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4.5 out of 5 stars176
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on March 6, 2002
If you made it this far, go a little further. Under "Explore this video" you will see the run time of the VHS tape is 240 minutes. The DVD run time is 360 minutes. Hmmmm....
Well, be warned, an intellectually challenged movie distributor has decided to edit 2 hours from Lonesome Dove! That is like touching up the Mona Lisa!
This miniseries was unique and may never again be equalled, at least in the Western genre. It is 6 hours of riveting televison, and trust me on this folks, you can't find 5 minutes of this former miniseries to edit out. To cut anything out was a serious diservice to anyone who has not experienced this.
Probably what I liked most was the thoroughly convincing portrayals of this cast. There were none who did not project an aura of believability, and each was so convincing that you may forget you are sitting in front of your television. I remember the time I rented this 6 hour series in 1994 not knowing what to expect. What I found was I did not get up from my couch for 6 hours. I was moved by the entire movie, and rarely does any movie elicit emotion in me. Gus McRae and Woodrow Call, backed by an absolutely fantastic supporting cast, will bring your televison to life.
Towards the end, when Woodrow is doing a favor for Gus, and doing so at the risk of his own life, the whole West hears of his exploits. In some dusty cow town somewhere, a local sees him, and reading of the story, questions Woodrow Call.
"Just why are you doing this anyway?" he asks. Call looks back and says "Because I gave him my word." The local, thinking for a second, looks back and says "I can see that you did" and walks away. It is a perfect description of the character of Woodrow Call. Maybe the best mini-series to ever grace televison. Just make sure you see all of it.
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on March 2, 2004
I can't believe that the studio would crop down the original story by two hours! More importantly, there is absolutely no indication on Amazon's product page that it is not the complete and original version. Obviously we are supposed to buy first and be disappointed later. Shame on the studio for dismembering such an admirably filmed and classic western. Shame on Amazon for not letting us know that this isn't the complete film.
For those of you who had never seen the film and bought this DVD, I'm sorry to tell you that you've been snubbed out of 1/4 of the story. For those of you who loved the film and bought this DVD, don't you feel cheated?
This isn't the first time a studio has decided what is best for the viewing public. I, for one, will be demanding to know why this film was cut and how/where I can obtain a quality (this DVD quality was awful) and UNABRIDGED digital video of Lonesome Dove.
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on January 4, 2004
Not too long ago, I caught the tail end of a film on the cable channel which captured more than my attention. After watching what was left of the film, it left me thirsty for more. I purchased the 4 set vhs immediately. I usually make it a rule to avoid westerns; most westerns don't hold my attention past the first ten minutes. Lonesome Dove turned out to be the exception to my rule. This 6 hour saga boasts an all-star cast, beginning with Robert Duvall as Captain Gus McCrae and Tommy Lee Jones as Captain Woodrow Call, two retired Texas Rangers hailing from a small town in south Texas, called appropriately enough, Lonesome Dove. After an unspected visit from their long absent partner, Jake Spoon, played by Robert Urich, the three round up some experienced hands and head cross country to the yet unsettled State of Montana with a herd of stolen horses and cattle in an effort to build an empire in the breeding buisiness. Several storylines unfold along the way, as Captains Call and McCrae take their treacherous trek cross country, crossing seven untamed rivers along the way. Rick Schroeder plays the illigitimate son of Captain Call who refuses to recognize him as his son, but takes on the role in rearing the boy, now on the threshold of manhood. Schroeder's performance displays a side of his talents that were never fully displayed in any of his former roles on television. I can say the same for Robert Urich who shines in his portrail as Jake Spoon. Rick Schroeder's character, Newt Dobbs, although still rough around the edges, displays deeply instilled loyalties and trust in Captain Call and the men associated with them who had a hand in raising the boy practically from birth. The issue of paternity and the lack of recognition clearly tear at the compassionate sides of both men. The loyalties and ties run deep between all of them. Danny Glover plays an experienced tracker, taking incredible risks for the sake of his comrades. His simplistic yet poignant portrayal was intense enough to bring me to tears. The movie brought out a mix of raw emotions from within me, ranging from laughing out loud at the sprinkles of dry humor to wiping tears from my eyes with the dramatic side to this movie. My favorite scene was when Captain McCrae narrowly escapes an Indian attack while scouting with Pea Eye who inquires "What kind of Indians were they?" to which the dry Captain McCrae replies "I don't know. They didn't stop to introduce themselves." There are other characters who deserve accolades but it would take alot more than this small space, for me to touch on every one of them. The storylines are gripping, the scenery breathtaking and the recreation of life in an infant America is so realistic, it gave me a hankerin' to go back in time. This is a must see, with warmth, bravado and edge of your seat tension. This film not only captured my attention, but my heart. If you are in the mood for a movie with powerful insight on what life was really like in the old west, if you want heartstopping action, adventure, vivid characters and intensity that never quits, then this is the movie for you.
