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Robert Duvall, Let Me Point You To Your Next Great Western: Montana 1948
Far be it for me to be a match maker of talent, aw hell let's give it a try.
As far as Western colored culture goes, there are two items that come to mind for me. The actor Robert Duvall (Broken Trail, Secondhand Lions, Lonesome Dove as well as a bajillion other movies, maybe two bajillion) Anyhow Mr. Duvall and his talent for bringing potency to Westerns would be complimented in so many ways by the other item my favorite Western novel, Montana 1948 by Larry Watson.
The combination is exquisite in that the novel is written in an eloquent, inviting but still toothy tone. The antagonists are so well rendered, you love em' and you hate em'. The main character and narrator David Hayden is looking back on his life with mixed emotions as he sees a patina develop on his own innocence. My words just can't compete with those of Watson's though. I speak from first hand experience too, I was lucky enough to attend a few of his writing courses back in school. If you've ever taken one of Mr. Watson's classes, or gotten to know Larry Watson on any level, you know he's a self-effacing person, with a wealth of knowledge about discipline and creativity.
Let's let the novel in on the conversation, from the first paragraph of Montana 1948, "From the summer of my twelfth year I carry a series of images more vivid and lasting than any others of my boyhood and indelible beyond all attempts the years make to erase or fade them... A young Sioux woman lies on a bed in our house. She is feverish, delirious, and coughing so hard I am afraid she will die."
So where on earth does the astronaut from the movie Deep Impact come into play in all this you ask? Well, if you've seen Robert Duvall in any of his movies you've seen some good movies. If you've seen him in any of his Westerns you've seen some great movies. Did I mention he was also in Slingblade? I guess all of this comes from my knowledge that the movie rights to Montana 1948 have already been purchased a long time ago. I picture in my mind, something like the end of Raiders Of The Lost Ark where there's this screenplay adaptation of the novel, sitting in some Hollywood agent's gigantic warehouse full of boxed and crated scripts. Not to imply that Duvall was in the same movie as Harrison Ford, but he should've been!
So anyone in the industry reading this, or anyone who knows someone out there in Hollywoodland who has some pull, would you please forward this article to them? Or better still, are you a friend of the Duvalls? There is a phenomenal Western tale waiting to be brought to the big screen right now in Montana 1948.
In the meantime, don't take my word for it, buy the novel. You might want to stop right here, this isn't exactly a spoiler, more of a tease. But the book goes into the lesser known dark side of small town rural life. I won't say what, but it's pretty sad, the suffering kind of sad. There's more than that of course. There's intrigue and redemption and my favorite part that involves a shotgun and a kitchen, but that's it, I'm not going to say anymore.
I'll be waiting Mr. Duvall. This is a great story I hope this request finds you.
My own signed copy of Larry Watson's Montana 1948
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