Cowboys live again in this 20th century Western about two World War II veterans living on the lush, open New Mexico countryside. Based on the classic American novel by Max Evans about those struggling to continue living the Old West lifestyle in the early Cold War days, the film stars Woody Harrelson and Billy Crudup as two lifelong friends who fall for the same woman. Returning from war is Peter (Crudup), a cattleman who just wants a simple life on the farm, and Big Boy Matson (Harrelson), a big-drinking hellraiser always looking for a fight. Enter married Mona (Patricia Arquette), who turns both their heads and forces these two cowboys to put their friendship to the ultimate test. The film, like Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, is about freedom in wide-open spaces, so British director Stephen Frears is really out of his element in tackling this type of material. But he focuses the film on the relationships rather than the action, asking questions like "Is the girl more important than their friendship?" In the end, this film is more love story than Western.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Drama
- Run Time: 114min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 01/15/1999
- DVD Release Date: 07/06/1999
- Distributor(s): Paramount
- Themes: Cattle Ranchers,Home From the War,Infidelity,Love Triangles,Faltering Friendships,Ranchers
- Tone: Sexy,Confrontational,Downbeat,Gritty,Moody,Passionate
Cold-War, cattlemen, cowboy, friendship, love-triangle, veteran [military], world-war
- Country of Origin: USA (12-30-1998)
- Language: English