Sam Elliott comments on “The Power of the Dog”

Hunt&FishCO

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My wife and I watched this the other night; there’s a lot of touchy subjects that I don’t want this thread to digress into.

My wife sent me this article today because I had some sharp commentary afterwards. I was really hung up on the Tar and Stag mounts on the wall in the opening scene; the backdrop definitely wasn’t MT topography. There’s other things but that’s where I’ll end my critique.

Article: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/03/sam-elliott-rails-against-the-power-of-the-dog

Paraphrasing “… what the … does this (critically acclaimed director) from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why… does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was?’ So that … rubbed me the wrong way, pal” - Sam Elliott

My respect went up for Sam Elliott - that’s for sure. I probably take the portrayal of the West way too seriously - but glad someone with some weight in Hollywood stuck their neck out.
 

Kiwi

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Probably filmed in New Zealand as its cheaper than the real deal.

I also prefer Montana over central Otago :)
 

Bigjay73

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Probably filmed in New Zealand as its cheaper than the real deal.

I also prefer Montana over central Otago :)
It is New Zealand, but I think the director is a kiwi, may also be why that location was chosen
 

OntarioHunter

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I read the plot in Wikipedia. Has absolutely nothing to do with dogs. The plot seems to be all over the place. Revisiting the Brokeback Mountain theme. So unoriginal. Unoriginal doesn't appeal to me. Not into zombie or kidnapped children movies either for the same reason.
 

Nameless Range

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Sam Elliot is a great actor, who has portrayed some fantastic characters in some great roles. I first read Louis Lamour’s, Conagher, when I was eight or nine years old. I knew then if I ever had a son that would be his name. Just a couple months ago we watched Sam Elliot portray that character, and the boy got to see a version of his namesake on the screen.

The movie sounds bad, and I appreciate Elliot’s passion for the genre, but I’m not so sure why the world gets so worked up over the opinions of an actor about a movie.

Hot takes sell I guess.
 

RobertD

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I watched maybe half of it.

The best thing I can say for that movie is that it has Jesse Plemons in it. Plemons should have a role in every Western they make. (And he has been in several lately: this, Hostiles, the Homesman, etc.)

The worst thing I can say is that well, Ontario is kinda right, in that it tries to borrow some from Brokeback Mountain, it just isn't as well told of a story.

As to the main point, I tend to agree. I am not crazy for westerns shot in NZ, Oz, SA or Namibia. That's one thing I liked about the Coen Bros. "Ballad of Buster Scruggs." It was shot all over Colorado, New Mexico and western Nebraska. I will add in conclusion though a truly GREAT western could be filmed on the moon and it wouldn't matter!
 

Beignet

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Spaghetti Westerns, anyone?
No kidding. Some of the greatest western movies ever made were by Italians. In Italy. Is that lost on everyone?

Moreover, how does a dude who was born in Sacramento, raised in Portland, and lives in Malibu decide who is qualified to tell a story taking place in a locale that is none of the above listed?

Is anyone here equally offended by how absurd the plot lines are in Yellowstone? Guess that’s what happens when a dude from Texas/LA makes a program about a place he doesn’t know.
 
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Bigjay73

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The movie sounds bad, and I appreciate Elliot’s passion for the genre, but I’m not so sure why the world gets so worked up over the opinions of an actor about a movie.
I will never understand this either. If I don't have Sunday dinner with them, they aren't that important.
 

TexAg09

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I watched maybe half of it.

The best thing I can say for that movie is that it has Jesse Plemons in it. Plemons should have a role in every Western they make. (And he has been in several lately: this, Hostiles, the Homesman, etc.)

The worst thing I can say is that well, Ontario is kinda right, in that it tries to borrow some from Brokeback Mountain, it just isn't as well told of a story.

As to the main point, I tend to agree. I am not crazy for westerns shot in NZ, Oz, SA or Namibia. That's one thing I liked about the Coen Bros. "Ballad of Buster Scruggs." It was shot all over Colorado, New Mexico and western Nebraska. I will add in conclusion though a truly GREAT western could be filmed on the moon and it wouldn't matter!
I grew up next door to Jesse. Great guy from a great family. His dad ropes, and I always got to take care of their horses when they were out of town. There's a reason why he seems natural on a horse.
 

longbow51

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I think Elliot had a relative at the Alamo, and for sure his direct ancestor was a surgeon at the Battle of San Jacinto. Much like his character in 1883, they arrived in Texas from the East on horseback, so there's cowboy in the blood at least.

Additionally, he had just spent 5 months hanging out with real multi-generational cowboy families shooting 1883, so he may have been a bit sensitive.

And Benedict Cumberpatch as a cowboy? Wow.
 
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OntarioHunter

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Ever met and talked with Elliot after he spent all day working on his ranch? The notion that he's just an actor and has no ranching history is laughable.
Elliot was born in Sacramento and raised in Portland. He and his wife Katherine Ross live in their 3,700 sq ft Malibu Beach home on 3 acres of property. He does own a 200 acre farm in Harrisburg, OR purchased in the mid nineties. By his own admission, he and his wife only live there about a month a year. Elliot is a good cowboy character actor but to say he has any significant ranching history is laughable.
 
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