Legends of the Fall (1995)

After the Fall from Innocence the Legend begins.

An epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, and love.

_**Similar to “A River Runs through It” but more heroic and melodramatic**_
Near the close of the 19th Century, a disillusioned Army Colonel (Anthony Hopkins) sets up a ranch in remote western Montana with his Cree friend, One Stab (Gordon Tootoosis). He nurtures a family of a wife & three boys, plus his loyal personnel. One son is sensible and “follows the rules (Aidan Quinn) while another is wild and well-versed in Cree traditions (Brad Pitt). After a harrowing involvement in WW1, the two brothers go separate ways during the Prohibition Era of the 20s and early 30s. Julia Ormond and Karina Lombard are on hand in the feminine department.
"Legends of the Fall" (1994) is similar to “A River Runs through It” from two years prior. Pitt basically plays the same character, just exaggerated here. Where these movies differ is the earlier one was based on Norman Maclean’s memoir and is therefore thoroughly realistic whereas “Legends” was based on James Harrison’s book and has a larger-than-life vibe. Like that earlier film, “Legends” effectively brings to life the era with its Model T's and bootlegging of alcoholic beverages.
While I give the edge to “A River Runs through It,” this one ain’t no slouch. It begins mundane and tedious with AmerIndian mumbo jumbo (I’m talking about the eye-rolling spiritual gobbledygook, e.g. the “wild spirit of the bear”), but picks up when the boys go to Europe to fight. Like “A River Runs through It,” this is a character study of two contrasting souls, both generally likable and noble, but one functions successfully within the box of society whereas the other cannot be contained in this box.
Although neither trips my trigger much, Ormond is very attractive and Lombard is stunning.
At the end of the day, “Legends” is a well-done artistic Western that takes place in the early 20th Century with commentary on the masculine nature, duty, bravery, death, love, rivalry, commitment or lack of commitment, searching for meaning, familial altercations, following the rules, living “free,” tragedy, acceptance, forgiveness and honor. It’s simply about life and every family will be able to relate, one way or another.
The film runs 2 hours, 13 minutes, and was shot in Alberta, Canada (Ghost River, Morley & Calgary), and Vancouver, British Columbia (the Helena scenes), as well as Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica (the exotic scenes).
GRADE: B+

Bedford Falls Productions, TriStar Pictures, Pangaea by Edward Zwick, Susan Shilliday, William D. Wittliff, Jim Harrison.
Stars: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond.

Genres: Drama, Romance, War, Western

Keywords: sibling relationship montana based on novel or book world war i journey around the world early 1900s

01/13/1995

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