Johnson County War
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the age-old conflict: Big Business vs. the small entrepreneur. The big cattlemen employ the tried and true strategy of the west for dealing with their small time competitors: if you can't beat them kill them! But one man stands up for his beliefs and is ready to pay the ultimate price for them.
Tom Berenger heads a stellar cast that includes Luke Perry, Burt Reynolds and Rachel Ward. The script by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana is along the same lines as their Lonesome Dove masterpiece.
I actually bought and watched this one on the merits of the cast and writers alone and never looked back.
The three Hammett brothers (Tom Berenger, Adam Storke and Luke Perry) are all good in their parts. I especially liked Adam Storke as the sweet but somewhat wishy-washy Dale. His relationship with fiesty wife Michelle Forbes (now seen on "24") is complex. She browbeats and adores him, yet privately admits to Berenger's character that she really prefers him over her husband. (Hmmm...an interesting wrinkle in their story.)
Luke Perry plays the youngest brother, Harry, who is turning into somewhat of a wastrel. I never saw much of Perry prior to this, since I steadfastly avoided watching the "Beverly Hills" series that brought him his fame. I never thought much of him before, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good he is in this part. His romance with a lovely young widow is, however, underdeveloped and I think this was a definite flaw in the story.
Tom Berenger (as Cain Hammett) is clearly the oldest brother of this trio. Berenger's developed quite a good reputation for doing outstanding Westerns and historical dramas, so he's a wise choice for this movie as well. He's always an excellent actor and does well in this role. His character is sympathetic, brave and self-sacrificing and you can't help but empathize with him.
Also excellent are Rachel Ward as a toughened but likeable prostitute, Christopher Cazenove as a foppish British rancher, and Burt Reynolds as an evil villian.
This is a perfectly competent western. Incredible scenery, a good cast and a well paced story make it worthwhile to see.
The script leaves one reminded of the Lonesome Dove series in that there is plenty of character driven dialouge, and the movie superbly paces itself to the climax (which is an awewsome scene). There are plenty of funny moments too, such as a converstaion about jello. The cinemtography is great, and the movie feels likes a western. It does not look modern, as the other reviewer said. (note: the war took place in the 1890's, so rich places like the Cheyenne Club were indeed well furnished).
Some say that Burt Reynolds was not a good choice, but I thought he did a good job, as did Luke Perry and Adam Storke. Overall, this is one of the best westerns I have seen, and trust me, i have seen many. It is a shame that only television is producing quality westerns (unlike the theater where films such as the horrible Texas Rangers & American Outlaws were made).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Doing a scholastic study of range wars. Useable info here plus entertaining.Published 9 months ago by John Knight
A well acted and historically close storyline about the stand of Nate Champion and the Johnson County War. Very enjoyable!Published 13 months ago by Larry McAllister
Hallmark????? Seriously??? This movie is filled with foul mouth cursing that only detracts from an already pitiful attempt at a compelling story line. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Rena Brown