Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Lonesome Dove- Watch it Again
This week I made my family watch Lonesome Dove, the eight hour television mini-series from 1989. I hadn't seen it since it was originally on television, though in the years since I've read the novel (and all the other books in the series too, Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon and Streets of Laredo) (Heck, I even went on to read most of Larry McMurtry's other novels too).
Anyhow, I was nervous because my family isn't into Westerns, and they weren't thrilled at the idea of committing to four two-hour movies. I was also nervous because you never know how something you haven't seen in twenty years has aged- it could be cheesey now or something.
I need not have worried. By the third night they were settling into the couches to watch the movie before I was even ready to start it, and they wanted to watch the fourth episode right after the third one. It was totally an awesome experience and for those of you who haven't seen it in a while, Lonesome Dove stands up as beautifully as it did in 1989, even in HD.
What a cast. Robert Duvall IS Gus McCrae, and Tommy Lee Jones is amazing as Captain Woodrow Call. Danny Glover, Anjelica Huston, Robert Urich, Rick Schroder and even a very young and creepy Steve Buscemi all give fantastic performances.
It's a magical story of the Hat Creek Cattle Company, "Uva Uvam Videndo Varia Fit" (Which means roughly "We are changed by the lives around us")
Did you know that McMurtry originally developed the tale in 1972 for a feature film entitled The Streets of Laredo (a title later used for the sequel), which would have been directed by Peter Bogdanovich and would have starred James Stewart as Augustus McCrae, John Wayne as W.F. Call, and Henry Fonda as Jake Spoon. But plans fell through when Wayne turned it down, leading Stewart to back out, and the project was eventually shelved. Ten years later McMurtry resurrected the screenplay as a full-length novel, which became a bestseller and won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.