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Kevin Costner Great in Hatfield & McCoys

Updated on April 15, 2013

Kevin Costner came to television with an explosive impact on the television audiences. Producer, Costner and the History Channel combined their efforts to bring to eager viewers the mini-series premier of Hatfields & McCoys on May 28, 2012.

Kevin, known for such epics as Dances With Wolves and Waterworld has brought back his glory days with this magnificent display of raw talent and characterization of two families in the 1800's that began with a feud in 1863 that lasted for 28 years. These two families were in fact cousins that had fought together during the civil war and spread their blankets together at family picnics and dances.

Costner brings to life the images we have all read and heard about most of our lives. Hatfields & McCoys have become synonymous with the word, "feud". Their families bordering West Virginia and Kentucky still maintain homes in the hills along the Tug Fork tributary of the Big Sandy River separating the two mountain states.

Along with 17 million others, I was captivated from the onset of this brilliantly acted production. The mini-series is loaded with violence and not suitable for some, but the violence is completely necessary for the series to work.

Fighting is realistic as are stabbings and gun wounds are prominent throughout the series. Wounds are displayed graphically and killings can become quite dramatic with cousin killing cousin and nephew killing uncle.

The characters portray the hill people brilliantly to a point we can not always understand what they are saying with their hillbilly draw being so perfectly imitated. There are so many outstanding performances that include many of the secondary actors doing their caricatures of hill people to a paragon level.

Costner, playing the head of the Hatfield family, Devil Anse Hatfield is Costner at his best with a mature performance of the bearded clan matriarch. Bill Paxton portrays head of the McCoy family, Randall McCoy, a God-fearing family man with hate in his heart for his cousin and one time friend, Anse.

I failed to recognize the evil Uncle Jim Vance so devilishly played by veteran actor, Tom Berenger. That is a tribute to his perfection of the role he played. He is so vicious in this series that you want him stopped, but gives so brilliant a performance that you can not refrain from admiring his work.

The entire cast which includes Mare Winningham and Powers Boothe is to be commended as is the director, Kevin Reynolds. This three night series opened with an all-time record audience and gave a ratings bonanza to the History Channel.


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