9.1/10
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2 user 3 critic

The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017)

A coming-of-age Western for a 65 year old man.

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In theaters December 15.

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Lefty Brown
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Edward Johnson
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Oak (as Joseph Anderson)
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Biscuit
Dillinger Steele ...
Doc
Brian Henningsen ...
Sampson
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Red Blake
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Townsperson / Country Girl
...
Frank
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Laura Johnson
Josiah Burdick ...
Cowboy / Townsperson
...
Jimmy Bierce
...
Virgil
...
Tom Harrah
Tyson Gerhardt ...
Irish William
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Storyline

A coming-of-age Western for a 65 year old man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language
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Details

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Release Date:

15 December 2017 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Written by Maiah Wynne
Performed by Maiah Wynne & Troy William Dunn
Courtesy of Maiah Wynne
By arrangement with Maiah Wynne & Sorcery Sound
Played during the credits
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User Reviews

 
The Ballad of Lefty Brown gives us Bill Pullman in the tale of a 63-year-old cowboy seeking justice for his assassinated boss.
20 April 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Bill Pullman has been acting for 30 years and co-owns a cattle ranch in Montana with his brother near Whitehall, Montana. The opportunity to star as Lefty Brown, the lead in the western "The Ballad of Lefty Brown," set in Montana , was a rare confluence of star and role intersecting. Lefty Brown is a cowhand who sets out to avenge his good friend's death just before Peter Fonda (in that role) is to set out to become a Senator in Washington, D.C.

Pullman called Jared Moshe's second directorial effort "a perfect storm" of coincidence and told interviewers that he lived (part-time) only twenty minutes away from the countryside where filming took place. The wide-screen vistas of Montana country are beautiful, indeed, especially when captured on Kodak film. The use of film was much remarked upon by the participants in the film, and the great cinematography by David McFarland reminds of old westerns. Director Moshe said, after the showing of the film, "You need real film in westerns to get the feel, the grain." The sound was also wonderful.

Lefty Brown is a throwback to the days of sidekicks like Gabby Hayes or Walter Brennan in classic westerns from Howard Hawks and John Ford. Lefty is a 63-year-old illiterate ranch hand who has ridden beside Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) for 40 years. As one line spoken by Lefty put it: "I'm the man who never got anything right in over 60 odd years."

But now Eddie Johnson (Peter Fonda) and his wife Laura (Kathy Baker) are on their way to Washington, where Eddie is to be the new Senator from the state of Montana. Eddie (Fonda) has confidence in Lefty's ability to keep the home spread running.

Mrs. Johnson, Laura, has her doubts about whether Lefty is up to the task. She shares those doubts with her husband just before the two men ride off to find out who has rustled three horses from their fields. It is not long after this that Eddie, (just as he is announcing his confidence in him to longtime friend Lefty and bestowing his treasured rifle on the old cowboy), is shot dead by a sniper.

Lefty vows to get revenge for the killing of his boss and friend, but "the bad guy" is going to be the fly in that ointment. Tension does not ratchet up as it should in the third act. Jim Caviezel plays the Governor, who is central to the plot's denouement.

It's too bad the script isn't fast-paced enough at that point to hold the attention of today's audience(s).

I sat next to three publicists at SXSW, all young girls. Ultimately,they got up and left mid-movie. The three seats were then filled by three others in search of entry to the sold- out showing. They also got up and left before the film's finale..

The last occupant of the seat nearest me, noticing my notepad, said, "What did you think?"

My response? "Kind of slow-moving. But pretty."

The movie did not capture the attention of 6 people sitting next to me at the premiere. I hung in there till the end, to hear the actors Q&A afterwards. (One exclaimed, "We're shooting film!" as though he had just discovered gold).

Another said, "I loved it. For me, it was an amazing experience being out in the middle of Montana."

Pullman, himself, said, "I kind of felt they might take it (the role) away from me, but then I realized I didn't want anyone else riding that horse."

James Caviezel, most recently on the television series "Person of Interest," but also memorable in "The Passion of the Christ" and "Frequency," shared with the audience that this is the third film he has made with Bill Pullman, the other two being "The Thin Red Line," where he portrayed Pvt. Witt, and "Wyatt Earp." Caviezel praised Pullman's hard-working skill as an actor, saying, "This man is special. Seamless. No seams in it. He had everything in his portrayal of Lefty— mannerisms and everything. We were shooting the climactic scene in the office late one night and I was running on empty, but Bill was right on the money. I was running on fumes. Afterwards, I went outside and threw up."

I did not go outside and throw up but I was sorry that I didn't like The Ballad of Lefty Brown more, because I like the actors in it and the cinematography and sound were great. It was just slow. To quote a line from the script, "Sorry don't get it done."


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