The Ballad of Lefty Brown / A Review …

For Cindy over at Cindy Bruchman Blog

Don McLean’s Masterpiece Vincent sung by Lianne La Havas

The Ballad of Lefty Brown is good Western. Not a Classic. But very good. If you like Westerns, it’s worth your time. And I’ll re-watch it again some day. This is not a B Western.

The whole movie hangs on Bill Pullman as Lefty – and Pullman is superb. I think he should have been nominated for his. I really had to do a double check to see if Lefty  really was Pullman – his character is such a departure – and appearance – from Pullman’s previous work. Check the poster – would you recognize that image of Lefty as Bill Pullman? I didn’t.

I kinda had the same feeling I had when I watched Billy Bob Thornton in Slingblade (1996) Is that really him? 

I can’t really say, but I’d guess Pullman’s most recognizable film role was as President Whitmore in Independence Day (1996).

But Bill’s been doing some good stuff since 1986. Including a couple of Westerns:

The Virginian (2000) Director / Actor (TV Production) well received.

In Wyatt Earp, Pullman played Ed Masterson who was Marshall of Dodge City and the oldest brother of the American West gunfighters Bat Masterson and James Masterson.
Masterson as shot and killed in downtown Dodge City by a drunk while attempting to enforce the gun laws.

Westerns unfortunately, are a genre that usually gets very little respect or attention among those that hand out the brass … the gold … or the Oscars.

The Cast

Peter Fonda as Edward Johnson: Peter Fonda has been known to loan (sell?) his name to small Western Film projects – often B Westerns – to bump up their publicity/profile – while only making slight or mere Cameo appearances in the movie. This is another of those. His screen time is not substantial. This gives the Lefty some promotional punch for sure – though it stands fine by itself. The Fonda name has rightful power in the Western film. Peter’s dad, Henry Fonda was in possibly in more Western Classics than any Actor in film history. Too many to list here. Jane chipped in with Cat Ballou, Electric Horseman, Comes a Horseman … While Peter had REAL roles in 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and The Hired Hand (1971) (a Favorite of mine). Curiously enough, you won’t likely recognize Peter in Lefty Brown either – and will have to do a double check to see which part he was playing. But I guess we’re all getting a bit older …

For his screen time he does and excellent and important job.

The rest of the Cast is also outstanding.

Jim Caviezel: Back in 2002, Jim starred as the Count in one of my Favorite Non-Western movies: The Count of Monte Cristo. He’s excellent here too.

He also played Warren Earp in Wyatt Earp (1996)

Wikipedia: Warren Earp was the youngest brother of Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil, James, and Newton Earp. Although he was not present during the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, after Virgil was maimed in an ambush, Warren joined Wyatt and was in town when Morgan was assassinated. He also helped Wyatt in the hunt for the outlaws they believed responsible. Later in life, Warren developed a reputation as a bully and was killed in an argument in 1900.

Kathy Baker is  Billed second. She has a looong list of Awards in Stage, Film and TV. Does her usual excellent work here.

Tom Flanagan – As far as I can tell, this is Tom’s first Western? Fits him like a glove. You’ll recognize him – he’s been around. And he’s good. Those scars on his face are from a real knife fight.

Diego Josef plays the mysterious Kid. He’s got 2 Colts and some Acting chops. Real good.

All in all – a pretty good Western. 

That Rifle:

In my previous post I guessed that this rifle 

might be this one:

I have now found a better image of it (below):

And I now think it is:

Made popular by the movie (a Favorite) Quigley Down Under:

Quigley (Tom Selleck) on his Sharps Rifle: “It’s a lever-action breach-loader. Usual barrel length’s thirty inches. This one has an extra four. It’s converted to use a special forty-five caliber, hundred-and-ten-grain metal cartridge, with a five-hundred-forty-grain paper patch bullet. It’s fitted with double-set triggers, and a Vernier sight, marked up to twelve-hundred yards.
This one shoots a mite further.”

OK … not quite.

Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

5 thoughts on “The Ballad of Lefty Brown / A Review …”

  1. It’s good to hear your thoughts! I watched Lefty Brown a couple weeks ago. I thought Pullman did a very nice job. The Western felt like a B Western. I wouldn’t say it was great, but Pullman did a Festus impersonation from Gunsmoke remarkably well!

    1. I felt it was a definite cut above a B Western. I won’t watch a B Western. Pullman is very good. An anti-hero to be sure – but not because he has a bad streak – but because he’s so inept and invested with self loathing. That’s what gives the movie it’s edge – whether he’s to pull it all off – or not. He eventually does ride off into the sunset – so to speak – but hardly to glory.

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