Friday, May 6, 2016

Monte Walsh (2003 Remake)

Review | Alias Smith and Jones in the Movies & More About the Old West

I shouldn’t have resisted watching this movie for so long!  I hesitated viewing this remake of Monte Walsh because I really enjoyed the original version and didn’t think a made-for-TV show could equal it.  But it did and, in some ways, I liked it even better.

Tom Selleck stars as the eponymous character in this 2003 Monte Walsh.  The opening was completely different here but just as amusing.  It starts off in a town – a title card says Antelope Junction, 1892.  After some hijinks by a couple boys and a practical joke on the lawyer in the town, Monte Walsh and Chet Rawlins (Keith Carradine) are seen riding into town.

After the opening scenes, most of the rest of this Monte Walsh is the same as the 1970 movie.  The plot concerns a group of cowboys in Wyoming who are slowly being forced into new ways of life because the era of “cowboying,” as they put it, is coming to an end.  (Which is, of course, the same reason Heyes and Curry get outta their business.)  The same characters populate this version and it’s interesting to see how different actors play them.

There are a few significant changes in this Monte Walsh.  The first is a long fight scene between the cowboys and a group of railroad men, which I don’t recall from the original film.  Another change revolves around Monte breaking the horse that Shorty (George Eads) tried and failed to do: In this movie, it all happens during the daytime instead of at night. 

I still felt real sorry for the shopkeeper who lost most of his inventory when the horse rampaged through his store.  Likewise, the climactic shootout occurs in the daytime and didn’t take nearly as long.  It was less suspenseful, though, because it didn’t last nearly as long but the accompanying music was just as effective. 

However, the biggest change was the ending – the gunfight wasn’t the end!  In this version, there was an epilogue.  I won’t spoil it by revealing what happens but I will say that it left me with quite a different feeling than my final reaction to the original Monte Walsh.

One thing I really liked about this movie was the cinematography: It almost looked like this Monte Walsh was filmed in Technicolor because the color in the outdoor scenes was very vivid and bright.  All in all, this 117 minute long remake is definitely worth seeing.