Lonesome Dove 1989


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Set in the 19th century, this is the story of the Old West and two former Texas Rangers' (Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones) cattle drive from Texas to Montana. Augustus McCrea (Duvall) is no rancher whilst Woodrow Call (Jones) is a tough, demanding Ranger who dreams of creating a new homestead. He manages to get McCrea involved in his dream, as well as the many adventures along the way.

Robert Duvall, Anjelica Huston
Rental Formats:

Product Details

  • Lonesome Dove - Disc 1 ages_12_and_over
  • Lonesome Dove - Disc 2 ages_12_and_over
Runtime 6 hours 0 minutes
Starring Robert Duvall, Anjelica Huston, Barry Corbin, Ricky Schroder, Diane Lane, Robert Urich, Danny Glover, Tommy Lee Jones
Director Simon Wincer
Rental release 6 August 2001
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2008
Format: DVD
Conventional wisdom had it that the Western was dead when after years of false starts, Lonesome Dove finally made it to the screen. Starting life as a 1971 screenplay for John Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda before becoming a best-selling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, it was even briefly mooted as a possible vehicle for Redford and Newman as the two former Texas Rangers who go on one last cattle drive, but was deemed too risky for the big screen. The end result was certainly worth the long wait, earning huge ratings and a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest television Westerns ever made.

True, the first episode is a bit slow as the characters mull over the wisdom of a cattle drive at their time of life, but the time spent getting to know the large ensemble pays off: by the time they leave the dead-end town of Lonesome Dove we know enough about them to genuinely care about their fate over the long and dangerous journey, giving us a Western that's not only thrilling but often genuinely touching. It's a beautifully produced saga, with fine performances from most of the cast - particularly Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones - strikingly directed, often breathtakingly shot and boasting one of Basil Poledouris' most beautiful scores.

So why only three stars? Well, unfortunately though the original DVD release needed remastering, this new edition rather botches the job. The picture quality is better, but unforgiveably the image has been cropped from its original fullframe to widescreen, making a travesty of the original framing and often losing detail in several scenes. So, for the time being at least, the choice is between a poor older edition in the right ratio or a clearer image but less of it on this new edition. A real crying shame...
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 July 2009
Format: DVD
That durable screen legend John Wayne made two big mistakes towards the end of his career. He unsurprisingly turned down the role of Pike Bishop in "The Wild Bunch", one of the finest westerns ever made, but a far more visceral vision of the west than Wayne had ever acted in. He also spurned the opportunity to play the part of Woodrow F Call in the mooted film "The Streets of Laredo" based on a screenplay by Larry McMurtry. The film, to have been directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who made the very good "The Last Picture Show"(71), was also to have starred James Stewart and Henry Fonda. I recall reading of this mouthwatering prospect at the time. On Wayne's refusal the project fell apart. Instead he went on to make a number of mediocre westerns with a couple of notable exceptions. The exceptions were films where he left his comfort zone, which is exactly what "The Streets of Laredo" would have required. The very realistic portrayal of McMurty's frontier west much like "The Wild Bunch" was possibly a step too far for him. Instead, far from finished, McMurtry developed the screenplay into his glorious epic novel of the west "Lonesome Dove". It stands as perhaps the finest novel set in the old west that has ever been written. I have yet to read better. It deservedly won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1986. It is thought to be loosely based on the lives of two cattlemen called Goodnight and Loving who made a similar epic cattle drive. The film "Red River" is also thought to be based on their lives. The book encompasses far more than any feature film could hope to cover. At last in 1989 it was made into an expensive all star, no expense spared TV series which was able to do full justice to the book.

A superb cast was assembled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheeky Monkey on 19 Dec. 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Considering its age (about 20 years old), the PQ is a reasonable-to-good HD transfer for a TV production. Very crisp during the daytime scenes, but noticeably grainy with some brightness fluctuations during the nighttime scenes - of which there are relative few anyway. It's also been remastered in its theatrical 16x9 aspect ratio - but was formatted into the regular 1.33 ratio for original transmission (according to the interview with the director).

It generally exceeded my expectations as I wasn't expecting amazing reference PQ, like The Dark Knight for instance, so I wasn't disappointed.

The main thing that let it down for me were a couple of terrible SFX shots in the first episode - it makes you realise how far SFX have come for TV productions. But they are minor niggles in the overall quality of the show - which is an epic 373 minutes of peerless melodrama with a career performance from Robert Duvall and a star-making one from Tommy Lee Jones.

Extras include:

- The making of an epic: 50-minute behind the scenes featurette
- Original interviews on the set
- A retrospective interview with the director
- Interview with the author

The best extra is that this is region free. Which is useful, as a Region B blu-ray release looks highly unlikely.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2004
Format: DVD
Playing the Texas Ranger turned cattleman, Gus McRae, this is unquestionably Robert Duval's greatest acting achievement. Had this adaptation of Larry McMurtry's award-winning novel been made for the Big Screen rather than television, it would have garnered every major Academy Award for that year. It's also every bit as good as the book, if not better.

In my opinion, this is the finest vision of the mythical American West ever put on film. It has everything: flawed good guys, horrific bad guys, Indian fights, shootouts, the hooker with a Heart of Gold, rustlers, a danger-filled cattle drive, hangings, lost loves, loyalty of friendship, cowardice, bravery, tragedy, drama, humor. The cynic will say that the film is simply a compilation of clichés. However, everything is tied together so wonderfully by Duval and a magnificent supporting cast, spectacular cinematography, authentic period costuming, and a soundtrack to knock your socks off, that it's hard to object even if you realize your emotions are being shamelessly manipulated.

I've plugged the DVD of this epic into the player more times than I can count. If you've never seen it, have a box of Kleenex handy, and indulge your senses.
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