I liked the film, but why were they branding in the rain? you can see that the calves were only hair-branded. I wish Duvall's saddle had been more period correct also. Some of us like the small details as well as the action, etc.
I loved the movie - but I found a couple things distracting. First was Church's constant removal of his hat for no apparent reason relating to the story - just seemed he wanted a better camera angle for his close-ups. The ever-secure Duvall was the consumate cowboy - hat on. And the other thing that did relate to the story - I found myself wondering why they never took that girls stupid wooden shoes off. What was with all the carrying? Did they explain that and I just missed it?
you missed it. the girl's feet were bound (anywhere between 2" to 4" in length) so it's very difficult to walk. The custom of binding the feet is to prove the woman need not walk far if she had servants and having petite feet as attractive. Therefore, it's reasonable to surmise she may have been kidnapped and then sold into slavery.
Yes, I have branded in the rain and it is not fun, but is possible. In livestock raising, the weather does not always cooperate, so I felt the branding was very realistic. Also if you watched closely, the branding was not done on real livestock. It is hard to do more than a hair brand on a tanned hide.