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All the Pretty Horses (2000)

Duration1h 56m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: PG-13, Spain: 7 
Source of storyA book of the same name by Cormac McCarthy
DirectorBilly Bob Thornton
Writers/ScriptTed Tally
StarringMatt Damon, Henry Thomas, Penélope Cruz, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick, Lucas Black, Ruben Blades, Jesse Plemons, Bruce Dern
RatingsIMDb: 5.8/10 by 14,861 people .  Rotten Tomatoes: 32% by 100 reviewers. Review2view: 5/10 .

Elevator Pitch: In 1949 two Texan ranch hands, Grady Cole and Lacey Rawlins, set out for Mexico where they hope to find work. On the way they pick up with a boy, Jimmy Blevins who is a problem, losing his horse, which they rescue from a Mexican ranch. They get work at the ranch of a rich Mexican and Cole is seduced by his daughter. Their bubble is burst when they are arrested for crimes related to the young man and the three of them are being transported to jail, then Jimmy is taken away and executed. Cole and Rawlins have a tough time in the Mexican prison but are released due to influence of the daughter’s aunt. How will the romance pan out and will they make it home?

Content. There is no actual sex or nudity although both are implied. The young men ride across the New Mexico landscape, which played itself. They get work and spend time breaking horses to the entertainment of everyone around. Cole goes swimming with Alexandra. They are arrested and Jimmy is dragged away into the bushes and shot. The Mexican jail is horrifying, and Cole buys a knife, so he can protect himself from a possible assassin. Just as well. In the end he gets the horses back and escapes by holding a policeman hostage.

A View: There is much in the media about the original length of this outing, but to clear that up it seems that the original director’s cut at 2h 40m was cut to two hours against the wishes of Billy Bob Thornton, and in addition the score was changed at the behest of the studio. The cuts might explain why some of the plot seemed a bit  obscure to me, strange since the author of the book always writes as if it is a film script. So, in the end only a watch if you are an enthusiast for the great outdoors, or modern westerns.

Other sort of modern westerns reviewed on this site include: Texas Rangers, Hostiles and possibly Forsaken

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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