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Legends of the Fall

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Legends of the Fall

Starring: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins
Director: Edward Zwick
Rated: R
RunTime: 134 Minutes
Release Date: January 1995
Genres: Drama, Romance

*Also starring: Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, Henry Thomas, Karina Lombard, Gordon Tootoosis, Tantoo Cardinal, Paul Desmond

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewvideo review
2.  Dragan Antulov read the review movie reviewmovie review

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

LEGENDS OF THE FALL is a soap opera set on a ranch in Montana at the turn of the century. It goes from the age of cowboys and Indians with everybody on horseback to World War I and beyond. It is a large movie painted on a vast canvas ultimately spanning almost a century. At the core of the piece is the story of a young man, played by heartthrob Brad Pitt, his family, friends, and lovers.

The movie starts with his dad (Anthony Hopkins) fighting for Indian rights by quitting the army in protest. It then immediately switches to an isolated ranch in some of the most beautiful Montana landscape you have ever seen. At the ranch are his two brothers (Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas) and an old, wise, trusted, and heavily cliched Indian friend (Gordon Tootoosis). Eventually, there are two girlfriends (Julie Ormond and Karina Lombard) as well plus lots of other minor characters.

The biggest attraction for the movie is watching the visuals. The landscape chosen was stunning. The cinematography was perfect with 90% of the outdoor scenes carefully filmed in the last twenty minutes of twilight and always with the actors' hair back-lit by the setting sun. The indoor scenes were dark with the glow of candles or with light streaming in from the outside. Travelogues never looked better. I expected to see someone selling land in Montana in the lobby after the show!

Unless you are a big fan of seeing hearts cut out of the bodies of animals and people or unless you feel you must see all of Brad Pitt's movies (he is major handsome), I can see no reason to see this film other than as a long travelogue.

The biggest problem I had with the movie was the script (written by Susan Shilliday and Bill Wittliff) and to a lesser degree the directing (by Edward Zwick). There are so many ridiculous and unbelievable things these characters do that I ran out of fingers and toes counting them. Totally unbelievable. I did not care about any of them.

After forty-five minutes, I was looking at my watch hoping it would get better (it actually got worse), and wondering when it would end. Sad to say it ran for an incredibly long 2:13. Perhaps they are going to make it into a TV mini-series which is what it looked like anyway. It is correctly rated R for heavy violence. If your teenager wants to see it, buy her a poster of Brad Pitt instead for her room and suggest she pass on the movie. I recommend this movie only to those interested in relocating to Montana. I award the movie * 1/2 and suggest all of the proceeds of the show be paid directly to the cinematographer.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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