Alan J. Pakula’s Revisionist Western: Comes a Horseman (1978)

April 5, 2017 | By

The intended posting and blog today were originally going to be designed around Richard Farnsworth, the veteran stunt performer whose Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Comes a Horseman (1978) inarguably boosted his profile as a character actor, and made him perfect for The Grey Fox (1982).

Farnsworth was a fine actor with a great, likeable screen persona and a face, voice, and nuances the camera loved. He was an unlikely star who often played smaller roles after these two films, but returned for the lead in David Lynch’s The Straight Story (1999) before cancer claimed his health, and he claimed his own life by gunshot in 2000.

Horseman, new on Blu from Twilight Time, makes for a great intro to that rare breed of character actors that used to populate studio productions in the 1950s and 1960s – the men and women who drifted between film and TV, playing ‘no minor roles’ and endearing themselves to multiple generations of film fans.

Sadly, The Grey Fox, as is typical of Canadian films, is not available domestically. There’s a German Region 2 DVD of reportedly adequate quality, but nothing on this side of the pond, but come April 19th, National Canadian Film Day, I’ll have a film review and some interesting related material to argue the long-running need / urgency to get this CanCon classic commercially available on home video in its home and native land.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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