescreen format.

Another interesting aspect of the movie was the back-story - the flashbacks to the early 1900's with Butch, Sundance, and Etta Place. Those flashbacks provide a possible explanation as to how Butch and Sundance survived the infamous gun battle with the Bolivian army and why they split up. Enough said about that. (No spoilers here.)

I will mention that, historically speaking, while there is evidence of two American bandits being killed in a gun battle with a few soldiers (not an entire army) and a couple others from a small Bolivian town, later DNA evidence ruled out those bandits as being either Butch or Sundance. Also, many people have stated they met with and/or knew Robert Leroy Parker (aka Butch Cassidy) after he moved back to the U.S. (using an alias, of course).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised... September 3, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Surprised. Not by Shepard, who I've long thought is one of our great under-appreciated leading men, but by the story, the style and feel of the movie. I think I loved it. I've read some critics have called it "slow".....absolutely, its what I call a "slow burner." Not every story needs to move like a freight train.

There are a lot of ways the writer and director could have screwed this up, in just my opinion they dodged all the bullets. Like so many people I have a long term love affair with "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," so any movie taking a stab at sequel-ing that is running on dangerous ground. But they pulled it off.

If you like sweeping scenery, genuine-feeling westerns, GREAT acting (Shepard is beyond perfect all the way to amazing) those are all reasons enough to watch Blackthorn. I paid $9.99 to watch "before its in the theaters," and it was definitely worth it for me.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Modern Western October 9, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Sam Shepard is no novice to the thoughtful, landscape-driven Western. This film posits the question: What if Butch Cassidy hadn't been gunned down by the Bolivian army, but instead lived to old age in exile. It picks up with him as an old man considering a return to his long lost home, but along the way he is sidetracked, and some of his old ways (and old acquaintances) come back to haunt him.

The performances here in every way match the beauty of the landscape photography here. This is an excellent character study with a nice conversation regarding the nature of true crime.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Western December 20, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Well done in all respects. The scenery is fantastic, acting is excellent, story is great, and everything works. It will pull you in and keep your attention like a good book.

Really liked this one. Try it, I think you'll like it.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
"One day I woke up and found myself alone. Seemed like everyone I knew was dead or in jail, they thought I was dead too." After writing for years to her son, James Blackthorn (Shepherd) hears about Etta's death. Wanting to see his home one last time he heads out. When he meets a young robber on the trail he forms a type of friendship. The young robber begins to realize that the old man is not who he says he is, he may be riding with Butch Cassidy. This is one of the best westerns to come out in the last few years (along with "Meek's Cutoff) and is that way for one reason. Sam Shepherd is fantastic in this role. Much like Sam Elliot, Shepherd is born to be in westerns. A mix of present day and flashback scenes make this movie riveting and you are questioning if he is really Butch or not. Weather you are a fan of westerns or not this is one movie that you should watch. Overall, one of, if not the best westerns to come out in the last 5 years. Great acting by Shepherd helps. I give it a B+.

*Also try - Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid & Meek's Cutoff
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie March 15, 2012
By sdye
I've watched a lot of westerns in my time but this is the best yet. Well paced, great acting, great location. Many threads to this story and some surprises.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A historical "what if?" western January 6, 2012
(Magnolia Pictures, 2011)
Note: mild spoilers below
Sam Shepard stars in this moody "what if" western which asks, what if Butch Cassidy had actually survived the big ambush in Bolivia, and lived as a free man in exile? In this film, an old and grizzled Cassidy lives a humble life tucked away on a small ranch in the mountains of Bolivia. Twenty years later, when circumstances arise, he is called back to the United States and cashes out his loot in preparation of the journey. Of course, with a man of destiny such as Cassidy, nothing is ever that simple and he is soon drawn into a new adventure, involving a younger outlaw with problems of his own. The pace is pretty slow and perhaps overly-deliberate, with a notably understated performance from Shepard, and a nice appearance by Stephen Rea. Includes some gorgeous landscape cinematography of the Andean mountains and plateaus. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film reviews)
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