EuropaCorp, Ithaca, The Javelina Film Company,

Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep, Miranda Otto, John Lithgow, James Spader

Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank) is a tough old single broad living out west in a small farming community. She’s definitely a lady, longing for a husband and children, but destined to a long lonely single life due to the fact that men say she’s too bossy and way to damn plain looking. Times are very hard in the little town, and three of the wives have suffered very horrible tragedies and have lost their minds. A danger to their husbands and families, the minister in the little church has made arrangements for them to be taken back across the plains and across the river where they will be cared for by a church there where they have some relatives. But who can make the 5 week or so journey across the dried up plains to accompany these women. Mary Bee talks the reverend into letting her take the journey as she has no family to support and can cook and take care of the women and she is just as tough of any of the men. She rounds up an goofy old outlaw, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones) whom she rescues from being hanged and coerces him into accompanying the 4 women on the journey. Needless to say it is a long hard journey filled with danger and hardships, and only their will to go on keeps them going.

This was a very surprising film to me. I was really blown away by it. I have not seen a western in a long time, and this was a really great story. The script is excellent, and it’s filled with top notch performers like James Spader, Meryl Streep, John Lithgow and others. The setting is dreary and dark and very realistic and you really feel the pain of the times they are going through. The performances of Hillary and Tommy Lee are simply outstanding, but it’s the humor set against that harsh reality of frontier life that is so impressive. This is an excellent film, and certainly a hidden gem. I don’t know how I never heard about this film and just stumbled across it by accident, but it was a serendipitous moment when I put this one on. There are some problems, mostly in the timing of the story as there are conflicting statements about what time of year this story is set, but it’s easy to overlook that, as it’s not that important. It’s sometimes hard to watch, as it’s so realistic, and it’s definitely stark, but I couldn’t turn away, and I was disappointed when it was over, as I wanted to know more. This is one film well worth tracking down, especially if you’re fond of really great Westerns.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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