Johnson County War
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Johnson County War
In the tradition of Lonesome Dove and Streets of Laredo, this three-hour Hallmark miniseries ranks among the finest TV Westerns ever produced. With a deft balance of rugged action and richly drawn characters, Johnson County War captures the essence--if not the precise historical details--of the range wars that raged between Wyoming homesteaders and cattle barons in the early 1890s. Fighting for the legal settlers are the Hammett brothers Cain, Harry, and Dale (Tom Berenger, Luke Perry, Adam Storke), along with Dale's tough-as-leather wife (Michelle Forbes) and an ill-fated whore (Rachel Ward) who stands proudly against the hired gun (Burt Reynolds) who terrorizes the region for his cowardly British employers. Reynolds is too contemporary for his role, but he's a dapper villain surrounded by stooges you'll truly love to hate, and Berenger leads the excellent cast with an outstanding, lived-in performance. An actor and veteran stuntman, director David S. Cass Sr. capably serves the original script by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, bringing workmanlike intensity to several exciting chases and showdowns, all beautifully filmed by ace cinematographer Doug Milsome. --Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
The movie takes a while to build up to a crescendo but, it's worth waiting for. The cinematography is excellent and is coupled with very good sound. The acting is excellent and Tom Berenger excels in his role.
I watched the DVD in three one hour stints and as a result gained greater entertainment value, savoured the acting more and I became more emotionally involved with the plight of the homesteaders who had no wish to part with their land.
You'll want to watch this movie over and over... each time you do, you'll realize new things about the old west, and you'll find yourself tinkering on which side of the law you'd be on if you were in Wyoming in those days. It's a very thought provoking, and political movie, and it captures the mindset of those times real well. Great scenery, great action, great plot, great historical accuracy, great cast, just an all-around great movie. I expect this one will be TV for years to come, but I'd recommend this one to anyone who enjoys westerns, American history, political evolution, or action-adventure.
PS. It's not just a guy movie either, there's plenty of heart-aches, tears, betrayal, domestic violence, female bravery, love triangles, and romance mixed into these 3-hours as well... anyone who enjoys soap opera's will have their hands full with the various romantic sub-plots.
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.