Grade A

 

Three brothers (played by Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, and Henry Thomas) fall in love with the same woman (Julia Ormond), and their passions for her will threaten to destroy their brotherly bonds as World War I erupts in Europe.

The patriarch of the family (Anthony Hopkins), a righteous man who has had his fill of combat in his younger years, takes his three sons to Montana to live a peaceful and quiet life away from the madness.   The years are good to Hopkins and his sons, prosperous and peaceful…until Thomas returns from college with his fiancée, Ormond.   Another twist adds to the family’s troubles: Thomas, Quinn, and Pitt all volunteer to join the Canadian Army to fight in the first World War, each for their own reasons — Pitt’s reason being more poignant.

One tragic event follows another, until familial bonds are shredded almost beyond repair.  But life goes on, people persevere, and wounds sometimes heal.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Legends Of The Fall” is the scene when Pitt comes back to the soldiers’ camp after a night of raiding enemy foxholes.  On a horse, slowly riding forward and slightly slumped, Pitt is a hellish figure, face and body covered in blood, and scalps of his enemies hanging from his body.

“Legends Of The Fall” is an epic romantic / action / drama with an extremely talented cast of actors (Pitt and Ormond and Quinn and Hopkins are superb), and blessed with an expert director (Edward Zwick) and brilliant composer (James Horner).  Some will view this movie as overly melodramatic, and I can see their point; but I happen to like this movie a lot.

Yes, Maximus, I was extremely entertained.

— M