Sunday, April 25, 2010
Tonight, was my first screening of "TOM HORN", a 1970 film directed by William Wiard. Based on the true story of the legendary hero & assassin, Tom Horn, who was hung in 1903. The film stars icon Steve McQueen, who also executive produced it, and spent 4 years researching Horn's life. It was not one of McQueen's best efforts as an actor, but still the film was pretty interesting although not spectacular. I found the most satisfying moments of the film to be when Slim Pickens and Richard Farnsworth were on the screen. The film follows the latter days of Tom Horn's life. Once, considered a hero, as the man who captured Geronimo, and rode with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, he is now reduced to an assassin, ridding the area of it's cattle thieves in any manner he sees fit. Linda Evans (of Dynasty fame) plays the schoolteacher who becomes Horn's lover, but McQueen & Evans give off few sparks. After Horn's usefulness is used up, he is set up for the murder of a 14 year old boy. A crime that he is wrongfully sentenced to death for. It was extremely interesting to hear about the Jullian Gallows used in Horn's hanging.This was something worth looking into in more depth. I especially enjoyed seeing J.P.S Brown, in the role of the Padre near the end of the film. The Padre's name in the film was J.P Brown,interesting. Mr. Brown is currently doing a Q & A with "Signs & Wonders", that will be posted in the near future. The film conveys the essence of the lawlessness of the Wild Wild West of the 1900's, where a man's gun was his only truth. Tom Horn was the type of man who would thrive in the world we live in today, as southern Ariz. & Mexico continue to be riddled with violent crime. After watching the film, I immediately began to do some research on Tom Horn's life. There is a website dedicated to him and on it, they offer inconclusive proof that Horn was not the killer of the boy and that they suspect their were actually two gunmen that shot him. I don't think Tom's time was alot different from now, in some ways. The law used him as a ways to justify their means and when they were done with him, they cast him aside. Sounds familiar.
Posted by Rod Norman at 7:51 PM