AMC’s original 2-part movie Broken Trail with Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church began last night and will have its conclusion tonight. No telling how many reruns there will be in the near future.
I just saw Open Range for the first time last week so the comparison is fresh in my mind. It’s been years since I last saw Lonesome Dove (the Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall one) so those comparisons will be weaker.
I like the tone of the latest one, and think Church is doing a good job of establishing a new facet of his career. I remember him in Billy Bob Thornton’s The Badge as an ineffectual gay barkeep, in Sideways as a convincing con man, and as one of the Clantons in Tombstone as a blowhard coward. This role in BT is a fresh take and he’s doing it well.
One thing that’s bugging me is Duvall’s character. Don’t get me wrong: I think Duvall is one of the best actors working today and I have him in the same league as Brando, DeNiro, Hackman, Eastwood amd several other top-drawer older actors. And the character he seems to be reprising in this trilogy is one I really enjoy.
The thing that’s bugging me is that I can’t decide whose characterization(s) he’s borrowing from. I know he’s done a lot to set this charctaer apart from others, and has done well in that effort. But who is he influenced by? Ward Bond? John McIntire? Strother Martin? It’s almost as if Duvall plays Duvall in everything he does, and that’s okay because he picks Duvall roles.
But of all the iconic Western characters over the years (TV and movies) who do you think Duvall most resembles?
Other Broken Trail comments and issues are welcome here.