DIRECTED BY WILLIAM WIARD
PRODUCED BY STEVE McQUEEN
MUSIC BY ERNEST GOLD
A SOLAR-FRED WEINTRAUB PRODUCTION
PRODUCED BY STEVE McQUEEN
MUSIC BY ERNEST GOLD
A SOLAR-FRED WEINTRAUB PRODUCTION
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
A renowned former army scout is hired by ranchers to hunt down rustlers
but finds himself on trial for the murder of a boy when he carries out his job too well.
Tom Horn finds that the simple skills he knows are of no help
in dealing with the ambitions of ranchers and corrupt officials
as progress marches over him and the old west.
Written by Keith Loh
Steve McQueen ... Tom Horn
Linda Evans ... Glendolene Kimmel
Richard Farnsworth ... John C. Coble
Billy Green Bush ... U.S. Marshal Joe Belle
Slim Pickens ... Sheriff Sam Creedmore
Peter Canon ... Assistant Prosecutor
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Stablehand (as Elisha Cook)
Roy Jenson ... Lee Mendenhour
James Kline ... Arlo Chance
Geoffrey Lewis ... Walter Stoll
Harry Northup ... Thomas Burke
Steve Oliver ... 'Gentleman' Jim Corbett
Bill Thurman ... Ora Haley
Bert Williams ... Judge
Bobby Bass ... Corbett's Bodyguard
Mickey Jones ... Brown's Hole Rustler
B.J. Ward ... Cattle Baron
Richard Brewer ... Corbett's Bodyguard
Mel Novak ... Corbett's Bodyguard
Tom Tarpey ... Corbett's Bodyguard
Bob West ... Corbett's Bodyguard
Richard Kennedy ... John Cleveland
Larry Strawbridge ... Ian MacGregor
Pat E. Johnson ... Ora Haley's Bodyguard (as Pat Johnson)
Jim 'Two Dogs' Burgdorf ... Dart
Jerry Wills ... Rash
Walter Wyatt ... Isam
Bob Orrison ... Matt
Fargo Graham ... Auctioneer
Leo Hohler ... Auction Deputy
Erik Owens ... Boy at Auction
Tom Ferguson ... Brown's Hole Rustler
Jos Massangale ... Brown's Hole Rustler
Dave Moordigian ... Brown's Hole Rustler
Michael E. Perry ... Brown's Hole Rustler
Jim Burk ... Slaughter House Man (as Jimmy H. Burk)
Bill Hart ... Slaughter House Man
Dan Corry ... Windmill Man
and many, many more...
Thomas McGuane ... (screenplay)
Bud Shrake ... (screenplay)
Steve McQueen ... executive producer
Michael Rachmil ... associate producer
Fred Weintraub ... producer
Sandra Weintraub ... associate producer
John A. Alonzo ... director of photography (as John Alonzo)
Five directors worked on this film, but were either fired
or left because of disagreements with Steve McQueen.
It is widely believed that McQueen directed much of the movie himself.
Filmed at the beginning of 1979, Steve McQueen was already very ill with cancer.
He had difficulty breathing, and began coughing up blood towards the end of filming,
but assumed he had pneumonia.
The film was a critical and commercial failure on release.
Steve McQueen's weight loss was said to be due to a crash diet.
Steve McQueen gave up smoking cigarettes after developing a persistent cough at the end of 1978,
just before filming began.
According to an article about Steve McQueen's western films in Cowboys & Indians Magazine
(to celebrate the DVD release of Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958),
McQueen thoroughly researched the life of Tom Horn by spending time
with famed western novelist Louis L'Amour, who had many of Horn's letters in his private collection.
Due to an unfavorable critical response the film only had a limited release
and was soon withdrawn from theaters.
At the premiere Steve McQueen denied newspaper reports that he had lung cancer.
Steve McQueen had struggled to find film work after the failure of An Enemy of the People (1978).
In February 1980 Steve McQueen's cancer was found to have spread. On 11 March 1980, just 17 days before this film premiered, the "National Enquirer" reported that his condition was terminal.
The film was heavily re-edited ahead of its March 1980 release, but still flopped.
When Gary Combs tested the replica gallows trapdoor system, the "Peter Pan" safety cable broke,
causing him to suffer a rope burn on his neck when the breakaway knot released, saving his life.
