[The best part about writing for no pay other than enjoyment? Being able to blow off deadlines you set for yourself guilt-free to spend time with your mom. Enjoy this one, albeit late.]
Every so often, Hollywood churns out another western. A popular genre in the “old days”, westerns have seemingly been replaced by big-budget sci-fi films. As a young child, I was exposed to many classics by my mother, a die hard John Wayne fan. I could take them or leave them, entirely ambivalent. Then there was Blazing Saddles, a western parody by the great Mel Brooks. A funny movie, indeed, but at the time I was definitely too young to get many of the jokes. But this week in 1985, a western was released that I finally sat up and paid attention to. With a stellar cast, and a halfways decent plot, I suddenly found myself interested in the wild west. May I present… Silverado.
Check out the original film trailer by Clicking Here.
Silverado had it all: wagon trains and settlers, ranchers and outlaws, crooked lawmen and gamblers, sweeping landscapes and a saloon. The soundtrack was nominated for Best Original Score at the Academy Awards. The cast was comprised of Hollywood veterans and a few up-and-comers: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy, Rosanna Arquette, John Cleese, Jeff Goldblum, Linda Hunt, Jeff Fahey, Joe Seneca and Lynn Whitfield.
For prepubescent me, Silverado was all about Kevin Costner. Though he was already 30 at the time, his boyish charm spoke otherwise. From his wiseguy attitude and double pistols to his unending dedication to his family and his Pinto, Costner stole every scene for me. The year before Silverado was released, Lawrence Kasden gave us (one of my all-time favorite movies) The Big Chill, which starred both Kevin Kline and Kevin Costner. Unfortunately, all of Costner’s scenes ended up on the cutting room floor, save for a close-up shot of his dead wrist, as his body was being prepped for his funeral during the opening sequence of the film. Kasden later made it up to Costner by casting him in Silverado, which was clearly his breakthrough film. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Fandango with Costner and Judd Nelson, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s ever heard of it. No, Silverado opened all the doors for Costner, and when you watch the movie it’s easy to see why.
If you haven’t already seen this movie, I think it is well worth your time to give Silverado a try. Even with the occasional western that gets made each year, most are either remakes or ripoffs. Silverado, though rough around the edges, was refreshing in its originality. “Here’s to the good stuff…may it last a long time…”
Stay tuned for a double dose of Throwback Thursday next week, when we revisit The Explorers and The Legend of Billie Jean.