Fact-based biography of lawman, gunslinger, producer and director Bill Tilghman.Fact-based biography of lawman, gunslinger, producer and director Bill Tilghman.Fact-based biography of lawman, gunslinger, producer and director Bill Tilghman.
Fact-based biography of early film producer and director Bill Tilghman (Sam Elliott). Tilghman was a real-life cowboy, who rode with the Earps and faced down countless bad guys. When he turned to films, he was determined to make authentic Westerns, rather than the fake carrying on of Tom Mix and other Western movie stars of the day. The only problem was that no one wanted to see his non-stars in any story. Arliss Howard co-stars as a cocaine-addled law enforcement nemesis of Tighman, who attempts to stop him at every turn. —John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Cowboy Struggling to Adapt to a New Era
This film essentially documents the real-life story of a famous American lawman by the name of "Bill Tilghman" (Sam Elliott) who rode with legends such as Wyatt Earp and faced down notorious outlaws in the process. Having retired from law enforcement his fame subsequently attracted the attention of Hollywood where he has starred in numerous silent films which further increased his popularity. And it's at this time that a prominent citizen from Cromwell, Oklahoma approaches him and offers him a position as sheriff in order to bring some law-and-order to the town. At first he declines but after further consideration he accepts even though his wife "Zoe" (Carolyn McCormick) tries to advise him against it. It's only later that he realizes that due to the Volstead Act--and the implementation of prohibition--that crime has become much more organized that it was in the 19th century and all of his skills and experience will be put to the test from that point on. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an interesting "transitional" film in that it managed to capture the impact of the changes brought on by the dawning of the Industrial Age quite well. To that extent, Sam Elliott put in a solid performance as a cowboy who finds himself becoming more and more obsolescent as time passes by. Be that as it may, while certainly not one of Sam Elliott's best films ever made, I found it to be enjoyable enough and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.
- Jun 10, 2020
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