Friday, September 12, 2014

Lonesome Dove (1989) Flash Review

  That's right. This is going to be just a quickie review-- not much like the sprawling, long-winded reviews you're probably used to from me. Because normally when I write a review of a movie, I try to think of everything I feel and everything I think and pretty much everything I have to say about it ad then try to organize those thoughts in to some sort of orderly fashion so as to be easily readable by the common man. However, if I did that with Lonesome Dove, we'd be here all night and all day tomorrow, and I don't think any of you are really crazy about hearing me gush about this miniseries. (If you are, then you'll have to just come to my house, because to write it all down would take lots of time that I don't really have right now.) For that reason, I'm going to try to make this simple, concise, and as brief as I possibly can.

    So in summary, what is Lonesome Dove? It's the Pulitzer prize-winning book written by Larry McMurtry in 1980-something and made into a TV miniseries in 1989. It's the story of Augustus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call, two seasoned former Texas rangers who are now proprietors of a sorry little cattle company along the Rio Grande river in South Texas. It's about two old friends having what they expect to be their last adventure, which turns out to be the longest journey of their lives. It's about the people who travel with them, the ones they meet along the way, the stories of other people that get intertwined with their own. It's one of the most epic stories ever written, with some of the most genuine characters, and it's been said by many to be the best western ever made. Because, is.

  I'm a very ardent fan of this miniseries. I quote it all the time. I have a signed poster of Gus and Woodrow hanging above my desk. I have the collectible special edition American Cowboy issue all about the miniseries. I just bought the soundtrack and am listening to it as I sit on the living room floor typing this. (I'm also this close to weeping because it's just so gorgeously emotional.) We even named our goats and donkeys after the main characters. In my opinion it's one of the best stories ever written and some of the best eight hours of television ever produced. If you've read the book, then you know that there are few movies that have ever been cast so flawlessly or delve so deeply into the characters. Every character is so deep and complicated and real, and all the actors bring that to the screen so masterfully, making them unforgettable.


Robert Duvall as Captain Augustus McCrae

Tommy Lee Jones as Captain Woodrow F Call

Diane Lane as Lorena Wood (also known as Lorie Darlin')

Ricky Schroder as Newt Dobbs

Anjelica Huston as Clara Allen

D.B. Sweeny as Dish Bogget (I have a soft spot for Dish :-))

Robert Urich as Jake Spoon

Timothy Scott as Pea-Eye Parker

Danny Glover as Josh Deets

  There really is nothing like Lonesome Dove. It's a landmark film, an American epic. It's hilarious, it's tragic, it's powerful. It ties as my favorite western and is one of my favorite movies too. I hardly know where to begin to describe all my favorite parts, all the things I love about it, how incredibly epic the story is. It's the kind of movie that when you watch it, you feel like you're on a journey somewhere. You feel like you're right there with the characters, experiencing what they're experiencing, taking the same risks they are, and when you finish it you feel like you've just had an adventure you'll always remember.

  The musical score of this movie is a genuine masterpiece. It's just as epic and inspiring as the film itself, easily the most beautiful music I've ever heard. It's the kind of music that you can listen to and it takes you right into the story. I'm crying just listening to it. :-)

This picture is for you, Naomi. The dresses. :-)

  There are a lot of mature themes and intense scenarios in Lonesome Dove, so it really isn't a movie for children. One of the main characters is a prostitute, so that's a big issue and is prominent throughout the whole thing. There's quite a bit of language, but nothing really horrible. There's also quite a bit of violence, but if you're used to westerns it's nothing. I'd rate it PG-13 for mature themes and language. It's a western about men-- dirty, coarse cowboys-- so there's things some people might find offensive, but I personally don't think it spoils the fact that this is a wonderful story, and you can look past the bad to see the good.


"It ain't dying I'm talking about. It's living."
~Gus McCrae


  1. Haha... I smiled during this post.

    Firstly, because of that introductory paragraph. Why? I just... loved it. Yes, I am used to your 'sprawling' 'long-winded' reviews... and although I love those (of course) and enjoy this snappy one too.

    Yes, I am crazy about hearing your gush about this miniseries. Yes ma'am, I'll come to your house. ;-P

    If I had to watch as western, I think I'd pick this one.

    Haha, thanks for the picture, dear. I do love those dresses. Especially THE PINK ONE. Ah, you know how to please your Diana, don't you?

    ~ Me

    PS Off to prove I'm not robot... :-P

  2. One more thing... Newt looks so much like one of the characters in a short story I'm writing now. He looks very nice (a little like Gilbert Blythe, don't you think?)

  3. Hi Emma Jane,
    I just wanted to tell you that I nominated you for The Janeite Tag.
    You have such a cute blog(-:

  4. Naomi: I'm glad I made you smile. THAT makes me smile. :-) And I'm also glad you like the dresses...I know, isn't Lorie's pink one darling?
    Newt IS very nice. He's one of my favorite characters. Eh, he's not much like Gilbert... I guess I can kind of see how he might look a little like him.

    Elizabeth: Why thank you! I'd be pleased to fill out your tag. :-)


    I'll try to calm down. But I can't.

    Needless to say, I just finished "Lonesome Dove," and I'm so glad I did. It ripped my heart out for the last hour and a half, but it did it so gently that I don't mind. (That doesn't make any sense, does it?)

    Oh, we have to talk about this movie. I'll have to write a review or something, I understand now what you mean about a landmark story that will stay with you forever.

    Thanks for urging me to give it another try! "It's been quite a party."

    *starts sobbing again*

    Okay, I'll go now before I start bawling totally uncontrollably...

  6. *collapses on Arwen's shoulder and sobs*

    YOU FINISHED IT!!! (There should be some sort of medal awarded for that.) ;-P OH, the glory and tragedy and feeeels!!!! Yes, we totally need to talk about this movie! And I would love to read your review. I made my review brief because....well, I explained. Once I get really going it's hard to stop. I LOVE THIS MOVIE. Everyone in it is just so amazing. Gaaahhhh.

    Thanks so much for commenting! And once again, I'm SO glad you enjoyed it! :-)



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