This tale of the Old West (let’s avoid the term western) works on many fronts. It blends the expected violence with pathos, romance, and even comedy. The film opens with four cow hands (Robert Duvall as Boss; Kevin Costner as Charlie Waite; Abraham Benrubi as Mose, the gentle, boy-like cook; and Diego Luna, as Buttons, a 16 year old Spanish kid that has been taken in by the older cowboys) pushing a cattle herd. After a hard rain, Boss determines that Mose needs to go back to a town they passed and get extra supplies. When he fails to return, the two older men go after him. They find he has been beaten by a local rancher’s men and then arrested for starting the fight. Going to the jail, they confront the corrupt town marshall (James Russo) and the rancher (Michael Gambon), who has a stranglehold on the town and a dislike for open range cattlemen. Mose is released and taken to a doctor (Dean McDermott), where the men also meet the doc’s sister (Annette Bening), whom they initially mistake for his wife. Romance blooms! The men head back to the range, but are confronted by hooded riders and disaster that sends them on a path of revenge. Charlie’s history as a former gunfighter slowly surfaces as he plans out the impending shootout. —IMDb
Costner made his film debut at age 19, in the 1974 film, Sizzle Beach, U.S.A., although the film was not released until 1986.
Costner made a very brief cameo in the 1982 Ron Howard film Night Shift, he is listed in the credits as ‘Frat Boy #2’ and appears at the climax of a frat-style, blow-out party in the New York City morgue, when the music is suddenly stopped by a frantic Henry Winkler, Costner can be seen holding a beer and looking surprised at the sudden halt of celebration.
He appeared in a commercial for the Apple Lisa and Table for Five in 1983, and, the same year, had a small role in the nuclear holocaust film Testament. Later, he was cast in The Big Chill and filmed several scenes that were planned as flashbacks, but they never made it to the final cut. His role was that of Alex, the friend who committed suicide, the event that brings the rest of the cast together. All that is seen of him are his slashed wrists as the mortician dresses his corpse in the movie’s… read more
A gorgeously shot film. This stands as the best film that Costner has directed, IMO, and one of the finest westerns made in the last two-three decades. Superb direction and cinematography, with one of the best staged shootouts you'll see. Costner wisely steps back and allows Robert Duvall to shine as the true lead. Duvall is fantastic.
Wide open film making from Costner, gorgeous world, true characters, tremendous use of sound and pacing. Whatever you may think of Costner he gets the West...