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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Continued Saga of Lonesome Dove

Streets of Laredo (1995) on IMDb

Plot Overview

Lincoln's faceHere is a three-part mini-series (on 2 discs) with a story arc resembling a pretzel. We're in the remnants of the old west, set in the plains states, Texas, and Mexico. The Civil War is over and done; the “nigras” have been freed—theor­etic­ally, at least. After 24 years of the Indian Wars, injuns are few and far between. Says one old squaw, “There are only white men in the world now.” Even the prostitutes have sought greener pastures if they are able, leaving behind demand if not supply. Some have gotten married though their husbands require training. Some are success­fully raising children.

One is not entirely, and a “bad apple” has turned into a ruthless killer & train robber. Another hold­over from the bad old days is a torturer & train robber. There aren't enough trains for the both of them, so they are out to kill each other. The rail­road company back east could care less about the distant killing, but to protect their monetary interest, they have hired a famous Texas Ranger turned bounty hunter to stop the kid. The ranger in turn seeks help from his former partner now married to a whore turned school­teacher. They get an Indian guide to track for them in exchange for his being taught by the teacher to read. While they are off hunting the kid, the other creep comes after the teacher who mounts up to go find her husband. The kid's mother mean­while has also taken off to find her boy to warn him, and all their paths cross in unexpected ways.


A debilitated ex-Captain Woodrow Call (James Garner) finds an unlikely friend­ship (“He is my friend”) with a blind Mexican girl-child Teresa “Tessy” Garza (Vanessa Martinez) whose grand­father and two uncles Call had busted for horse thieving—a hanging offense—back in his Texas Ranger days. Who'd a thunk it? They help alleviate each other's dis­abilities. (Prov. 17:17) “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” This minor subplot adds a bit of humanity to the story.

Tessy's mother Señora Maria Garza (Sonia Braga) a reformed puta lost a father and two brothers to the hang­man and three husbands to the Grim Reaper. A fourth husband ran off. Her Anglo husband sold their boy (“He's a guero”) Joey Garza (Alexis Cruz) to the Apaches who soured him on Gringos whom he now wantonly kills. A drunkard Billy Williams (George Carlin) is her stead­fast friend but not a husband. He goes from saloon to saloon running up a tab that never gets paid. He's befriended the dense bartenders. (Prov. 17:18) “A man void of under­standing striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.”

Joey has fled to Crowtown whose reputation discourages visitors. In its bar we observe John Wesley Hardin (Randy Quaid) who's “got a temper.” He'd kill a man as soon as look at him (“You are one rude s.o.b.”) Don't block his light when he's paying cards. (Prov. 17:19) “He loveth trans­gression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.”

(Prov. 17:20) “He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.” Mox Mox (Kevin Conway) has gone the way of the psycho­path spewing venom as “the snake you don't see.” He brutalizes people before killing them.

(Prov. 17:21) “He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.” Joey's mother laments her boy Joey who turned out “bad.” His father just didn't like “brats under­foot.”

smile(Prov. 17:22) “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” School­teacher Lorena (Sissy Spacek) reminisces about how, “Gus laughed at every­thing,” compared to, “My husband wouldn't know a joke if it slapped him in the face.” Señora Garza reminisces, “Tell them how I danced and laughed when I was young and pretty.”

(Prov. 17:23) “A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.” When retaining Captain Call, “Col. Terry sent you this gun; it's a gift,” but that's only to do some name dropping. He will use it as an excuse to, “tell every­one in five counties he's your friend when in fact he may despise you.”

accountant at desk(Prov. 17:24) “Wisdom is before him that hath under­standing; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.” Pea Eye (Sam Shepard) who was Call's experienced partner had his head on straight. Call's fill-in partner from back east, accountant Ned Brookshire (Charles Martin Smith,) kept imagining the worst and finally stepped in it.

(Prov. 17:25) “A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.” Señora Garza lamented to no end the way her son Joey turned out bad. His father just didn't like kids period.

(Prov. 17:26) “Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.” Sheriff Doniphon (David S. Cass Sr.) wanted to hang the Indian scout Famous Shoes (Wes Studi) for no good reason at all, and jail the deputy Pea Eye just for traveling with him.

(Prov. 17:27) “He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” Captain Call spoke little but commanded respect wherever he went.

(Prov. 17:28) “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of under­standing.” Ben Lily the “lion man” was a reclusive hunter in the desert. He did look a little strange, but it was when he opened his mouth one could tell he was loco.

Production Values

” (1995) was directed by Mike Robe. It was based on the novel by Larry McMurtry who co-authored the tele­play with Diana Ossana. It stars James Garner, Sam Shepard, and Sissy Spacek. They gave sterling per­for­mances aided by a great and extensive support cast. It was a follow-up to the Lone­some Dove TV mini­series, although there were in­con­sis­ten­cies following it through from it. Different actors were used, the plot lines didn't mesh perfectly, and the characters seemed to have aged at different rates. Perhaps the book would iron it out some. The liner notes do mention the financial failure of the lead's Montanta ranch in the interim and the death of his son. No matter to me, because I hadn't seen the first one. This one worked well as a stand-alone (in three parts.)

It isn't rated, but I suppose it's suitable for anyone who can handle shoot-'em-ups and adult references. The 4½ hour run time wasn't objectionable, because it was an immersive experience, and there were two hard breaks. Music by David Shire filled in the time. It was closer to the real West I've read about in books than to standard Hollywood fare.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This was an altogether enjoyable western show that any fan of the genre would be happy to see. If you've got the time.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability for children: Not rated. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.