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Comes a Horseman (1978)

Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan J. Pakula
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Caan ... Frank 'Buck' Athearn
Jane Fonda ... Ella Connors
Jason Robards ... Jacob 'J.W.' Ewing
George Grizzard ... Neil Atkinson
Richard Farnsworth ... Dodger
Jim Davis ... Julie Blocker
Mark Harmon ... Billy Joe Meynert
Macon McCalman ... Virgil Hoverton
Basil Hoffman ... George Bascomb
James Kline James Kline ... Ralph Cole
James Keach ... Emil Kroegh
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Cattle Buyer
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Storyline

Ella Connors is a single woman who gets pressured to sell her failing cattle farm to her corrupt ex suitor, Jacob Ewing. She asks for help from her neighbor, Frank Athearn. As Ella and Frank fight back through stampedes, jealousy, betrayal, and sabotage, they eventually find love. Written by cactusjump

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bar fight | showdown | land | 1940s | oil | See All (22) »

Taglines:

A story of love and freedom See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

16 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1979 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine Farm in Montana See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of several offbeat and revisionist westerns made during the 1970s. See more »

Goofs

When Ewing is shot and falls of his horse, his foot slips THROUGH the stirrup. When the horse gallops away, the foot of the stuntman doubling for Jason Robards is TIED to the stirrup by a long strap, that can be safely released. See more »

Quotes

Frank 'Buck' Athearn: You know lady, you got balls the size of grapefruits.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Our thanks to the Forest Service for allowing us to film in the Coconino National Forest See more »

Connections

Referenced in Avengers: Comes a Swordsman (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The west is still wild
29 September 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although at times the pace of Comes A Horseman is maddeningly slow, the players acquit themselves well in this old western type plot from the 19th century updated to 1945 and the end of World War II.

Stars Jane Fonda and Jason Robards, Jr. have history together, were even married at one time. He's the local Ponderosa owner, she's barely getting by on the small spread her dad left her.

Robards is in a cash flow situation though for the life of me he should be prospering during World War II and army beef contracts. The demand will slacken some due to war's end. There's possible oil on the property that oilman George Grizzard would like to exploit. Possible oil on both properties. Also on neighbor James Caan's small spread. He joins forces with Fonda against Robards.

Jane might have gotten a few pointers from her dad who was never a western star as such, but Henry Fonda did a few classic westerns in his time. She comes across as a real western woman. Director Alan J. Pakula did some real good photography in those wide open spaces. That frontier square dance could have come from a John Ford western.

Richard Farnsworth established a career as a player with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. That drawl at times is slow, but he's also unbelievably realistic as a veteran cowboy who has lost a step or two and realizes he can't quite the help to Fonda he'd like to be. That fall from his horse after those explosions is agonizingly real for a man getting on.

Slow paced, but well done, Comes A Horseman is a fine modern western if indeed a western of times of the last century can be classified as modern. You might want to watch this back to back with Giant, another modern western about cattlemen and how they adapt to the coming of oil.


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