Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Beebs on March 22, 2006, 05:51:36 PM



Title: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 22, 2006, 05:51:36 PM
I borrowed this from a friend about a week ago and just now got around to posting about it. One great performance from Steve McQueen. What do yall think about it? I haven't really discussed it with anyone yet but I'd really like to. I like to talk about movies after I see them. I'll tell you what I think after I listen to you guys' responses.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: The Firecracker on March 22, 2006, 06:25:14 PM
pretty big fan of Mcqueen but I always save my money for a later date with this one.
I have alot more dvds I need to buy that are on my want list before I go for this.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 22, 2006, 07:04:52 PM
Trust me, you wont be disappointed if you get this one. Do you have Papillon? That's his best performance in my opinion.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 22, 2006, 07:52:48 PM
I like McQueen and I like Tom Horn very much, although with this film you don't really get the iconic McQueen, you get a performance of the character he's playing. Makes a change. This film has a nice sense of historical realism which few Westerns have. Superior (in that respect) to Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on March 23, 2006, 06:32:21 AM
I liked it and I will get it but right now its price here is about $16, when if drops down to 10 hell yes!

Beebs by the way fishing season is just around the corner,  ;D starting to get the drift boat de-winterized.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 23, 2006, 07:22:33 PM
OOOOOOOOOOH, Sounds great Joe. It sounds like our plans to NY may not be happening, but we're working on it and hoping for the best. I just got back from Oklahoma last week. We were fishing Beaver's Bend in Broken Bow. I caught the fattest rainbow I'd ever seen. Looked like a football. 16" long and 13" around the middle. It was also the first fish I'd cleaned and gutted and ate. MMMM.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: grandpa_chum on March 24, 2006, 01:46:02 PM
Tom Horn's been on the bottom of my short list for a while... this just might help move it up... part of the problem is I hadn't heard a good review from a trusted source, ever... but here it is.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Tim on March 24, 2006, 02:04:58 PM
  One of McQueen's best performances, right up there with The Sand Pebbles and Papillon.  I picked up a couple of the McQueen dvds that came out last year -- Bullitt and Never So Few -- but I never got around to buying Tom Horn.  Probably should have just bought all four movies together.

  Either way, well worth checking out grandpa chum.  Slim Pickens also turns in a fine performance.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 24, 2006, 06:54:17 PM
I have Sand Pebbles on its way from Amazon and I CANT WAIT. I hear so much about it. I CANT WAIT. should be here by next week. Papillon is my favorite McQueen performance. Tom Horn is very close up there.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 24, 2006, 09:30:48 PM
It was also the first fish I'd cleaned and gutted and ate. MMMM.
I assume you also cooked it. What did you do? Pan fry it with some butter?


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 25, 2006, 06:43:46 AM
Well, naturally in a cabin, resources are at a minimum so we went into town and bought some corn meal and milk and oil. There was a fry pan and charcoal grill at the cabin so we just breaded them in the corn meal and cooked them in the fry pan over the grill in the oil.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on March 25, 2006, 03:11:47 PM
yum  ;)


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 25, 2006, 03:29:44 PM
We catch and release in real hot grease. ;D


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Tim on March 25, 2006, 11:57:09 PM
  Beebs, check back in with us all once you've watched The Sand Pebbles.  It can be slow in some parts, but that doesn't prevent me from enjoying it.  Besides McQueen, Attenborough, Crenna, Mako, and Bergen all give excellent performances.

  As well, the battle at the boom is classic, and the ending is one of the best ever, especially the last line.  I won't spoil it in case you haven't heard it.  Either way, enjoy the movie, amigo.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on March 26, 2006, 04:59:09 AM
The book was great too, it may be a bit geeky on my part but I especially liked the way Holman teaches about "stem", lol. It goes into it a whole lot more than the film.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Beebs on March 26, 2006, 11:24:57 AM
I'll definitely post about Sand Pebbles as I do for all movies I see that I like. I think it's due in on Wednesday.

If I really like it, I'll have to find the book. I haven't read a book yet that wasn't good if it was made into a movie I like.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on March 26, 2006, 01:56:30 PM
Its a big book 600 pages about, a lot more story, good stuff.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: tucumcari bound on June 11, 2008, 12:29:42 PM

What an underrated film this is! I just watched it and it's been awhile since the last time I did so. Steve McQueen was absolutely wonderful as Tom Horn. You can see in the film how much "Unforgiven" was greatly influenced.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on June 12, 2008, 02:44:48 PM
Quote
What an underrated film this is! I just watched it and it's been awhile since the last time I did so. Steve McQueen was absolutely wonderful as Tom Horn. You can see in the film how much "Unforgiven" was greatly influenced.

