'Louis L'Amour's The Sacketts Complete MiniSeries'
(Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (1979) 2006 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Two part TV adaptation of Louis L'Amour's third novel in the Sackett series. The story follows the three Sackett brothers out west from their Tennessee home. Along the way the oldest, Tell, prospects for gold, while the two younger Orin and Tye herd cattle and later help bring order to a racially divided Santa Fe.
DVD Verdict: This is a three hour, two disk barn burner. The late Louis L'Amour (Lamoore) wrote half a library full of Westerns and a few contemporary novels. He churned them out like there was no tomorrow, but he knew of what he wrote. He had been a cowhand, miner, merchant seaman, circus roustabout and a few other things. I think that he said he'd been a U.S. Marine, too, bless his heart. He did the narration on this film. L'Amour did a bunch of books on the Sackett family of Tennessee, and this is a sort of compilation of some of them. Tell Sackett is the oldest brother (Sam Elliott), Orrin is the middle one (Tom Selleck), and Tyrell was the youngest (Jeff Osterhage). All played their parts very well. The bad guys included (but were not limited to) Jack Elam, Slim Pickens and L.Q.Jones. Mercedes McCambridge played Ma Sackett. Gilbert Roland played a Spanish (read Mexican) land-owner who the anglos were trying to push off his land in the new territory of New Mexico. I liked the way everyone played their parts, but particularly Sam Elliot, when he was strolling drunkenly down the main street of Pugatorie, singing quietly to himself in his deep bass, "That's the way she goes, first your money and then your clothes..." just before he caught the guy who was trying to roll him, and shaved him with an Arkansas toothpick with a foot-long blade. Shaved his mustache clean off! This film will probably never reveive kudos as similar films like Tombstone, True Grit or Will Penny. But, if your looking to spend some quality time with some good old fashion storytelling. This film will rise to the occaision. Followed in 1982 by The Shadow Riders, which reunited the three stars and even a few members of the supporting cast in a tale of three different brothers, 'The Sacketts' is classic western at its finest. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) and comes with the Special Features of a New Featurette "The Sacketts Go West" with Co-Star Jeff Osterhage and Writer Jim Byrnes and Subtitles in Spanish and French (Movie Only).