Open Range


August 15, 2003, 08:32 PM
Ok this oater takes a while to get to the shoot em up, but I genuinely liked it.

Gun related:

Duvall carries an 1875 Remington (claims he likes a 'heavy' sidearm).

Costner packs a 7.5 inch Colt SAA (which Duvall notes is "light")

You'll see why later in the film.

Shoot em up is good, though there are scenes of the shotgun knocking people sideways and back 6 feet. See it in a theatre with stero sound the bullets echo and zip form one side of the theatre to the other and back.

Really good scene of Costner getting after a guy who is hiding behind a water trough.

Overall, worth a look.

If you enjoyed reading about "Open Range" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 15, 2003, 10:04 PM
Unless I catch this on PPV ... it'll be a wait till DVD appears ... sounds worth a look tho .... thx.

4v50 Gary
August 15, 2003, 10:21 PM
If I can set aside the books, this may be my first movie of the year.

August 15, 2003, 10:34 PM
I'm going to go see it Saturday..

(Just looking at the previews, it kinda reminds me of an '03 version of Unforgiven..) ;)

Navy joe
August 15, 2003, 10:51 PM
Loved it, just got back. Some critics panned it as a cliched horse opera. Duh! What do you think I wanted to see? I liked the hat on the doorstep, a little nod to the original silver-screen bad*ss. There were a few tactical inconsistencies, but they at least tried to show more than a couple of guys standing there blasting at each other. Guns actually required reloads! Amazing! Apart from the shotgun personnel launcher the film did a lot better than standard. Folks were hit multiple times and didn't DRT or stop fighting. No look through the hole in the head crap like that dumb Sharon Rock movie.

There are a few Rock Ridge jokes in there too. At least I thought there was when the whole town is evacuating.

August 16, 2003, 12:17 AM

Best cowboy flick since Lonesome Dove. Duvall does it again, and regardless of what you think of her politics, Ms. Benning ain't too hard on the eyes either...


August 16, 2003, 12:50 AM
One of the best I've seen in quite awhile. Even my wife enjoyed it. Cosner appears to have returned from the dead and Duvall is still excellent.

August 16, 2003, 02:16 AM
Great Movie.

glad i went to see it tonight. there were sections that were slow but it was well worth it.

August 16, 2003, 06:37 AM
I read Duvall was great and Costner had a hard time keeping up with him.

August 16, 2003, 08:21 AM
Well, Duvall IS great. And I'm not particularly a fan of Kevin Cosner, but I believe he held his own in this movie.

The vistas are breathtaking, the plot is great, perhaps a bit too familiar, but engaging nonetheless. Some will whine about a couple of shot-count transgressions. But, over all the fight scenes where riveting. No token sex scenes. Just persistent admiration and respect among the leading roles. There were a few spots where the plot seemed to drag just a bit, but I'll give Cosner some artistic license in that regard.

All in all, a must see in my opinion for anyone who enjoys a good western. And make no mistake about it, this IS a good western. Will be definetly be in my DVD collection the moment it hits the stores.


August 16, 2003, 08:28 AM
Going this afternoon, and after seeing these posts I can't wait!

August 17, 2003, 06:09 AM
Overall, an enjoyable movie. Out of five shots, 1 1/2 flyers.

We watched it the second night, and the theater was DESERTED. Thought I saw tumbleweeds blowing by in the aisles. Despite a solid showing, this may offically mark Costner's already declining decline.

August 17, 2003, 07:19 AM
Sounds like a good film but I just read some of Costner's comments and they turned me cold. Sounded very anti-gun to me. I'll have to try to find the review, think it was in Friday's paper.

Chris Rhines
August 17, 2003, 08:03 AM
Saw it last night - very good flick. Great cinematography, fantastic sound. Story was pretty straightforward, no real plot twists, but a horse opera really isn't the place for those. Duvall, as usual, stole the show, and Costner did a pretty good job himself.

The climactic gunfight was very clearly based on the brothel shootout in Way of the Gun. Not that this is a bad thing, of course.