  Agreed, and not just in the sense of dealing with the changing times in the west, but also the filming locations with the mountains and grassy prairies all around.  The scenery sets up my favorite part of the movie as Horn is being walked into the building where he'll be hung.  Passing between two buildings he gets one last look at the land and mountains he loved so much.  What really pushes me over the edge is when Slim Pickens starts to tear up at the hanging as he puts the noose around his neck, to which Tom says "Hold it together...because I'm going to."

 Definitely one of McQueen's strongest performances. O0


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: tucumcari bound on June 13, 2008, 03:27:14 AM
  Agreed, and not just in the sense of dealing with the changing times in the west, but also the filming locations with the mountains and grassy prairies all around.  The scenery sets up my favorite part of the movie as Horn is being walked into the building where he'll be hung.  Passing between two buildings he gets one last look at the land and mountains he loved so much.  What really pushes me over the edge is when Slim Pickens starts to tear up at the hanging as he puts the noose around his neck, to which Tom says "Hold it together...because I'm going to."

 Definitely one of McQueen's strongest performances. O0

It's nice to see you're a fan of "Tom Horn" Tyreen!


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 02, 2009, 05:16:33 PM
I just realized that although I put these screen caps from TH in the Steve McQueen thread, they really ought to be here as well, so:

(http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/5596/tomhorn1jf0.png)
(http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/425/tomhorn2mq8.png)
(http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/6481/tomhorn3cg5.png)
(http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/6322/tomhorn4bc5.png)
(http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/7195/tomhorn5ev0.png)
(http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/3899/tomhorn7rf1.png)
(http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/9914/tomhorn12mg1.png)


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 05, 2009, 11:47:28 PM
Yes, it's good and still...maybe what prevented me from liking it all the way this time is that I've just read the real TH's portrait made by Dorothy Johnson and it doesn't check with the one of the movie. TH was more of a cold-blooded killer. And McQueen doesn't look at all like the real TH:

(http://www.chronicleoftheoldwest.com/pics/tom_horn350.jpg)










Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 08:19:41 AM
Well, the screenplay was based on "Life of Tom Horn, Government Scout and Interpreter, Written by Himself," so it was never meant to be an objective account. It's authentic rather than accurate.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 06, 2009, 10:19:20 AM
Well, the screenplay was based on "Life of Tom Horn, Government Scout and Interpreter, Written by Himself," so it was never meant to be an objective account. It's authentic rather than accurate.

That doesn't make it "authentic": rather "biased". It would have been more interesting to shed some doubt on Horn's real M.O. (he killed from a distance and left) and how the story of the murdered kid went (he was mistaken for his father). It wouldn't have taken much. But then you wouldn't have had the usual cowboy hero.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: noodles_leone on February 06, 2009, 10:22:52 AM
M.O.?


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 01:54:44 PM
modus operandi (or, anglicized, method of operation).


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 06, 2009, 02:05:45 PM
That doesn't make it "authentic": rather "biased". 
No, I gave you the distinction, it's between "authenticity" and "accuracy" (authenticity has enough semantic range to accommodate "bias"). If you persist in not paying attention in class, you'll get your knuckles rapped.

Your script revision ideas are good and probably would have produced a better movie. The filmmakers had a different agenda, however, and wanted to present Horn as a man-of-the-west betrayed by the Company (they'd obviously watched too much Peckinpah). Yes, we are settling for second best here, but we're talking about a film directed by William Wiard (a man from television) not Stanley Kubrick. For what it is TH is surprisingly good. What you envision is something approaching the greatest Western ever filmed, and in 1980, that just wasn't on the cards.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 07, 2009, 12:34:52 AM
No, I gave you the distinction, it's between "authenticity" and "accuracy" (authenticity has enough semantic range to accommodate "bias"). If you persist in not paying attention in class, you'll get your knuckles rapped.

