Saturday, July 10, 2010

“You Know, Hangin’ Around with You Is No Picnic”

It’s hard to believe, I know, but the Western film Silverado was released on this date way back in 1985. Twenty-five years ago! (How the hell has all that time flown by?)

Directed by Lawrence Kasdan, who also gave us Raiders of the Lost Ark, Body Heat, and later Wyatt Earp, Silverado ranks among the best western films ever made. At least in my humble opinion. It respected the traditions of the genre, while also going confidently beyond them, delivering complex male relationships, one of Kevin Costner’s finest early performances (he plays a thoroughly boyish gunman), and an unexpectedly satisfying friendship between Kevin Kline, as a mostly good man in bad times, and Linda Hunt as a saloonkeeper. Also deserving of kudos are co-stars Danny Glover, Scott Glenn, Brian Dennehy (totally believable as a sheriff for sale, who’s also an old friend of Kline’s character), and John Cleese (as another lawman).

Before I settle in tonight for another showing of Silverado (is it my 10th or 11th? I can’t remember), let me post the trailer for this film. The stirring score was written by Bruce Broughton and was nominated for an Academy Award (but lost out that year to John Barry’s haunting Out of Africa theme). The Old West was never really this much fun, but thanks to Kasdan and his cast, we can imagine it was. Over and over again.

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