Tom Selleck Saddles Up for the LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER
There’s a reason why we can’t get enough stories about a largely untamed American frontier. They are inherently nostalgic and it’s easy to root for the lone gunman who struggles to survive against seemingly unsurmountable odds. getTV has a terrific slate of westerns scheduled throughout January that summon up battles between good and evil. Dick Lowry’s Last Stand At Saber River is certainly one of them, a 1997 made-for-TV movie that will no doubt quench your thirst for the classic mythic tale.
Last Stand At Saber River tells the story of Paul Cable (Tom Selleck), a Confederate veteran who tries to put his life back together after the Civil War. Selleck’s portrayal of the rugged, but somber Cable is right on point. He delivers a nuanced performance as a loving, dedicated family man forced to battle pioneers who supported the Union in order to reclaim his Arizona homestead. However, the rebels are not Cable’s only adversaries. Regaining the trust of his wife Martha (Suzy Amis) also proves to be a difficult hurdle to overcome.
When Paul Cable returns to his family after the war, he finds them in Texas where they have taken refuge with his father-in-law (played by western legend Harry Carey Jr. in his final film role). Cable finds his wife embittered by the suffering she’s had to endure without him, especially when the family believed he had been killed in the war. When Cable demands that Martha gather their two young children and all of their belongings to move to Arizona, she does so purely out of duty. It takes the many dangers they experience on the frontier to forge a strong family unit again.
Last Stand At Saber River is based on Elmore Leonard’s 1959 novel and won at the 1998 Western Heritage Awards for a television feature film. A very young Haley Joel Osment, who plays the young Davis Cable, also took home the YoungStar Award in 1997 for Best Performance by a Young Actor in a made-for-TV movie. Osment is just one of the players in Last Stand At Saber River who makes a mark in this movie. Brothers Keith and David Carradine, whose entire family has deep roots in western film, are great as former Union soldiers who threaten Cable’s claim on his Saber River ranch. And if you’re a fan of John Ford westerns, seeing Harry Carey Jr. in this movie is a special treat indeed. Last Stand At Saber River follows in the Ford tradition and offers plenty to satisfy both the casual and serious fan of the western.
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