Unfortunately my Webster doesn't support your blabbing.  :'( (Ask a dictionary for your birthday: did your ever had one? ::)


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 07, 2009, 02:01:29 AM
Unfortunately my Webster doesn't support your blabbing. 
Noah Webster died in 1843. The language has moved on since.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 07, 2009, 06:57:24 AM
Noah Webster died in 1843. The language has moved on since.

And you're gone in the opposite direction.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 07, 2009, 07:13:03 AM
Not at all. When we consider SL's presentation of the American Civil War in GBU, we notice the attention to detail lavished on costuming and set design. Still, for the sake of his own unique vision, we also note that the film frequently departs from the historical record. Thus, SL's portrayal of the New Mexico Campaign is "authentic," but not "accurate."

But go on and continue trying to teach me my native language, titoli. I always enjoy a good laugh.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 07, 2009, 10:33:58 AM
Getting nervous, Jenkins?  You're as inconsistent in your discussions as you are in your evaluations of movies. You just wrote things that do not stand to reason and fact. You sure know English better than me, but that doesn't mean that, in the case in question, your choice of words is fallacious and your defense of it ridiculous. If you had just admitted that you have picked up a wrong term to define the movie, that would have stopped all discussion. But that you want to persuade me that I can't tell the meaning of a word (whose etymology derives from ancient greek and is common in all latin languages: actually it arrives to English directly from Latin) and whose meaning is spelled in clear letters in the most authoritative american english dictionary, means only that you believe you can make a fool of me (or whoever) or that you're a fool yourself. The semantic range of "authenticity" includes "bias"? That is equal to say that  the semantic range of "good" includes "bad". And I am curious to know what authoritative source can confirm that.

Now, if you only meant by dubbing it as "authentic" that the movie follows cloosely its literary source, you could be right (I can't tell for certain: I haven't read the book. Did you?). But that's just as far as you could go. Because as the source is biased the movie becomes biased itself. Is there any source more "biased" than a autobiography? So where the authenticity of the movie lies? In the sets? In the costumes? In the name of the characters? Probably. But as the movie is based on the depiction of a character and of certain events as seen through the pen of a man waiting to be hung because of his part in those events, the "authenticity" (WEBSTER 1. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy. you quote the other definitions, if you want)  it reduces itself next to nothing. Which doesn't mean necessarily that I can't appreciate the movie, up to a point. As I have told I liked it better the first time I saw it almost 30 years ago because I had no clue about who TH was.

The Leone example is not well-chosen because L's movie is a work of fantasy, where the Civil War is the background, not the main theme of the plot. 


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 07, 2009, 12:59:11 PM

Now, if you only meant by dubbing it as "authentic" that the movie follows cloosely its literary source, you could be right (I can't tell for certain: I haven't read the book. Did you?). But that's just as far as you could go. Because as the source is biased the movie becomes biased itself. Is there any source more "biased" than a autobiography?
No, but there may not be a source that is any less biased. Who the hell is Dorthy Johnson? How do we know she hasn't an ax or two to grind of her own?

But this is beside the point. I already conceded that the film's agenda was to portray TH as a victim; and the one thing we know about victims is that they only ever give you their half of the story. So the characterization of Horn is likely false, but the settings, the clothes, the pace, the details of quotidian life, etc. strike me as being true. Many of the images from the film remind me of the paintings of Frederick Remington, who, at least, took his models from life. This is enough for me.

Perhaps "semantic range" was ill-chosen, but "authentic" was exactly the term I wanted to use, and I stand by it. Words are more than their etymologies, my friend, they take their meanings from the contexts in which they occur. It's interesting that you bring up "good" and "bad": I've never seen an example of good meaning bad (unless used ironically), but for many years now bad has been available in some contexts as a synonym for good (maybe you missed the Michael Jackson album?). Nothing in the etymology of bad would ever allow you to get to that meaning; you can only discover such a reading contextually. That is, that's the way people actually use it. Rest assured, however, when I use "authentic" I do not intend for it to mean its opposite, but I do intend for it to stand in contradistinction to "accurate."

I suppose you will remain unpersuaded (you always are), but I am not only writing for the benefit of the rudest poster on the board. Perhaps others will get what I'm driving at and appreciate the distinction I'm trying to make.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: titoli on February 08, 2009, 12:16:37 AM
No, but there may not be a source that is any less biased. Who the hell is Dorthy Johnson? How do we know she hasn't an ax or two to grind of her own?

