This is one of my favourite films. It's a brilliantly structured tale of redemption that thrashes the so-so original hands down. Irvin Kershner so impressed George Lucas with this film that he landed the job of directing 'Empire'. It's not hard to see why as Kershner takes full control of his visuals alternating between stunning vista, large scale action sequences and an effective use of close-up to capture the essence of the moment (Harris' face as he realises the awful truth at the beginning of the movie is a classic, understated scene and speaks volumes).
It's a simple tale: The Yellow Hand tribe that Harris' character, Morgan, used to live with have been driven away from their land by settlers. Now living in an arrid wilderness they consider themselves under a curse from an evil spirit and await a sign to free them.
Meanwhile, back in England, Morgan himself is seeking a sign as he has lost himself in restricting english values and social class systems. Escaping his responsibilities he returns to America only to discover his old friends are in ruin. Shattered, Morgan attempts to rouse their spirits but his own frustrations keep getting in the way.
It is here that 'Return' pulls a nifty bit of plotting. The Yellow Hands first save Morgan from himself (at least the first hour is a spiritual journey) and then Morgan helps save the Yellow hands from their enemies. The ending is such an uplifting experience, sans dialogue, with Laurence Rosenthal's beautiful score ably supporting the 'new life' of both Morgan and the Yellow Hands as they ride off into legend.
The only problem with the UK release is that it is cut by 17 seconds. The BBFC don't allow horse falls and so some of the scenes cut short or just make no sense. The Region 1 disc is uncut, but the picture quality is so terrible that I'd suffer the one or two moments where the edits are felt and stick with the UK release as the print is exceptional.