Sunday, January 21, 2007

Old Westerns

The Frog Prince's thoughts on the movie he watched today brought this to mind.

It's been an old western kind of weekend here. I've seen Stage Coach, which I really enjoyed. Jeremiah Johnson, one of my husband's favorite movies, Broken Trail and a couple of John Wayne flicks as well.

My dad is a huge fan of cowboy movies so I saw a lot of them growing up and watching them always brings him to mind. He lives in Montana and "retired" there so he could be a cowboy. What he actually does is run a large corporation and ride horses on the weekends (that's him on the left--he's only a little taller than I am). He also takes tourists on cattle drives, and works as an outfitter in the winter. He is a gifted hunter--never leaves the hunt without the prey he went for. He can be spotted in any crowd sporting his cowboy outfit-- from custom made boots to kerchief and hat. I love this about him--his adventurousness, his passion for the outdoors, hunting and his fearlessnes. He was nearly killed by a horse last year and spent several frightening months in the hospital; he was back in the saddle the second the let him out. My mixed feelings about him aside (he was always too busy conquering the world to be a father or grandfather), he is in my mind the last of the real cowboys.

Anyway, in watching Broken Trail today for the third time or so, I told my husband that I loved everything about the movie except the ending. It's full of heroes, tenderness, humor, terrific quotable lines, and action. I won't ruin for you if you haven't seen it, but--romantic that I am--I want everyone to live happily ever after. What I got instead was bittersweet. It's based on a true story, but it seems to me that since they fictionalized everything else, they could have fictionalized that too. In any case, it's well worth seeing, if you haven't already done so.

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