But this is beside the point. I already conceded that the film's agenda was to portray TH as a victim; and the one thing we know about victims is that they only ever give you their half of the story. So the characterization of Horn is likely false, but the settings, the clothes, the pace, the details of quotidian life, etc. strike me as being true. Many of the images from the film remind me of the paintings of Frederick Remington, who, at least, took his models from life. This is enough for me.

Perhaps "semantic range" was ill-chosen, but "authentic" was exactly the term I wanted to use, and I stand by it. Words are more than their etymologies, my friend, they take their meanings from the contexts in which they occur. It's interesting that you bring up "good" and "bad": I've never seen an example of good meaning bad (unless used ironically), but for many years now bad has been available in some contexts as a synonym for good (maybe you missed the Michael Jackson album?). Nothing in the etymology of bad would ever allow you to get to that meaning; you can only discover such a reading contextually. That is, that's the way people actually use it. Rest assured, however, when I use "authentic" I do not intend for it to mean its opposite, but I do intend for it to stand in contradistinction to "accurate."

I suppose you will remain unpersuaded (you always are), but I am not only writing for the benefit of the rudest poster on the board. Perhaps others will get what I'm driving at and appreciate the distinction I'm trying to make.

If you don't know who Dorothy Johnson is and don't even bother to make a search by google, I wonder how you can deem it "beside the point".  Anyway, coming from you, I find this ignorance amazing.

Now I understand what you mean by "authentic". You're not referring to the story itself. I agree: to a point. Because we're talking about a movie called TH, not one called John Doe. If you make a movie on Jesse James and show him killed in a duel by Robert Ford, can the whole movie be called, whatever its merits, "authentic"?

About me being the rudest poster here, that may be. But I'm sure I never told anybody posting here to go back to primary school.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Groggy on February 08, 2009, 01:08:12 AM
Greatest thread in SLWB history. :D


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on May 16, 2010, 08:52:32 PM
Just watched a used DVD of this that fit the below $10 price mark I set for my self way back when... probably McQueen's best Western followed by Nevada Smith and Mag 7 with Linda Evans,   Richard Farnsworth, Slim Pickens, Elisha Cook Jr., and Geofrey Lewis. Saw this in the theater when it first came out.

One of the last remnants of the Western as we knew it, nice mix of veteran Golden Age Western actors and some newer Western character actors (i.e. Farnsworth-Lewis). But again it fits in that trend towards "realism" that I guess you could say basically destroyed the Legendary/Mythic Western.  Its a good film but, No style, no colorful character's, no cliche's, no tinkling piano music coming out of the saloon WTF, there was no music in the REAL west???, but Big ASS hats courtesy of product placement by Resistol and Stetson no doubt, the REAL West was BORING, we are living with the results today. lol


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 17, 2010, 05:48:45 AM
I had the DVD in my hands a couple of months ago; I didn't have much time so I was able to watch only like 20 or 30 minutes before I gave it back. It was okay. I'll have to find it and watch it again sometimes.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 17, 2010, 05:56:32 AM
But Joe, the pictures! Every frame is a painting. Beauty is never boring.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: cigar joe on May 17, 2010, 06:06:32 AM
But Joe, the pictures! Every frame is a painting. Beauty is never boring.

No Beauty isn't boring, I didn't mean that, I'm talking about this realism trend in Westerns that is boring. The visuals are stunning  O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 17, 2010, 04:16:45 AM
This movie is like a great pity, I don't know how else to call it. Everything (and I mean everything) besides: 1) the characters, 2) the plot and 3) the direction, is top-notch, and I mean top-fucking-notch, I've had the feeling it just doesn't get any better than that, you name the segment. The plot and the characters are -unfortunately- a joke, while the direction is basically good; no style, simple and not special but correct. On the top of that it features one of SM's best performances ever, and a great accompanying set of familiar (W) faces... This is a movie that is easy to watch and enjoy, but a 7/10 is all I can give it: (if you watch W's regularly) it feels like eating the spiced potatoes for Thanksgiving, but without the turkey.

Strangely, I've never seen this on television, ever. It was probably filmed somewhere in 1979, so technically The Hunter would be SM's last movie, but despite all here and above said, not to show it as the final piece in those ''remember the actor'' movie circuits seems like a crime.



7/10


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 18, 2010, 10:23:32 AM
I say, bring on the Blu-ray!


