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Red Headed Stranger [VHS] (1986)

Willie Nelson , Morgan Fairchild , William D. Wittliff  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Willie Nelson, Morgan Fairchild, R.G. Armstrong, Royal Dano, Katharine Ross
  • Directors: William D. Wittliff
  • Writers: William D. Wittliff
  • Producers: Willie Nelson, William D. Wittliff, Barry Fey, David Anderson
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Home Entertainme
  • VHS Release Date: March 24, 1998
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630477334X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minor masterpiece June 19, 2010
Format:VHS Tape
I was stunned by the quality of this virtually unknown movie. If ever there was a sleeper waiting to explode on the scene, this has got to be it.

I watched it last night on cable Encore Westerns, which gave it only one star. But I've always been amused by Willie Nelson Westerns, usually good light entertainment, so I thought I'd give it a try until the one star rating reared its ugly head. I kept waiting and waiting for its promised mediocrity to emerge, but things just got better and better. By the end of the movie I was wondering where on earth the one star rating had come from. Did someone say, "Oh, this must only be one star because it wasn't big budget and I never heard of it"? What does the Encore Westerns star rating system mean, anyhow? Popularity? Reputation? If that's what it means, then it's one star, but no one uses that system for movie ratings, at least no one with a modicum of intelligence.

Enough of my rant. What about the movie itself? It has many of the characteristics of a classical Western, its setting and development. This really is the Wild West: lawless, where people had to take care of themselves without expecting any organized law and order. We have the familiar hero confronting evil forces in the face of cowardly townsfolk being bullied and exploited by those evil forces and in need of rescue by the courage of the hero. But in this case, the hero goes from the heights of idealism and uncompromising high principles and courage, to the nadir of despair and iniquity, only to rebound with newfound grounding in his original ideals, born from simple feelings of emptiness in his fall into perdition, and recognition that his original high mindedness is where life that is truly worth living is to be found.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Classic February 2, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
All I will say is "I LOVE THIS MOVIE"!! I am so glad to have found it online! I haven't seen it since it first came out and I was a kid. I have always wanted to find it on video to buy! It is just a western romance about a cowboy's heart ache and his search for his runaway wife. But I won't tell you much more (like other reviews). I don't want to ruin it for you. Other people are making this mistake of telling the ending, such as who kills who and when and so forth. HELLO!! Don't ruin the ending!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie March 8, 2009
Format:VHS Tape
If I could have gotten this in DVD I would have. This is a great movie, really it is. My husband and I have enjoyed watching this movie for years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Western October 10, 2012
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
My favorite western. Push for it to come out on DVD! Looks and feels closer to what I imagine a real outback town in that time, and how people would look, dress and talk. Plain, poor, dusty, dirty - no fancy sets, spotless clothes, give-away modern orthodontics. Water is scarce, people sweat. What has more value than water? Kudos to the set master, costume designer, makeup, actors, writer, director and editor. Story moves along slowly and pleasurably with nice surprises, e.g., delightful dialogue, realistic violence (did I just see that?!). Existential, earthy, simple, satisfying. Suprising honesty, fewer words, more truth, time to reflect, muse about life - love, loss, revenge, betrayal, forgiveness, courage, acceptance, redemption. It doesn't forget we like to be entertained. It is speckled with dry humor and a bit of silliness to boot. That Willie isn't a professional actor adds a touch of realism, but he is surrounded with good actors. Good lines, delightful wit, great score - Willie's own gritty voice and story-line songs are the perfect fit. Great gunfight at the end. More a "sit back and savor" than "cling to your seat" enjoyment. "Is your horse worth the life of that man!? . . . I couldn't say . . . I didn't know the man."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic duo: the movie and the album March 4, 2011
Format:VHS Tape
The Red Headed Stranger (RHS), starring Willie Nelson, was superb, and a big hit with me when I first saw it. I tried to buy it, but could only find it on VHS, which I could not play. However, I did buy the CD album, which was also superb. On this album Nelson tells the story of a minister, call it "The Ballad of Julian Shay", which may be the greatest western CD of all times.
Now I catch the movie every chance I get. It is very complex - a love story, a tragedy, a regression into hell, then recovery, a second love story and finally a cleaning up on a mean and vicious family. There are many side-stories woven in. I'll try to share this story as best as I caught it, and also tie it into the songs on the album.

His first love. The movie starts with a wedding scene in Philadelphia. The bride (Raysha, by Morgan Fairchild) is a beauty, and part of the east coast establishment. She glances at a picture of the man who came in second, before she exits the church and sees the wedding gift from her husband, a beautiful pony, a dancin' bay pony.
Track 1: Time of the Preacher.
The next scene shows Julian and Raysha on a two horse stagecoach, with the pony tied on behind. As they approach Driscoll, MT, after a long and hot trip, they spot a creek, where Raysha decides a bath is in order. Enter the five grown sons of Larn Claver. This could have been a very ugly scene, but Julian was able to finesse the situation with the aid of a hidden rifle.
In Discroll they discover that the only water is from the Clavers; an old well is there, but dry; very few attend his first church service and many mock it; and the sheriff is a man by the name of Reese Scoby, friendly, but inclined to leave things alone. At supper, Raysha asks: Julian, why did you bring me here?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Product~!!!
This product is exceptional and it is everything that I expected it to be.
Published 1 month ago by Gloria A. Gosling
5.0 out of 5 stars Excited
rate this product excellent
this is a rare find, thanks for having available.

watched already, will watch over and over
Published 8 months ago by Sharon Woodby
5.0 out of 5 stars Great veristile actor and performer
Love willie nellson.

What was interesting is that he wrote the song he sang in the movie. He can just about do anything..
Published 10 months ago by Paul F Mundt
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Headed Stranger
I have been looking for this for ages, I love Willie Nelson and the song Red Headed Stranger, love the story line too!
Published 14 months ago by Danelle Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars My Grandmother's Favorite
This was Xmas gift for my grandmother who loves these type of movies. She was so happy and pleased. Glad I found it.
Published 19 months ago by L. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie by Willie
i have always liked this movie...
Red Headed Stranger is a movie of betrayal, love, hate, murder, and new love. its very intriguing if you like western type movies. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Patti J. Reile
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Good movie and my father really liked it alot. This is an old classic movie.
I think we all laughed.
Published 21 months ago by Amanda Wolter
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad service
I thought I was getting a DVD, but got VHS. Movie was in good shape. Just wish it was a dvd.
Published 21 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Package to norway!
Hey, My name is alexander, and i ordered a movie called the Red Headed Stranger home to norway.

The package was delivered as promised, after only a few days. Read more
Published 21 months ago by alexander jacobsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Redheaded
In my opinion, this is my favorite movies of Willie Nelson. Willie is a great singer and a great actor. Read more
Published on July 26, 2012 by big d
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It apparently is not, which is inexplicable, because this is one of the most perfect westerns ever made, a sleeper if there ever was one.
Jun 19, 2010 by Frank Paris |  See all 3 posts
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