The audio engineers on this film should be tracked down and given awards, large raises, and high praise. I have never, not in any other movie, heard such perfect reproduction of gunshot reports. None of this champange-cork *pop-whiz-crack*; these were snappy and loud enough to hurt your ears a bit.

Complaints - the movie tends to drag a bit in the beginning, not badly, but enough to be noticeable. There were a couple of minor continuity errors and a couple of never-empty-six-shooters, but that's really to be expected. Folks who've suffered through Tombstone will be glad to note that all the shotgun shells are brass-cased.

Solid 4/5.

- Chris

Nando Aqui
August 17, 2003, 08:29 AM
Great movie - both my wife and I liked it. Everyone does an excellent job acting, but Duvall's perfomance is Oscar material. Now Costner has three movies I like: Open Range, Dances With Wolves, The Postman.

August 17, 2003, 08:44 AM
Most enjoyable. Other than the shotguns, it was the most realistis looking Western gun battle I've ever seen (including "The Wild Bunch"). In that I mean it wasn't two groups staring at each other until one goes for his guns, then the good guys connect with every round fron the hip. This one "felt" pretty real.

Best part:

"You the man that killed our friend?" (Hopefully not a spoiler since its in all the TV ads.)

Go see it. Theater here was real empty, too - but I did go to the 12:30 PM show on Saturday!

Patrick Bateman
August 17, 2003, 02:17 PM
Costner on Open Range:
"I know I'm going to get my gunfight. That's an obligatory thing, and I was happy to do it and wanted to do it. But I think guns should be loud in a movie, and scare you. The best anti-gun message is that there's a result after guns go off."

Still want to see it though.

August 17, 2003, 03:17 PM
I know I'm going to get my gunfight. That's an obligatory thing, and I was happy to do it and wanted to do it. But I think guns should be loud in a movie, and scare you. The best anti-gun message is that there's a result after guns go off."

I dunno, that doesn't really sound that anti-gun to me. Honestly, when we have the "gangtas" and "hip-hop generation" growing up with no experience with guns other than what they see movies and video games (i.e Will Smith and Martin Lawrence shooting people while cracking jokes in Bad Boys 2, or video games like Grand Theft Auto) , its good for them to see realistic depictions of what guns can do.

Lack of knowledge of what a gunfight is really like leads to "pullin the gat" over the tiniest indiscretion or "dissing".

Honestly, I think gun education in the schools would help today's youth.

August 17, 2003, 04:06 PM
Another very realisric portrayal was the lack of hits when the lead was really flying and the point someone already mentioned about people taking multiple hits and staying in the fight. The laconic beginning was necessary to set the stage for the trouble to come . Great development of the relationships between the characters. Little things like the scenes about Cuban cigars and chocolate. Easily worth the price. Theater was packed at the 7:00 Friday night show Don't miss it. Smooth is fast

August 17, 2003, 07:27 PM
Just back from a viewing and the theater was full. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.

What really bothered me was the killing of Mose. I really like this actor, though I don't see enough of him. He seems like a genuinely good person and I can't ever remember seeing him portray a loser or jerk. They gave a good eulogy for him, I thought.

Duvall did an excellent job and I didn't see Costner faltering or trying to keep up. I think a lot had to do with the types of characters they were portraying.

The gunshots were very accurate. Reloads were nice to see.

Best part was seeing, finally, the townspeople get involved. I can't remember how many times I've screamed at the idiotic, cowardly townsfolk to stand up for themselves in these types of movies. Finally, someone did it!! Great lesson for our society.

Overall, I give it 4/5 shots. Nobody's perfect, but the character development and lack of gratuitous nudity was very, very pleasant to sit through.

August 17, 2003, 07:58 PM
Also kind of realistically, they made the townsfolk (and other characters that weren't supposed to be fairly familiar with guns) horrible shots.

And some of the brave townspeople got shot. This is what would really happen if some townies rose up.

I wanna go see it again, especially the gunfight part. Maybe I can talk the GF into going, or else I'll have to wait for the DVD. (XMas release please, no "Road To Perdition" bull where it comes out in February!):fire:

August 18, 2003, 10:13 AM
I think the best part of the movie was Sue's reaction to the shootout. At first I thought she was going to go all liberal about how she couldn't love Charley because he was a killer, but the script surprised me. "You may have done some bad things...some things worse than bad. But today wasn't one of them."
All in all, despite showing the aftermath of the shootout, no one seemed to blame Charley or Boss and actually they supported them. Very cool.
Also has one of the best lines from any western: "Men are gonna get killed today. I'm going to be killing them."

