Casting Director, Lynn Kressel won Casting Awards for Streets of Laredo. Let’s see why …
Nothing much needs to be said about James Garner as a Western Film Actor He’s an icon.
Maverick with Jack Kelly 1957-1962 TV
Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend with Randolph Scott / 1957 Movie
Alias Jesse James with Bob Hope 1957 Cameo as Maverick Movie
Duel at Diablo: with Sydney Poitier 1966 Movie
Hour of the Gun with Jason Robards 1967 Movie
Support Your Local Sheriff with Jack Elam and Walter Brennan 1966 Movie
Sledge with Dennis Weaver and Claude Akins 1970 Movie
Support Your Local Gunfighter with Suzanne Pleshette 1971 Movie
Skin Game with Lou Gossett 1971 Movie
Nicols with Stuart Margolin 1971-1972 TV
The Castaway Cowboy 1974 Movie
Young Maverick with Charles Frank 1979 TV
Bret Maverick with Ed Bruce 1981-82 TV Movie
Murphy’s Romance with Sally Field 1985 Movie
Sunset with Bruce Willis 1988 Movie
Maverick with Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Coburn and others 1994 Movie
Streets of Laredo – 1995 TV Mini-Series
Sam Shepard seems to have Western written all over him – so we’re bit surprised that he hasn’t been in more. Yet I believe All the Pretty Horses is massively under-rated and may fare better in time. The Assassination of Jesse James … ??? the jury is still out. Thunderheart is well known – an entertaining enough movie … but a good Western? Blackthorn could have been Classic, but poor support acting let it down.
Verdict? Streets of Laredo is probably the best Western Sam has ever done. And he’s damn good in it.
1978 Days of Heaven – with Richard Gere
1992 Thunderheart – with Val Kilmer and Grahame Greene
1995 Streets of Laredo with James Garner
1999 Purgatory with Eric Roberts and Randy Quaid
2000 All the Pretty Horses with Matt Damon
2005 Bandidas with Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James with Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck
1994 Silent Tongue / Writer / Director
2014 Klondike with Richard Madden
Randy Quaid has been in at least 2 notable Western: The Missouri Breaks and The Long Riders – both pretty highly regarded by most Western Movie fans – some holding them as Minor Classic in quality. In Streets of Laredo he plays the famous gunslinger John Wesley Harding.
1976 The Missouri Breaks with Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando
1979 The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang
1980 The Long Riders with Dennis Quaid, David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Stacy Keach …
1999 Purgatory wtih Sam Shepard
2004 Home on the Range with Judi Dench, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rosanne Barr …
We probably think Sissy Spacek has been in a few Westerns because she did Coal Minors Daughter (1980) and has done some Country Music singing and writing. But not so. Despite a ton of great work in her acting career, Sissy has done no real Westerns.
She’s in a great one this time though.
Decent Western roles are tough to find for female actors- mainly because most Westerns are written by – and for – men. But McMurtry is different and Streets of Laredo includes 3 great roles for the ladies – one of which is also an excellent role for a child female actor. Good job Mr. McMurtry.
Wes Studi is another actor that has well established himself as a Western Film Icon. His first 2 Westerns are undeniable Westerns Classics: Dances with Wolves and The Last of the Mohicans.
Most everything else he’s done is quality work as well.
Wes Studi Westerns
1990 Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner
1992 The Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day Lewis
1993 Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman
1995 Streets of Laredo
1997 Crazy Horse with Ned Beatty
2005 Into the West with Russel Means
2005 Miracle at Sage Creek with David Carradine
2005 The New World with Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale
2007 Seraphim Falls with Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Anjelica Huston
2007 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
2008 Comanche Moon with Val Kilmer
2009 Trail of Tears
2011 Hell on Wheels with Colm Meaney
2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West (post-production)
2014 Palominas (pre-production)
Charles Martin Smith
We wouldn’t normally think of Charles Martin Smith as being a Western Actor but, incredibly, Smith has appeared in at least one bona fide Western Classic: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid and two other worthy Westerns: Culpepper Cattle Co. and The Spikes Gang. That’s 3 out 3 Chuck – Not bad for a green horn.
In Streets of Laredo, Smith plays the ‘everyday man’ – that’s you and me – the guy we’re supposed to relate with. His character can’t handle the rugged and vicious Western world he suddenly finds himself in – and makes us wonder if we could cut it either. Possibly not.
Charles Martin Smith Westerns
1972 The Culpepper Cattle Co.
1973 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
1974 The Spikes Gang
Brazilian actress and International Film Star, Sonia Braga has 75 film credits to her name.
And when you see here performance in Streets of Laredo, it’s hard to believe she too has no Westerns among them.
She was Nominated for NCLR Bravo Award 1996 for her performance in Streets of Laredo.
In Streets of Laredo, Ned Beaty is well recognized – even with his Santa Claus beard. Beaty is another actor we are surprised to find has made very few Westerns – in his long career where he has appeared in over 100 films – and has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, an MTV Movie Award and a Golden Globe Award; he won a Drama Desk Award also.
But he’s done a couple.
1996 Crazy Horse
1994 Outlaws: The Legend of O.B. Taggart
1975 Gunsmoke (TV)
1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean with Paul Newman
You might have to shake your head for a second when you see George Carlin in Streets of Laredo. The second surprise is that he does a hell of job. Completely believable and in command of his part. Makes you wish he’d done more.
Vanessa Martinez is that 3rd female role I was talking about – playing Sonia Braga’s blind daughter. She is superb – and we wonder why we haven’t seen more of her either ??
An unlikely badguy we may think – almost baby faced. But Cruz is ominous and lethal as the psychopathic killer tracked by Garner. Yet another actor we’ve seen little of since Laredo.
Though still active in TV and Film, Cruz seems to have fallen from view.
Alexis Cruz Westerns:
1997 The Brave (A Western?) I note this here because it Stars Marlon Brando and Johnny Depp.
An impressive cast. In an excellent production.