Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Monte Walsh and the Old West's demise

Yesterday marked my sixth and final day off work.
I spent the morning watching a film that blends humor and melancholy as it shows the end of the "Old West" era through the experiences of an aging cowboy.
"MONTE WALSH" stars LEE MARVIN as the aging titular cowboy who finds himself increasingly displaced as corporations and barbed wire fences claim the range that had been the domain of his profession.
His best friend Chet, played by the wonderful JACK PALANCE, has already found a new life. Chet married the local "hardware widow" and sets up shop with her.
Other cowboys, such as Shorty (MITCH RYAN), turn to a life of crime when cowpoke opportunities diminish.
The film's supporting cast includes such stalwarts as Michael Conrad ("The Longest Yard," "Hill Street Blues"), G.D. Spradlin ("The Godfather: Part II," "Apocalypse Now") and Jim Davis (Jock Ewing in "Dallas").
Directed by WILLIAM FRAKER, "Monte Walsh" feels particularly truthful as it portrays a seldom-seen aspect of the Old West -- its quiet but inevitable demise.


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