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Legends of the Fall

Legends of the Fall

Edward Zwick (1994)

127min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
For someone who made his name on the small screen, Thirtysomething creator Edward Zwick certainly has the eye for the big picture when it comes to cinema. Glory, the moving story of a black regiment during the American Civil War, was suitably rousing, but it was with this fabulous throwback to the epic dramas of old that he really hit his stride. Anthony Hopkins plays stern patriarch William Ludlow, whose disgust at the actions of his own government during the Indian Wars leads him to bring up his three sons (Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas) on a remote ranch in the Montana mountains. However, their idyllic life is thrown into turmoil by outside events and by the arrival of the beautiful Julia Ormond. With a sweep that encompasses the passing of the Old West, the First World War, ivory hunting in Africa and Prohibition, this could have easily turned into a sprawling mess, but Zwick handles the various subplots with deceptive ease and fashions a poetic hymn to the values of loyalty and family ties, which only occasionally slips into melodramatic cliché. His skill in marshalling large casts is illustrated by the truly outstanding performances that he draws from the talent on display: Hopkins is suitably craggy as the father, Pitt believably intense as the wayward middle son and Ormond delightfully unforced as the beauty who entrances the whole family. The real star, however, is John Toll's Oscar-winning cinematography, which is equally at home with the stunning beauty of the mountainous terrain and the killing fields of war-torn France.

Summary

A retired army colonel has raised his three sons alone on their remote Montana ranch. But the all-male household is thrown into turmoil when the youngest son brings home his beautiful fiancee, causing jealousy and tensions that culminate in tragedy. Edward Zwick's period drama, starring Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond and Henry Thomas.

Cast & Crew

Col Ludlow Anthony Hopkins
Tristan Brad Pitt
Alfred Aidan Quinn
Susannah Julia Ormond
Samuel Henry Thomas
Isabel Two Karina Lombard
Pet Tantoo Cardinal
One Stab Gordon Tootoosis
Decker Paul Desmond
Director Edward Zwick
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Other Information

Language: English Colour Theatrical distributor: Columbia Tri-Star Films (UK) Guidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and nudity. Available on: Available on video and DVD

Drama

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