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on September 25, 2003
I don't think I can add anymore than what's already been said about Lonesome Dove. This is one of the best mini-series of all time. And overall probably the best Western I've ever seen.
But Lonesome Dove fans deserve a better transfer of this film to DVD. The original broadcast on CBS wasn't crystal clear with eye popping colors either but it was certainly better than this murky hazy looking print. Other studios have taken important groundbreaking mini-series like Roots (and most recently Shogun) and gave them stunning transfers that look even better than the original broadcast. And Roots and Shogun first aired more than 10 years before Lonesome Dove!! Lonesome Dove the book and the TV series has become part our collective memory of the Mythological American West. And has done as much to make us rethink Hollywood cliches about Westerns as Unforgiven or previous Westerns by Leone, Peckinpah, Hawks, or Ford.
I'm glad its at least available on DVD. But I can't help but say this series simply deserves better. Why do I care? Again, its an "important" Western. And for selfish reasons as well. I re-watch Lonesome Dove about once every year. It should look just as good as most of DVD's out there today.
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on February 27, 2004
I have just finished watching the six hour Lonesome Dove for the fourth time; yet, it is a rare movie I will even watch twice. I own the DVD, and I will certainly be watching it a fifth time. Comparisons of Lonesome Dove to other TV movies don't begin to do it justice; this movie deserves comparison to any Western ever made, and it stands up well to any one of the most highly considered (The Searchers, Unforgiven, Shane, High Noon, The Good, The Bad & the Ugly, etc.). This is a story of character and nuance much more than plot and action, with many small moments that will stay with you long after the story is finished...a saloon owner grieving over the loss of his prostitute (his love)...the hanging of a attempt at telling a boy he is your son....the burial of a friend...two old warriors saying goodbye in so many words (while there is much humor in the story, there is also overwhelming sadness, and do expect very major characters to have tragic endings to their lives). Lonesome Dove is bold enough to tell an epic story (and in doing so, demytholyzing the history of the West, and showing us how brutal and painful the settling of the West really was) by focusing on these small moments. There are something like 75 or 100 speaking parts in this movie, and it is uniformly excellently cast (with the exception, in my opinion, of Angelica Huston, who I always thought seemed out of place in this Western setting). If you are wondering whether this is worth owning, believe me, you will never regret it.
A postscript: since I wrote my review I have noticed that there are a number of idiots out there unfairly ripping this movie for being shorter than the original. The original series was indeed EIGHT hours long. However, it was made for TV and had something called commericials. These had the effect of reducing its running time to about SIX hours, as my review notes. I have seen several DVD versions of this and have never seen one that was edited or cut, which is why they neglect to warn you on the box. Just get the movie, watch it, and ignore the bozo comments.
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on September 29, 2003
This version is only 2/3's the original. While I don't consider Lonesome Dove to be as great a film as The Unforgiven, consider The Unforgiven being cut down to 2/3's it's original length. Would you consider it to be worth considering over the original. I doubt it. Major character development and plotlines would have to be cut.
Lonesome Dove, in my opinion, is one of the greatest, if not the greatest mini-series to ever play on television. Robert Duval and Tommy Lee Jones give Academy Award deserving (if it was on the big screen) performances.
However, everyone should wait for the original, full length version to come out on DVD. I know I will.
If this DVD had been the original, it would recieve 5 stars.
