Zwick turns Jim Harrison's lean, macho novella into a purple, three-hankie Western: Mills and Daniel Boone. Set in the years around WWI, it's the story of the Ludlows: three brothers brought up in the wilds of Montana under the stern eye of their father, the Colonel (Hopkins). Alfred (Quinn), the eldest, is respectful and ambitious, as dutiful as his brother Tristan (Pitt) is rugged and untamed, but when Samuel (Thomas), the youngest, returns home from college with a beautiful wife, Susannah (Ormond), it's not long before discord blossoms. For all that it's blatantly ludicrous tosh, Legends performed very respectably at the American box office, and it's not hard to see why: the entire film plays like a commercial for Brad Pitt. You can imagine half the audience wondering, 'Where can I get one of those?' Every young male star should have a role like this: cowboy, soldier, adventurer, bootlegger, vigilante. He wrestles bears, scalps Jerries, sails the seven seas and nobly renounces the woman he loves (his brother's wife). Small wonder that Hopkins resorts to scene-stealing: picture Charles Laughton as Popeye out West.
Legends of the Fall
Cast and crew