Monte Walsh and Chet Rollins are long-time cowhands, working whatever ranch work comes their way, but "nothing they can't do from a horse." Their lives are divided between months on the range and the occasional trip into town. Monte has a long-term relationship with prostitute Martine Bernard, while Chet has fallen under the spell of the widow who owns the hardware store. Camaraderie and competition with the other cowboys fill their days, until one of the hands, Shorty Austin, loses his job and gets involved in rustling and killing. Then Monte and Chet find that their lives on the range are inexorably redirected.
Rudy, you can't have no idea how little I care. Already made in 1970 with Lee Marvin in the title role (directed by William Fraker), here for the TV remake we have Tom Selleck as Walsh and it's directed by Simon Wincer. Based on the novel written by Jack Schaefer (writer of Shane no less), story is a lament for the passing of the Old West and the dying out of the cowboy as a viable living. There's nothing romantic on show here as regards life on the range, the romance is set aside for the beautiful landscapes (the magnificence of Alberta captured by David Eggby) and the tender relationships between Walsh and Countess Martine (Isabella Rossellini) and his sidekick Chet Rollins (Keith Carradine) - with both actors deft and affecting in perfs. Pic perfectly portrays just how tough it was on the range, and how dangerous the towns were as the cowpokes moved on through them looking for solid work. Selleck is surrounded by fine character actors, William Devane , Rex Linn, James Gammon, Robert Carradine, William Sanderson and Wallace Shawn. But as any Western fan who has followed Selleck in these genre ventures will tell you, he doesn't need propping up by anybody, he's at home in these films. All manly and pathos to burn, he's excellent in this. If you are a Western fan there is so much to like here, if you liked the Marvin film it's nailed on you will like this one as well, maybe even a bit more! 8/10