These Thousand Hills

It is the late 1800s and a young poor cowboy named Lat Evans (Don Murray – Bus Stop, Made in Heaven), who lives in the Oregon Territories, is searching for ways to make his fame and fortune. He soon falls in love with Callie (Lee Remick – The Omen, Days of Wine and Roses), the hostess of a dance hall, and manages to raise the ire of Jehu (Richard Egan – Love Me Tender, Pollyanna), a wealthy and dangerous man. Lat's best friend Tom Ping (Stuart Whitman – The Longest Day, The Sound and the Fury) is caught by Jehu rustling cattle and is lynched very quickly. Lat borrows money from Callie and is able to buy his own ranch. Fitting in with his new 'respectable' life, Lat meets and soon marries a banker's niece named Joyce (Patricia Owens – The Fly, Island in the Sun). Soon he gets caught up in his dream of respect and wealth and begins to lose sight of what is important in life. Callie gets herself into trouble and her only hope is that Lat comes to his senses and realizes how important friendship is.

What could be more fun than watching bronco busting, cattle rustling, fighting, and action, you may ask. Well, according to the makers of this film and Western fans, not much. The beautiful cinematography of the film helps to highlight the amazing potential for scenery in Westerns. The roughness and vastness of the terrain in these films almost become characters in Westerns. They go a long way to explaining the make up of many of the characters. Though Richard Fleischer (The Jazz Singer, Tora!Tora!Tora!) has made an above average Western there is the issue of the unsatisfying ending. There are too many unanswered questions at the end of the film. It is alright to have to come up with some answers on your own, but this film doesn't answer any of the questions. The vagueness almost made me feel like Fleischer did not know how to end it. It is the one frustrating part of the film, which features good acting performances by Lee Remick and Richard Egan.

Special Features:
-Production stills gallery
-Behind the scenes gallery
-Theatrical trailer
-Fox Flix: trailers for The Tall Men, Two Flags West and The Proud Ones

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