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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on October 4, 2003
I've seen all the reviews -- "overrated", "terrible". I enjoy this movie, but I do so because I watch it knowing that it is a wildly dramatic, romantic, epic tragedy.
If you enjoyed Pearl Harbor, or Gone With The Wind, you'll probably enjoy Legends of the Fall. All of the actors are beautiful, the cinemetography is amazing, and with the exception of Julia Ormond (who plays Susannah as weak and insipid), the actors all turn in great, underrated performances.
Brad Pitt, a fine actor who continues to be punished by critics for his sheer beauty, did a great job with a script that could have easily been over-acted - few actors could portray the depth of emotions he does and still seem masculine. Aidan Quinn was wonderful, playing the pathos of the "second fiddle" character with dignity and strength. He captured the essence of his character in a scene when he confronts his brother (Pitt) with the irony of his life: "I followed all the rules...and everyone still loved you best."
Anthony Hopkins is, as always, a joy to watch, though the scenes after his stroke are a little over-done. His ability to balance the tragedy of this character's illness with his strength is a testament to his talent.
So don't expect something edgy or action-based. Legends of the Fall is a great film, if you're know what your're getting when you buy (or rent) it.
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on November 18, 2003
When people ask me about my favorite movies I give them a quick run down of my top ten: 1. The Godfather and The Godfather part II (tie), 3. The Shawshank Redemption, 4. One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, 5. Schindler's List, 6. The Silence of the Lambs, 7. Amadeus, 8. The Princess Bride, 9. Legends of the Fall, 10. Goodfellas. I am always surprised when they laugh at the 9th movie on my list. I can't understand why people think this movie is a joke. Yes, it's melodramatic but it works beautifully. Let me also say that I am not the biggest fan of Brad Pitt. His acting pales in comparison to some of the other fine actors of his generation (ie. Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Sean Penn). That said, he is perfectly cast in this movie. His ruggedness and wildman image were established in 1992's A River Runs Through It and his role as Tristan in LOTF seems almost like an extension of his role in River. I've heard that Johnny Depp, an actor whose talents I find superior to Pitt's, was originally offered the role of Tristan. I'm glad he turned it down for no one other than Brad Pitt could have BEEN Tristan.
I've always appreciated great acting. To me, there is nothing more entertaining than watching a De Niro, Pacino or Nicholson work his magic. There is only one truly great actor in Legends of the Fall - Sir Anthony Hopkins. In my opinion, he should have won an Oscar for this supporting role. A lot of reviewers criticized the second half of his performance (after the stroke) as being a bit excessive. I thought it was necessary in this type of film.

It was because of Legends of the Fall that I took an interest in acting. Not because of Anthony Hopkins...i know I could never be half as good as he. LOTF taught me that it doesn't take great actors to make a great movie. I thought Aidan Quinn, a talented but by no means gifted actor, was brilliant in the film as the tortured victim of unrequited love. It's my opnion that Quinn delivered a top-notch performance in the film, second only to Hopkins. The scene in which Alfred (Quinn) redeems himself in his father's eyes is particularly endearing. Also, the casting of Julia Ormond as Susannah was a stroke of genius. She has such classic beauty and is wonderful at conveying emotions without speaking a word. I often wonder where the hell she disappeared to.
Finally, I cannot say enough about James Horner's breathtaking score. I first became a fan of Horner's when I saw this movie and I believe him to be the top composer in the film-scoring business (yes, even better than the great John Williams).
Don't listen to the critics. This movie is amazing. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
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on January 23, 2016
A sweeping familial epic, filmed in beautiful Alberta, this is a must have for every movie collection! Sound track by the late James Horner just adds to the tale of Tristan (Brad Pitt) and his search for inner peace. This was my first time seeing this classic on Blu-Ray HD, and it did not disappoint!
This 5 star review should be a 6 star review easy! Thanks Amazon for the great price, fast shipping, and for the mint condition disc and case. Very happy customer here.
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on April 20, 2003
'Legends of the Fall', is indeed a film title that brings a sense of fear and drudgery into the hearts of men across the globe who would inadvertently label this epic 'a chick flick'. Add this to the fact that the film stars none other than hollywood's finest - Brad Pitt - and one may assume that their preconception was accurate. However, what we are delivered is an epic tale that contradicts all previous misconceptions.
Legends of the Fall[LOTF], depicts the tale of 3 brothers, their father, an indian tribal family and a lady, set in the late 19th early 20th century. Indeed, this does not sound very interesting , but as the story unveils through an excellent and engrossing script, LOTF shines from many other hollywood incartions as a film, where thought has been applied, rather than millions of dollars on overused special effects.
The strong story is backed by some truely delightful performances form Hopkins and Pitt, and this coupled to the brilliance of Quinn and Osmond, produces a very believable tale, hypothetically of course. The cinematography employed in LOTF is nothing short of spectacular, and if watched properly on a large screen, envokes a sense of depth which is truely breathtaking at particular points. The score is strong as all epics should be and helps add depth, but may be overworked at points.
However, some parts of the story are less believeable than others, and im sure this will be resonant from other critics of the film. Examples include the war scene death ritual, and the journey scenes by brad pitt, and this adds a fictional aspect to a film that, at points, exhibits characterstics of a drama. This bipolar discontinuinity is sometime frustrating and almost non-sensical, but overall does not disrpute the course of LOFT.
