September 29, 2012

Stephen Bly's Western Movie Take -- Part 1

Stephen Bly (1944-2011)
Stephen Bly (1944-2011)
by Stephen Bly 
 December 12, 2008

Janet went to the big city of Spokane for a few days to Christmas shop, so I caught up on watching western movies. I pulled out Last Stand at Saber River, a movie I watched once when it came out in 1997 on Turner Cable Television. Turner and AMC have kept the classic western genre alive over the years.


Movie: Last Stand at Saber River with Tom Selleck
Last Stand at Saber River
Last Stand at Saber River is based on an Elmore Leonard story. Lots of writers I know like to read Elmore Leonard novels. He can spin a good story, although his vocabulary is not always the same as mine.

Paul Cable (Tom Selleck) is a disillusioned confederate soldier who returns home just weeks before the end of the Civil War. With his strong-willed pioneer wife and two children, he returns to his Arizona home to resume a quiet life. Instead, he finds Union sympathizers have taken possession of the ranch. He and his wife fight for the ranch ... and, at times, with each other. Even when news that the war is over reaches him, he faces one more tough battle.

Actress Suzy Amis
Suzy Amis

Last Stand is a good western. They got most (but not all) of the details right. That always pleases me. Selleck is best if he plays roles like Tom Magnum or Matthew Quigley (Quigley Down Under). And this is a Quigley type part. 

Suzy Amis is excellent as his strong-willed wife. She wears the correct dress for the era, has no makeup or jewelry. She'll do to ride the river with.


Actor Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment
And for you film buffs, there's a very young (9-yrs-old) Haley Joel Osment as Selleck's son. Haley Joel splashed onto our screens with his terrific performance in The Sixth Sense. But we first met him when he played Tom Hanks' son, Little Forrest, in Forrest Gump. His list of movie credits is impressive and will one day, no doubt, win an Academy Award.


What's the last old western you saw? What did you like or dislike about it?

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