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 19, 2010, 04:14:53 AM
For a second there, I thought you were actually gonna comment it and rate it.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 19, 2010, 08:48:56 AM
"Bring on the Blu-ray" is my comment. How is that not a comment?


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 19, 2010, 02:28:32 PM
It would be much better if you'd just put that in your signature.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: moviesceleton on October 19, 2010, 03:46:43 PM
It would be much better if you'd just put that in your signature.
;D ;D ;D


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 19, 2010, 05:50:54 PM
Done.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Groggy on November 10, 2011, 07:29:49 PM
Quote
Steve McQueen's penultimate film, Tom Horn (1980) is a good but flawed Western. With a creative visual sense and interesting anti-hero, it falls just short of iconic status.

Former Indian scout Tom Horn (Steve McQueen) rolls into 1903 Montana with .45-60 Winchester rifle and a chip on his shoulder. Horn is hired by local rancher John Coble (Richard Farnsworth) as a "stock detective," tracking and (when necessary) killing rustlers and Coble's rivals with ruthless efficiency. The big cattle bosses taking over the region grow disturbed by Horn's brutality, and the murder of a 15 murder boy provides them a perfect opportunity to get rid of the grumpy gunsel.

Tom Horn starts out great, its gritty "realism" better than most '70s Westerns. William Wiard's unfussy direction provides an interesting facsimile of turn-of-the-century Montana, highlighted by John A. Alonzo's gorgeous photgraphy. The violent, creative action scenes are another highlight: one clever shootout is staged in a slaughterhouse, with scatterguns splintering wood and splattering raw meat. And Horn himself, a prickly killer callously used and discarded by his bosses, makes a unique hero.

In the later sections, though, Tom Horn runs out of steam. The film's "death of the West" and anti-corporate preoccupations come off like warmed-over Peckinpah and overwhelms the second half. After Horn's arrest, the movie spirals into a melange of dull verbiage and inappropriate flashbacks with Horn's lover (Linda Evans). Wiard incorporates some odd style choices (a trial voiceover playing over an empty courtroom) and heavyhanded symbolism (Horn dropping his shell necklace) in case some viewers don't get the point.

Steve McQueen does a nice job with a difficult. Once a hero who helped captured Geronimo, Horn is now a surly gun-for-hire with a penchant for brutality, a Western man out of place in new society. The real Tom Horn wasn't a pretty character, and McQueen doesn't make him any more likeable than necessary. McQueen's nuanced performance ranks among his very best.

The Western genre virtually died in the '80s, and Tom Horn is a lovely bow for two generations of Western character talent. Old hands like Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove) and Elisha Cook Jr. (Shane) are onhand, along with a newer crop of Western "characters": Richard Farnsworth (Ulzana's Raid), Billy Green Bush (The Culpepper Cattle Co.), Geoffrey Lewis (The Wind and the Lion) and Roy Jenson (Dillinger). One of the Western genre's pleasures is seeing familiar faces, and Tom Horn has plenty.

Tom Horn could have been a classic Western with a little fine-tuning. Despite these flaws, it's still an enjoyable film with a nice turn by Steve McQueen. 7/10

http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2011/11/tom-horn.html (http://nothingiswrittenfilm.blogspot.com/2011/11/tom-horn.html)


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: mike siegel on November 14, 2011, 11:05:20 AM
While writing my new book on McQueen, I watched it again for the first time since 1980. It aged really well. Not that it ever was a GREAT film, but it is quite good and unusual. McQueen directed as well, the project was very close to him. The music I didn't like.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 14, 2011, 02:59:59 PM
Quote
McQueen's nuanced performance ranks among his very best.
I think Steve went for--and got--something like a character performance instead of rolling out his usual iconic one. I love the iconic Steve, but it's great to see what else he could do. He showed in Tom Horn that he in fact had much more range than is usually supposed.


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Groggy on November 15, 2011, 06:26:26 PM
I think Steve went for--and got--something like a character performance instead of rolling out his usual iconic one. I love the iconic Steve, but it's great to see what else he could do. He showed in Tom Horn that he in fact had much more range than is usually supposed.

Nailed it. O0


Title: Re: Tom Horn (1980)
Post by: Groggy on November 15, 2011, 06:27:26 PM
I'd hate to see this buried in the RTLMYS thread:

http://www.tom-horn.com/ (http://www.tom-horn.com/)