My brother-in-law loves the film Lonesome Dove – so much so, in fact, that my sister planned his birthday celebration around it once. He invited over a gaggle of his friends, they had a special birthday breakfast, and then watched the movie until lunchtime. They stopped for the big birthday feast and then spent the afternoon watching the rest of it.
That kind of dedication from an obviously intelligent man (he married my sister, didn’t he?) started me wondering. What was so special about this movie? How can a mere movie illicit such loyalty?
So one night, I took it home and watched it. I made notes.
* If you watch it all in one night, you’ll go blind.
* If you watch it in two nights, it lasts about a month.
* It’s a lucky thing for cows that all the rivers in the West are very shallow.
* It’s a lucky thing for cowboys that all the rivers in the West are very shallow.
* I love Robert Duvall and that will never change.
* I love Tommy Lee Jones, but he skirts the borders sometimes.
* It’s a lucky thing for cowboys that the cows knew the trails so well.
* It’s a funny thing to me that a good guy can be listening and watching for trouble and still not see it coming. One of the bad guys could be singing in a Mariachi band and still get the drop on them.
* Men wouldn’t ask directions, even in the Old West.
* There were always the right number of glasses sitting out ready for the next drink, no matter how many might show up for it.
* I’m pretty sure I lost a crop in the last two weeks of the film.
* It was a little hard to imagine someone hanging all over that coffin after it had been on the trail for about a week.
* What was that thing hanging off the back of Angelica Huston? A papoose? Don’t they usually wear those a little higher?
* In hundreds of miles of wide-open country with Indians and cowboys riding back and forth all day, a tracker could still follow a trail from Point A to Point B without missing a step. And they never used a dog. I think this one takes the cake, though. How Tommy Lee found that little indentation in the bank on the side of that creek will always remain a mystery to me.
Despite these unfortunate inconsistencies, I enjoyed the movie. You should check it out – now, before you get any older!
If your taste runs more to the printed word, we have that, too. But I gotta tell you, you won’t be saving any time, if that’s what you think.
And for those who gave up entirely and left town under cover of darkness, we have Return to Lonesome Dove.