Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Overlooked Movies: Blackthorn

This is a movie that was barely released to theaters, and it recently came out on DVD with little or no fanfare, so it might easily be overlooked. Which would be a shame since it's well worth watching.

First of all, you have to accept the premise that Butch Cassidy wasn't killed in Bolivia in 1908 but rather survived the battle with the Bolivian army (although the Sundance Kid ultimately didn't) and became a horse rancher in an isolated part of the country instead. Now it's twenty years later, and Butch, now calling himself James Blackthorn, has decided the time has come to go home. Before he can do that, however, he gets involved with a Spanish mining engineer who has stolen $50,000 from a rich mine owner. That starts Butch/Blackthorn off on one last great, dangerous adventure.

There's definitely a "last ride", elegiac feeling to this whole film, helped along considerably by Sam Shepard's powerful performance as the aging Butch Cassidy. He's certainly believable in the part. The flashbacks to earlier years with Butch, Sundance, and Etta Place are quite effective, too. BLACKTHORN is a well written, well acted, and very well photographed film set in some spectacularly beautiful locations. It's maybe a little too low-key in a few places for my taste, but overall I enjoyed it a lot. If you're a Western fan, you should check it out.


Unknown said...

This is in my Netflix queue. I need to move it up a bit, I guess.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love Sam and was planning to see this one but it never came here.

Peter Brandvold said...

I just saw this night before last and I felt about the way you did, James. It was too slow for a wider audience, but Sam sure played a great, elegiacal Butch.


Yvette said...

Sounds interesting. I like Sam Shephard in all his craggy glory.

RJR said...

I really enjoyed this film. Glad to see others have, too.