Barbarosa (Willie Nelson), a gnarly ex-Texas Ranger turned bandit, lives by his wits and his prowess with a gun. Prowling the lonesome deserts of the Southwest, the wily fugitive meets Karl (Gary Busey), a young, eager farmhand out of his element, forced to run after accidentally killing his brother-in-law. Together, the outlaw and the outcast outwit their bloodthirsty pursuers in this legendary story of betrayal, misunderstanding, honor and dignity. Brought vividly to the screen by director Fred Schepisi ("Roxanne", "Six Degrees of Separation" and "I.Q.").
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Top Customer Reviews
Busey is a Texas farmhand who accidentally killed his brother-in-law--his sister's husband--and is now out on his own, pursued by his brother-in-law's two brothers for revenge. Similarly, Barbarosa is being pursued by the landowner's top gun, a fiery Mexican who vows Barbarosa's death.
The two, Nelson and Busey, meet by accident and join up for a time. During that time we get to see the West as it very likely really looked about 100 years ago (more specifically, the Southwest--i.e., southern Texas); the cinematography is magnificent. One of the critical ingredients in any great Western is great cinematography and that is very much in display here. As well, the score by Bruce Smeaton is excellent.
Nelson and Busey do a great job--their accents certainly don't hurt (both men are originally from that part of the U.S.), and so does the supporting cast. Fred Schepisi, the director, has a perfect sense of pacing and momentum that pulls the viewer along with very little tugging indeed. Armadillos figure in the mix, as do old men with guns and younger men buried up to their necks. There's a hacienda, a cantina, and an outdoor festival. The film drips with Western atmosphere, no question.
Highly recommended for fans of the genre.
Willie Nelson plays Barbarossa, an ex-Texas Ranger kept away from his Mexican wife because of a vendetta from his father-in-law who is also the pueblo's elder chieftain. Nelson soon encounters Busey roaming in the desert as an outcast from his own family feud. They soon join together as desperadoes roaming the Sonoran desert while evading men of the pueblo who seek to carry out their jefe's vendetta.
The acting is excellent and all of the characters are given depth. A very touching story. Definitely worth owning.
Most recent customer reviews
This is such a great, albeit almost unknown, western! A great, classic storyline and wonderful acting! It's a movie you'll want for your Western collection!Published on Jan. 15 2014 by Byron Wolters
this is one of THE best written movies ever made, the acting makes the writing even better, and the music brings it all together. the final scene is simply wonderful. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2002 by zenga
A fine mythic Western from writer Bill Witliff and with good performances from Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, George Voskovec, Isela Vega and Gilbert Roland. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2001 by Amazon Customer
It was hard for me, as a country music hater, to find any interest in Willie Nelson, but in complete contrast to his music, I think he makes a fantastic character in a western. Read morePublished on May 1 2001
The story is times, one time end and the next time is just beganing. Willie weather face addes so much to the story. You can believe that he just may have lived this story. Read morePublished on April 25 1999
Nelson is right on as Barbarosa. Ranks in my top five westerns, mostly because of its honest story and realism. Nelson really does well in this flick.Published on March 29 1999