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on January 16, 2008
ive seen every incantation of the lonesome dove saga, not to mention i have read every novel. I am a huge fan and love every movie simply for the fact of association. That being said i trully beleive the original should have actually been left where it was originaly left. Dont get me wrong i liked the others because quite frankly compared to other wersterns they are great. Yet the original is the only one that can, in its moments actually bring you to tears. It is epic and each scene builds upon the other in such a matter that by the time a pivotal moment comes to pass it trully stirs you. Recently I watched the long awaited Comache moon. I really liked the movie although i felt it was somewhat rushed and too short for a contuing of the greatest western saga of all time. Nonetheless the portrayel of guss and call(espicially guss was very good). This being said compared to the original(which i saw when premiered when i was only 5) just simply fails. Truthfully nothing could ever top or come close. Two names, jones, duvall. not to mention the other greats who really brought these character too life. In the end of the original you acutaully feel for these men and feel as if there people you know. In conclusion there is no better westeren slash movie you could ever hope to enjoy and will continue to engulf critics of all ages until the end the westen movie era.
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on July 3, 2004
It's ironic that the western, a staple of TV until sci-fi eclipsed its presence, would find its home again on the small screen during a time when big budget westerns seemed to be biting the dust to space opera blockbusters. And that it would take an Australian to realize it. Director Simon Wincer's big-vista understanding of the genre is apparent throughout "Lonesome Dove," which also features some great performances by screen familiars Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, even if the latter too often looks like a scowling Kenny Rogers here. This tale of an arduous cattle drive by two retired lawmen has the sweep and grist of such classics as "True Grit," "Red River," and "Once Upon a Time in the West," with which it shares many elements (the conversational style, the brutal drive, and the buddy relationship, respectively, the most obvious). And while "Lonesome Dove" doesn't really say anything new about the old west, it is entertaining and fares better compared to many westerns past in terms of presenting the ethnic diversity that history records. Look for many bravura--and few corny--moments like Captain Call's (Jones) reaction to a cavalry scout's whipping of Call's alleged son (a likable but sometimes too aw-shucks Rick Shroeder), MacCrae's (Duvall) gutsy stand against a pack of outlaws, and the touching and remarkably in-character last goodbye between the leads. Basil Poledouris, an underrated composer, provides a solid score. Of the episodes, only one stands out as pedestrian, making this a pretty good choice for viewers who want to savor their entertainment choice.
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on June 27, 2004
One of my all time favorite absolute MuST SEE!!!! And I don't even typically like Westerns!!! The movie is a little slow starting, but once the cattle drive begins, you'll find yourself glued to to the screen. Larry McMurty does a spectacular job in developing characters that the viewer becomes attached to and really cares about. He really has a knack for that....did you know he also wrote "Terms of Endearment"? Anyway, I loved each and every character particuarly Augustus and truly missed his presence in the sequels. The only minor complaints I had were that I couldn't stand the role of Jake Spoon but I'm not sure if that is because of the character himself or due to Robert Urich's performance. I mean an actor is only as good as the character he is playing so you can hardly blame him. I also was a little iffy about Angelica Houston portraying Clara. Don't get me wrong, I adore Ms. Houston as an actress, but I'm not sure if she was the right person to portray Clara. She seemed a little too tall/big boned for the role and looked awkward at times, especially when she towered over Augustus. You can especially see it when they first reunite and hug. Other than these two minor flaws, the movie is absolutely perfect and will stay in your mind a long time after watching. Just the thing to watch during a snowstorm or if you are in bed sick.
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on March 17, 2004
Capt. Woodrow F. Call and Capt. Augustus McRae play a thrilling role in the lives of 2 Former Texas Rangers gone cattlemen. They embark on a series of adventures as they set out from the deep southern tip of the United States, Lonesome Dove, Texas, and head towards a new land of oppurtunity and fertile soil. Capt. Call's hardwork and determination make him a blue collar hero as his partner McRae delivers an explosive punch to the big screen in portraying the cowboy we all want to be. With savvy looks, charm, hospitable manners, and a rough country slang, Capt. McRae is definetly every cowgirls dream. As he tags alongside his lifelong friend Woodraw, they roam the great frontier in search of Montana to settle for a new life of ranching. There are many setbacks in their trip including horse thiefs, Indians, and Arkansas lawmen who stand in thier way. It is a story of heartache, love, compassion, and 2 mens way of life that set this movie apart and in my mind make it the best western ever made. This is the only movie that ever brought tears to my eyes. Although an older movie, I am sure an avid western film watcher like myself will not be dissapointed. After all....the older the violin...the sweeter the music. *****
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