Coming on May 18th from Warner Brothers is a three film collection entitled “The Louis L’Amour Western Collection.” The set features Catlow (1971), The Sacketts (1979), and Conagher (1991). Catlow is the only one of the three which is a theatrical release, with the other two being made for TV films.
[See the separate review of Catlow (1971).]
None of these films is truly great, and perhaps by some measure, not even good. Personally, I’ve most always had an issue with TV movies released on DVD. Usually, (as here) they are lumped in with a theatrical release and never clearly identified as made-for-TV fare.
Technically there is nothing special here but nothing to offend either. Everyone is adequate and up to the job at hand but there are no real standout performances.
Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott (a favorite) are always pretty good cowboys, and Elliott is second to none in this area for the gravely voice alone. (Perhaps his best cowboy is in The Big Lebowski which isn’t even a western.)
Catlow tells of an outlaw (Yul Brynner) who wants to pull off a heist but learns that just about everyone else in the film is after him, including the Mexican Army. The Sacketts has both Sam Elliott and Tom Selleck as brothers off to make their fortune in gold and cattle, though not necessarily in that order. This was originally a two part miniseries on television and is actually a mash-up of two separate L’Amour works and feels as such. Conagher relays the story of an embattled coupled faced with ruthless rustlers. All pretty run of the mill plots.
All three have been released individually in the past and if you don’t already have them (and want them) this is the best chance to get them all at a reasonable price. There are no added features so all you get is the three films.
Not overly recommended except for Louis L’Amour or Sam Elliott fans. Sam Elliott almost single-handed pushes this into a recommended purchase though.