The type of gallows used to hang Horn from are called "Julian Gallows".
This device uses water to initiate the action.
Not as efficient as the more conventional method,
reportedly the first use of the contraption (not for Horn)
required a wait of 30 minutes before the trap dropped.
When the film was released some critics suggested that Steve McQueen
had lost his charismatic screen presence after being away for too long.
He had retired from acting after The Towering Inferno (1974),
returning three years later to make An Enemy of the People (1978) which was never properly released.
William Goldman wrote an early version of the screenplay,
with Don Siegel attached as director.
Siegel dropped out after disagreements with Steve McQueen
(whom Goldman found to be extremely eccentric), and Goldman's script,
which McQueen rejected, was later the basis for Mr. Horn (1979).
This was rushed into production to compete with this film,
making it onto the airways several months ahead of the film's much-delayed release.
United Artists were planning a film about Tom Horn at the same time, to star Robert Redford.
The project was canceled due to this film, but then revived for television as Mr. Horn (1979).
According to director Arthur Penn, the real-life Tom Horn was the inspiration
for the villainous Marlon Brando character in his film The Missouri Breaks (1976).
In interviews, Penn described his screenwriter, Thomas McGuane,
as an expert on the life of Tom Horn, which may be why McGuane is
also one of the screenwriters on this rather different version of Horn's adventures.
After Don Siegel quit as director, he was replaced with Elliot Silverstein
and then James William Guercio, who was fired after three days by Steve McQueen,
who then wanted to direct himself but DGA rules forbidding actors
from taking over direction once filming had begun scotched these plans
and instead TV movie director William Wiard was brought in to finish the film.
Tom Horn's rifle (a Winchester 1894 in .30-30) was also used to put down
the famous bronco Steamboat (the basis for the 'bucking horse and rider'
on Wyoming license plates) after he was injured at a rodeo in Salt Lake City in 1914.
The rifle Horn uses to such deadly effect in the film
is an original Winchester Model 1876 in .45-60 caliber,
fitted with a custom tang sight. Manufactured from 1877-1894, the Model '76
was an obsolete arm by the turn of the century, when the events of the story take place.
All the available historical sources state that Horn
actually used a .30-30 Winchester Model 1894 for his controversial activities
as a "stock detective" in Wyoming. Horn gave this rifle to rancher C.B. Irwin
not long before Horn's execution on November 20, 1903.
It resides today in the collection of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
Post-production was fraught - the producers attempting both a linear version
of the film and then another telling the story in flashback,
before settling on the former approach.
The film was still being reedited ahead of its March 1980 release date,
but to no avail - it received poor reviews and was another box office failure.
Steve McQueen initially wanted to adapt Harold Pinter's play Old Times
but First Artists insisted that he instead film this,
a script they had owned for some time, as the final film
in the star's three picture deal he had signed with them under Warner Bros.
This was the first and only Steve McQueen vehicle to receive an R rating.
In 1947, it was announced that John Wayne would be starring in " The Saga of Tom Horn"
but it was never made.
Average Shot Length = ~6.5 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~6.4 seconds.
This was William Wiard's only feature film directing credit.
An alternate ending was shot where the townspeople filed out
of the building where Horn was executed.
The sole person left in the room was one of the "kid deputies" standing guard at the door.
At he beginning of the horse-breaking scene the horse's hair is a mess and covered in mud.
Once the horse is lassoed, the horse is suddenly clean and brushed.
At the conclusion of the scene, as it runs away, the horse is muddy again.
In the opening sequence, the wording says, "In 1901 he drifted into Wyoming 'Territory'".
Wyoming had been a state since 1890.
The rifle Steve McQueen uses in the film is a Winchester Model 1876,
stated to be chambered in .45-60 Winchester, however,
the rifle was actually chambered in .45-75 Winchester.
The real life Tom Horn carried a Winchester Model 1894 chambered in .30-30 Winchester.
Sonoita, Arizona, USA
Patagonia, Arizona, USA
Old Tucson - 201 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Portal, Arizona, USA
Empire Ranch, Sonoita, Arizona, USA
San Rafael Ranch State Park, Patagonia, Arizona, USA
San Raphael Valley, Arizona, USA
Coronado National Forest, Arizona, USA
Mescal, Arizona, USA
Nogales, Sonora, Mexico
Watch the Movie
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