Monday, December 19, 2011

Quickshots- Tom Horn

Too many westerns to write about, not enough time.  Here’s a new idea for me- quickshots.  Books and movies reviewed in 200 words or less.

Tom Horn is a 1980 western starring Steve McQueen as the title character, a cowboy turned stock detective and possible assassin in turn of the century Wyoming. The film started off enjoyably enough, with some nice western views and fun cowboy-meets-dude scenes.  The story never really took off for me, though.  Overall the movie was visually uninspiring outside of the landscapes, slowly plotted, indifferently acted, and just overall mediocre. 

The one place where it stood out is the imagery of the west.  The scenery and landscape camerawork are absolutely fantastic.  You get a sense that this could have been a better film if they ditched the plot and actors and just filmed 90 minutes of mountains and prairie with some nice music in the background.  The real Tom Horn was hung the day before his forty third birthday in 1903, but McQueen looks more like 70 in this film despite being under 50 when it was filmed, just before his death.  It was McQueen’s second to last film, and he looks worn out.  McQueen reportedly spent the last years of his life stuffed with booze, pot, coke, and experimental anti-cancer drugs.  Live clean, kids.

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