Return to Lonesome Dove
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2011)|
|Return to Lonesome Dove|
|Written by||John Wilder|
|Directed by||Mike Robe|
|Country of origin||US|
|Cinematography||Kees Van Oostrum|
|Running time||340 min.|
|Distributor||Artisan Home Entertainment|
|Preceded by||Lonesome Dove (TV miniseries)|
|Followed by||Lonesome Dove: The Series|
Return to Lonesome Dove (1993), written by John Wilder, is a TV miniseries involving characters created in Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel Lonesome Dove. The story focuses on a retired Texas Ranger and his adventures driving mustangs from Texas to Montana. It is a sequel to the 1989 miniseries Lonesome Dove, but was not written by McMurtry, who instead wrote and published his own sequel novel Streets of Laredo in the same time frame.
McMurtry followed Streets of Laredo with two prequels, which with Laredo were also subsequently made into TV miniseries. Many fans of the Lonesome Dove series of novels do not consider Return to Lonesome Dove or the two derivative TV series to be canonical because of their divergence from McMurtry's storyline, and the apparent motivation of its production by the success of the original miniseries.
Captain Woodrow F. Call (Jon Voight), having just buried his friend Augustus McCrae near Lonesome Dove in Texas, plans to return to his ranch in Montana. In order to make the trip profitable he decides to take a herd of wild Mustangs and drive them north with the help of Gideon Walker (William Petersen) and Isom Pickett (Louis Gossett Jr.).
Call sends word to Newt Dobbs (Rick Schroder) that he intends to meet him at the home of Clara Allen (Barbara Hershey) but Newt becomes involved in a bar fight that concludes with the death of two local men. Newt is to be hanged for the incident before he is rescued by a neighbor, Gregor Dunnigan (Oliver Reed). Newt is paroled into his custody and develops a close relationship with Gregor's young wife, Ferris Dunnigan (Reese Witherspoon).
Call captures an outlaw named Cherokee Jack Jackson (Dennis Haysbert) and barely escapes with his life after Jack's gang rescues him. After his return to Montana, Call is upset to find Newt working for Dunnigan but Newt is determined to repay his debt to Call's neighbor. Newt becomes disillusioned with Dunnigan because of his campaign to drive the other ranchers of the region out of business, but is reluctant to part ways because of the debt he feels he owes him. Added to this is the pressure being placed on Newt by both Dunnigan and his wife, who both intend for Newt to, upon Dunnigan's death, marry Ferris and take over the running of their ranch.
In the meantime, Gideon Walker brings the herd of mustangs north with the assistance of Mexican cowboys / vaqueros, who are led by a woman known as Augostina Vega (Nia Peeples) who harbors strong resentment against Call for some unknown reason. They are assisted in this by Isom Pickett's brother, Isaac. While on the trail, however, Isaac is killed by the outlaw Cherokee Jack, and Isom has to take his place in leading the herd.
Along the way they are joined by Clara Allen, July Johnson (Chris Cooper) Clara's two daughters, her ranch-hand Cholo, and Call's Indian Wife 'Many Tears'. Clara agrees to allow her herd to go north with Call's, on the condition that she and her family go with them, since her ranch had been destroyed in a wildfire.
Upon reaching Montana, Call and Agostina have a confrontation, in which she reveals the reason for her animosity towards him: he had accidentally shot her mother. She threatens to kill him in revenge. He convinces her that her mother's death was an accident, and that her father (Gus) had not raped her mother. Her mother's brother, a bandit, had been raiding on both sides of the border. Call had tracked him, and Agostina's mother had jumped in front of a bullet meant for the bandit. He reasons with her by pointing out that her name, Augstina, was given to her mother. To honor her father's memory, he then makes her a partner in his ranch.
While this is happening, Dunnigan is secretly hiring Cherokee Jack to stir up trouble between a group of ranchers he controls, known as The Alliance, and unaffiliated groups including free-rangers and homesteaders. He does this in order to solidify The Alliance's hold on the territory, so they will have complete control over the cattle/beef market in years to come.
As part of their deal, Cherokee Jack attacks a small herd of cattle in plain view of Dunnigan, while Newt is riding with him. Dunnigan uses this attack to stir up fear, and to encourage even more men to try and join him. He then has Jack attack Clara, her daughters, and Gideon while they are on their way into town.
Gideon dies in the ambush, and Clara is severely wounded. However July Johnson manages to escape and return to warn Call of the attack. Call returns to canyon where the attack had taken place, finds Gideon's body, and also finds a blood trail leading away in another direction. He, Pea, and Isom follow the trail and find Cherokee Jack attempting to flee into nearby hills. Isom chases Jack down, and before Call executes him, Jack tells him about the arrangements he had made with Dunnigan.
Dunnigan's alliance begins hunting down smaller outfits, using cattle his men had planted in the other men's herds as an excuse to kill men for cattle rustling. Call rounds up all the men he can, and attempts to stall Dunnigan long enough for reinforcements to arrive from other unaffiliated groups. He confronts Dunnigan about his relationship with Cherokee Jack, which Dunnigan denies. Newt, hearing the evidence, knows that Dunnigan is lying, and goes to join Call. Dunnigan attempts to shoot Call, whereupon Newt shoots Dunnigan.
Call and Clara bury Gideon, whereupon Clara decides she wishes to leave Montana. Newt goes to speak with Ferris about the fact that Dunnigan is now dead. He tells her that he doesn't feel that their arrangement of him marrying Ferris upon Dunnigan's death should still be valid. She tells him that she feels it is, but he cannot accept. He goes to say his goodbyes to Call, and Call finally proudly identifies himself as Newt's father.
Characters in Return To Lonesome Dove
- Captain Woodrow F. Call (Jon Voight) - Call works long and hard and sees no reason why others should not do the same. A former Texas Ranger who won a merit award from the Governor of Texas for "courage under fire", he served with Gus McCrae when both were young men. Though Call has utter disdain for lazy men who drink, gamble, and whore their lives away, he has his own secret shame which he hides carefully from his comrades. Call's ability to "break" unmanageable horses is also well-known.
- Newt Dobbs (Ricky Schroder) - A young orphan raised by Gus and Call. His mother was a prostitute named Maggie Tilton, who died when he was a child. He knows that Call is his father despite Call not formally admitting it.
- Pea Eye Parker (Tim Scott) - The wrangler and blacksmith of the Hat Creek Cattle Company, Pea Eye served as a corporal in the Rangers under Gus and Call. Pea Eye (his real name long forgotten) is not especially bright, but he is reliable, brave, and kind. He follows Call's lead without question.
- Gideon Walker (William Petersen) - Former Ranger who agrees to help Call herd his Mustangs.
- Isom Pickett (Louis Gossett, Jr.) - African-American cowboy who agrees to help Call herd his Mustangs.
- Agostina Vega (Nia Peeples)- A Latina wrangler on the Mustang drive to Montana. In the film, she is revealed to be the daughter of Augustus McCrae.
- Gregor Dunnigan (Oliver Reed)- A wealthy Montana rancher on a spread near the Hat Creek Cattle Company.
- Ferris Dunnigan (Reese Witherspoon) - The young wife of Gregor who befriends Newt.
- Clara Allen (Barbara Hershey)- Former love of Gus McCrae and owner of a ranch in Nebraska. Clara blames Call for her failed relationship with Gus. She and her family relocate to Montana after her ranch burns down.
- July Johnson (Chris Cooper)- A former sheriff of the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. July has become a hand on the property of Clara.
- Cherokee Jack Jackson (Dennis Haysbert)- An African-American outlaw raised by the Cherokee.