August 18, 2003, 09:56 PM
Well, no, it wasn't and you're wrong. Duvall and Costner were fighting to defend their PRIVATE PROPERTY from a man who had attacked them and intended to steal it. You're looking for propoganda everywhere and are thus guaranteed to find it.

August 18, 2003, 10:08 PM
I'm no Costner fan, but I really like Robert Duvall and I really liked this movie. Even the bride liked it, and she doesn't generally like shootouts.

As far as the politics of the movie goes, I agree with RikWriter.


August 20, 2003, 11:26 AM
I like the movie. I will be buying the DVD.

I thought it have a very pro-conservative message.

There are things worth fighting for and there are things worse than death.

I didn't see anything anti-gun or anti-american in it at all.

August 20, 2003, 12:48 PM
RickWriter- Well, I guess you showed me, huh?

Yes, I sure did. Too bad you didn't realize it.

Navy joe
August 20, 2003, 02:54 PM
First, I don't like Costner's politics.

However, this was not some hippie communal bliss theme wrapped in a Western. It was based off history. Range use has been a sore subject in the West ever since we got there. Until the 1870's to 1880's there were no fences. The vast majority of the range was community property precisely because no one really owned it. If you had a piece of land you wanted left alone you were expected to fence it off instead of the cattleman fencing in his cows. This is a little like it is today, unless you're on BLM land which apparently everybody but nobody owns. The tensions of property rights in the West are history, not some invented leftist plot to make a movie.

August 20, 2003, 03:14 PM
Any man who paints Susan Sarandon's toenails is politically suspect.

I haven't seen the film but will check it out on DVD for the always
good Robert Duvall (loved THE APOSTLE).:D

August 20, 2003, 04:00 PM
Sheesh whats next? Are there gonna be more rants and raves about Lord of the Rings being an ultra left, Pro-environmentalist, Anti-Capitalist / Anti-Industrialist propaganda? So should be shunned by all thinking conservatives and Republicans?

Just because a movie may be pro-environmentalist or pro abortion or anti-whatever; does not mean its a movie or book that only caters to "Republicans" or "Democratics". And if you're conservative you can't be an environmentalist or be suspicious of the motives of big business? That's rather dogmatic.

I do believe most great artists or at least most of the ones that are considered "great" can be considered to have leftist or "progressive" leanings. If you look hard enough you'll find it. I think it has to do with the fact most great artists have their "heads in the clouds", are very idealistic, and many are outcasts or rebels railing against established society. From classical composers/rock artists (Mozart, Beethoven, The Beatles, Rolling Stones) to writers (Shakespeare, Twain, Dostoevski, Nietzsche) to painters (Da Vinci, Goya, Delaroix, Picasso). I'm not saying they're strictly "leftist" but art tends to be more exciting when it taps into a conflict or struggle usually involving an underdog against the establishment. Does that mean conservative values have always been dead in art? No. Many great artists were conservative by todays standards as well as their own with many conservative values in their art. But art makes people idealize things even though they tend to be unrealistic or over-idealized. And well, strict conservative values just don't have a tendency to promote great works of art. Besides life is more complex than simply a struggle between left/right or liberal/conservative forces and most intelligent people recognize art is an escape and not always a true reflection of reality.

Back to Open Range. Doesn't Boss (Robert Duvall) and his cattle represent "capitalism, business, commmerce, and everything else that uses natural resources" as well? And members of the Sierra Club and Green Peace identify with free ranging cattlemen? We're talking cattle here. They chew up the land and eventually get slaughtered. Quite a stretch because most of them wouldn't even buy a ticket to see this movie in the first place I would think. I actually saw it as a conflict between two businessmen. Not about environmentalism or rise of industry. But more about two people who had very different ideas on how to do business relevant to their time. And throughout the movie the main protaganists often made a point to say this wasn't about cattle or land. It was about going where they had a right to go simply because thats the way it was done in the West at the time. And it was simply a conflict between what is right and what is wrong. I'll concede people with lots of power (businessmen, corporations, lawyers, and politicians) have always been portrayed as the bad guys (okay, often unfairly possibly) but I just didn't see that strong of a message against them in Open Range as you did.

