Following on from the epic Lonesome Dove and the lesser Return to Lonesome Dove tv veteran Joseph Sargent has fashioned a superior tale to surpass even the original.
Captain Woodrow Call (this time played by James Garner)is employed by the Texas Railroad company to hunt down trainrobber and psychopathic killer Joey Garza with the aid of a company penpusher and a greenhorn deputy sheriff. His regular partner P Y(Sam Shepard)cries off the manhunt citing family obligations but guilt takes hold of him and he sets off in pursuit of the captain helped by indian tracker Famous Shoes(played in Chief Dan George style by Wes Studi) which in turn encourages his headstrong wife Lorena(Sissy Spacek)to pack their children off to family and head off after him.
Sentimental in places and bearing a coincidence or two too many,this is still riveting television.Revisionist in it's brutality(echoing Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven) the west was truly wild.A stellar cast all get powerful moments with Sonia Braga as the killer's mother being particularly fine as well as Randy Quaid's chilling turn as famed killer John Wesley Hardin who perversely provides most of the little humour that there is on offer.His killing of a disgruntled blacksmith is however a brutal scene amongst many others that litter this fine drama.
Veteran Sargent directs the whole thing with economy and no small matter of imagination with startling angles and stunning vistas,McMurtry adapted his own book with even the smallest characters being imbued with a prescence that always serves the narrative and the cast are uniformly excellent.
A Triumph for all concerned
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