In essence LOFT is a well crafted affair that will be rememebed either for its brilliance or for its length. It is not another mindless film where everything is corrected at the end and all characters exude with happiness, but rather an engrossing tale, which when rememebered will be thought of favourably.
Overall, definetaly a film to watch, especially if you have a night free and wish to be qietly surprised
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on November 26, 2001
This is a beautifully made movie. The photography, particularly the composition and landscape work is enjoyable even before the actors start to speak. The costumes and sets are first class, and the actors all acquit themselves well. Director Zwick made good choices with all the lead roles, choosing star names who turn in good performances. Hopkins' performance loses subtlety towards the end, and Brad Pitt is sometimes too expressionless, but Aidan Quinn never wavers, and Henry Thomas displays the quality of innocence which led to Spielberg casting him as the star of E.T. as a boy actor. James Horner's music is emotional and appropriate, however it is sometimes too prominent in the mix. With five major stars, the film gives them equal prominence, so it would have benefited from making the characters more sympathetic. However this is a personal thing (and of course taken from the novel rather than created by the film people and you might like the realistic portrayal of rounded characters, neither wholly good, nor wholly bad. The plot is a little predictable, but this is not unusual for subject matter of this type. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery and performances.
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on June 19, 2013
I just saw this movie on television recently and I enjoyed it very much. The scenery is superb and all my favorite actors are reunited in this epic movie. A good reason to make it my own to enjoy again and again.
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on March 28, 2014
Great movie and cast. Good story and character development. I'm not a huge fan of Brad Pitt but he is outstanding in this movie as are Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn. Long movie but the pace keeps you interested from start to finish.
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on October 18, 2002
Family values, brotherly love, Legend of the Fall is an epic which depicts every side of both.
Watching this film, it is easy to believe that Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Henry Thomas are brothers and the sons of Anthony Hopkins. The love-hate relationship between Tristan, Alfred and Samuel is almost too realistic. The iron hand of a domineering father who only knows the army way leads to desparate struggles for independence and identity.
Tristin (Brad Pitt) is the middle son, favored by the father (Anthony Hopkins) because of, as well as inspite of, his wild nature. Alfred(Aidan Quinn) is the eldest son. He feels he should be most privilaged, and since he can't get honor and respect from his father, he struggles his entire life to acheive success and out do his brother. Samuel is the youngest son who is looked after by all the family. It is Samuel who brings the woman into the picture.
The struggles of life and death, love and hate weave their way in and out of the story.
Edward Zwick did an excellent job of blending the story with the talents of the actors.
Legend of the Fall is an emotional dramatic ride. The scenery of the remote wildernes is the perfect back drop to support the legend as it unfolds.
I would recommend this film to anyone who wants a good emotional drama with all the twists and turns of real life.
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on December 27, 2000
Legends of the Fall has something for everyone. It has suspense, war, politics, sibling rivalry, romance, tragedy, unfounded guilt, envy, unforgiveness and forgiveness, tradition and more. It believe it is one of the best films ever produced. The cinematography is outstanding and the plot tells a fabulous story about three brothers and their father; how love and hate can tear one family apart, yet also bring them together. Brad Pitt is perfect for the part of Tristin Ludlow, which this epic tale is based around. To look at him in this film is enough to see the deep emotions that lie beneath Tristin, not to mention the fact that Brad Pitt happens to look breath taking with long hair. It's almost as if the character were written with him in mind. Anthony Hopkins gives a realistic view of what it must be like to be disabled. The rest of the cast is equally good and the mix works extremely well in this film. Again, the photography is unsurpassed and there are key points in the film where Tristin's entrances are done in such a way and more than one time in a similar fashion, to create an anxious anticipating "in awe" effect. I would put this film up against Gone With The Wind as an all time classic.
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on May 1, 2001
Legends of the Fall is a moving epic that has captured the hearts of many movie goers accross the globe. The film centres around Colonol Ludlow and his three sons, Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn)and Samuel who were raised on a ranch in Montana. When they grow into men, Samuel comes back to ranch with his new fiance Suzannah (Julia Ormond) whom all the brothers take an attraction to. All three brothers then go to fight in the first world war where Samuel is brutally killed causing demons to be released in Tristan that start to plague his life from then, on whilst he is only understood by his fathers close native American Indian friend Onestab. As the story moves on the family moves apart, with Alfred and the colonel having a blazing row whilst Suzannah marries Alfred on the rebound from Tristan who has left the ranch. The second half of the story begins when Tristan returns and marries life long friend Isabelle. Suzannah's jealousy heightens but admist her emotions Isabelle is tragically and accidently killed by police working for two gangland brothers whom are trying to move Tristan away from bootlegging on their patch. Tristan gains revenge but not before Suzannah puts a bullet in her head leaving Alfred devastated. Then to add to an already superb film is a violent showdown in which Alfred saves Tristan and his fathers lives. The film ends showing Tristans later death which tops off a truly magical film, Performances from Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond add great depth to this film whilst Brad Pitt is outstanding, How did he not win an oscar for his portrayal of Tristan?
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