Anyways, Open Range is as "conservative" a movie you'll find these days, esp concerning the 2nd Amend, and despite what Costner may say to the contrary.

August 20, 2003, 05:07 PM
sometimes people on both sides of the fence spend too much time looking for any hint of bias in fictional works.

It's just a movie. And, by all accounts, one that is very approving of indivdualism and self-defense.

I think the appropriate phrase is "lighten up"


August 20, 2003, 05:46 PM
I would love to see this movie on the big screen, but the local movie theatre that is showing it bans firearms from its premises.:fire:

August 20, 2003, 06:24 PM
I respect the right of each individual to determine that which they choose to consume or avoid for entertainment, and for whatever reason...

That being said, my better half and I in the post 9/11 world have taken a hard look at the 140 or so DVD's we own and the 100+ Video tapes we have (whether store bought or taped off of our dish which we no longer subscribe to).

Within that context, we've been amazed at the subtle and not so subtle messages that we previously absorbed without much contemplation. We find that upon careful examination, which requires some effort, there is a lot more "propagandizing" than we ever imagined. We found the slow and steady influence it had on our day-to-day thinking through 9/10/01 frankly disturbing.

We've become more cautious about that which we consume for entertainment, and for news, whether it be in print, televised, the movies, or on the web.

I think that a healthy discussion about the relative merits of characters within a film and intent of the "artist" who seeks to bring the character to life is worthwhile.

One can see conspiracy where there is none, that is true.

It is also equally possible to deny the presence of more synister intent, because it is inconvenient and often stressful to realize how very often the entertainment and "news" and "academia" seeks to promote an agenda which is contrary to our values.

Within this thread, a "you're just being paranoid" followed by a "no-sah" is evidence that the other side is least in one household.

Enjoy the arts, but beware many of the "artists", many are not our friends...after all, it is they who voted for the fraudulent maniac Michael Moore.

If we don't hold them to account, who will?

If we continue to fund their endeavors, how will they ever understand our displeasure?

I applaud careful scrutiny of that which is provided to us to entertain, and each "work of art" should be judged on its own merits, with the likelihood that there will be some legitmate differences of opinions as to conclusions to be drawn and actions (or lack thereof) to be taken.

Healthy debate is useful, blissful ignorance can be very dangerous.

Best wishes,


August 20, 2003, 06:32 PM
My wife and I have seen it twice. The second time it was better. This is but a story in which there are people who portray characters many can relate to.That is but one factor making this an effective movie. Costner held the lead but could not have done so without Dyvall or Benning. Byron

August 20, 2003, 06:56 PM
Sorry about the misspelling, Ric not Rick.

No, you managed to misspell it yet again...

August 21, 2003, 09:48 AM
CZ-52 -

I agree with much of what you said.

I also think it is smart to not support artists who are active campaigners against our rights and liberties.

With regards to bias, I don't worry about it personally. I am certain in my knowledge and beliefs. I do sometimes get slightly concerned for other people who are in the "undecided" column on various issues, but the fact of the matter is, there's not much we can do for them except offer a counter-example to the negative stereotypes that are propogated in the media.

Take Care,

August 21, 2003, 09:58 AM

...and you take care too.

Best wishes,


Johnny Guest
August 24, 2003, 12:08 AM
Finally managed to see the movie this afternoon. Frankly, I think Costner did a lot better job than I expected. I was fully ready to see Duval sturggling mightily to carry Costner thru the plot, and was happily surprised.

I liked it, a lot. I was a little disappointed in the paucity of the variety of firearms shown. There were a couple of gold-plated receivers on some Winchesters, and I guess these were supposted to represent 1866 models. There were a goodly number of '73s shown, but didn't I also see a lot of '92s there?

