: : : The Shadow Riders

Story

When the Western slipped into theatrical oblivion in the late 1970s, many of the best examples of the genre began appearing as made-for-television films. After the success of The Sacketts, from the Louis L'Amour novel, producers quickly reunited stars Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott in another fine adaptation of a L'Amour book, The Shadow Riders. As brothers Mac and Dal Traven, sporting blue and gray uniforms, respectively, they wind their way home at the close of the Civil War to discover a band of confederate rebels have ravaged their town and kidnapped their sisters and brother and Dal's feisty sweetheart (Katharine Ross). With the help of their outlaw uncle (Western stalwart Ben Johnson), whom they must break out of prison, they track the guerrillas to the Gulf Coast and down into Mexico for a final, fatal showdown. Veteran director Andrew McLaglen sets this TV movie on a loping pace and a jovial tone, defined largely by Selleck's easygoing performance and the jocular comic relief of rascally Johnson. Elliott provides the intensity, at times positively ferocious under his heavy brows and burning, sunken eyes. The mood is occasionally too comic, but McLaglen delivers the goods in a series of gritty action sequences, proving that old Western directors don't die, they just drift on over to the small screen. Western icons R.G. Armstrong and Harry Carey Jr. and 1950s leading lady Jane Greer also appear in key roles. --Sean Axmaker

Cast

Tom SelleckMac Traven
Sam ElliottDal Traven
Dominique DunneSissy Traven
Ben JohnsonUncle 'Black Jack' Traven
Geoffrey LewisMajor Cooper Ashbury
Jeff OsterhageJesse Traven
Gene EvansColonel Holiday Hammond
Katharine RossKate Connery
R.G. ArmstrongSheriff Miles Gillette
Marshall R. TeagueLieutenant Butler
Jane GreerMa Traven
Harry Carey Jr.Pa Traven

  • Genre: Western
  • Theme(s): Wild West
  • Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
  • Producer: TriMark
  • Length: 100 mins
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaSep 28, 1982
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJul 16, 2002
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