Given that the date of the action was 1882, you'd think there would be some earlier model guns still in use. Just because a new model comes out, people don't immediately junk the older ones. This would be due both to economic considerations and also because not everyone 'way out in the west would immediately order the latest gun out of New England. I didn't see any Henry repeaters, no trap door Springfields, either rifle or carbine length, nor any other single shots, and no percussion revolvers. You'd think someone would have brought a Sharps, a Spencer, or some muzzle loading rifles to Colorado with them.

And, yes, I liked seeing them reloading the SA revolvers, but, has no one ever heard of using the ejector rod? Ol' Charley sure took a long time, indexing his cylinders and shaking the revolver. I think I could have reloaded in a third the time he took, even accountig for nervousness. And, wasn't he the old time mankiller?

For all that, I did like the show.


September 24, 2003, 07:29 PM
Very good movie.

I'd give it 3.5 stars.

I thought the plot and story was good, and the acting very good.

I thought that they exagerated the gunfight though. It seemed to me that Costner was firing more than 6 shots in his revolver without reloading. Thats not unheard of with movies though.....they tend to exagerate.

September 24, 2003, 07:49 PM
Anyone know how it did at the box office?

I too will be getting it on DVD...

September 24, 2003, 08:31 PM
It is ranked 13th and has taken in almost 56 million.

This site will take one to the rankings and ammounts taken in. Byron

September 24, 2003, 09:06 PM
I liked it. Saw it at 5pm. Long movie, but it was pretty necessary for plot development.

Saw it as a big landowner buying the sheriff off to bully everyone else, and it showed when some in town stood up against them. If anything, the big landowner would be akin to Ted Turner, who is allied with the environmentalists because he's got his already.

There was a point in the movie where there was a 8 to 9 round string coming from a single 6 shooter. But as others have pointed out, people did not just drop when shot. It took multiple shots from a pistol to bring them down. Naturally, the preferred way to really stop someone is by head shots. No Mozambiques here. Thats half your gun! :D

September 24, 2003, 09:07 PM
I liked it too. I saw it about 2 weeks ago.

Hot brass
September 25, 2003, 12:45 AM
I liked the movie, went with the wife and kids. May go and see it again tomorrow.

September 25, 2003, 01:20 AM
Notice the language was tame for an R-rated movie? I'm guessing it was the violence that got it to R-level?

Smokey Joe
September 25, 2003, 02:59 AM
Jeez, I haven't seen such heavy-duty arguing about the message in a movie since I don't know when. Guys, it was just a movie.

Even Sigmund Freud is reputed to have said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

This was a simple, old-fashioned, B-grade western, like they don't make no more. It was really well done. The bad guys got their come-uppance and one of the good guys got the girl. The young kid lived. The story was grippingly told and the scenery was beautiful. For 110 minutes or however long it went, the show took me completely away from whatever troubles I might have brought into the theatre, and I walked out feeling good.

Isn't that enough to hope for from any movie?

BTW, the characters Boss and Charley both were aware that their way of doing business (i.e. open-ranging the cattle) was dying, and that they had to get into some other line of work, and soon. That was made clear early in the film. They didn't waste any effort rebelling against this, though; they just wondered what they would do for a living after the current cattle drive. That conflict was resolved at the end of the film with Boss offering Charley a partnership in the town's saloon after they go and do the job of rounding up and disposing of the remains of their herd and equipment.

BTW-2: I didn't know there were any small specwar units in the Civil War such as Charley describes having served in. Not that this detracts from the movie, if it is inaccurate, any more than the missing Henrys and Springfields mentioned above.

September 25, 2003, 07:26 AM
I wear that title proudly...both vocationally, and personally :D .

Freud was no role model.

Neither is Costner.

The industry that made that fraud Michael Moore an icon and bestowed upon him one of its highest honors bears careful scrutiny.

That individuals are carefully scrutinizing the message of entertainment they consume and the values of those who participate as actors, directors, producers, etc., is a very good thing.

Yes, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes entertainment is simply harmless entertainment.

Too often in 21st century America, it is not.

It is very easy to follow the direction of the takes some effort to break away from the pack and find ones own way. I've found the rewards to be worth the effort.

Best wishes,


If you enjoyed reading about "Open Range" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!