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The Jack Bull - A Movie

Updated on December 19, 2017

The Jack Bull is a Western Starring John Cusack

Not everyone knows a steadfast idealist such as Myrl Redding in The Jack Bull; a man who will go to extremes, or who will drudge through a situation to the very end. Some people would think, "I can't be worried about that." "Forget it, let it go," some might say. That is not the case in The Jack Bull starring John Cusack.

A person like that would drive me crazy, nonetheless individuals who display steadfast traits can be heroes. TV magazines give us stories about determination. Newspapers, blogs and the Internet are good sources for the "stick to it" stories and the "finish what I begin" resolve.

Hollywood movie plots use this scenario endlessly. I like these kind of stories because they convey the human in us. Sometimes the stories have sad endings because events do not always turn out so well.

Matched Pair by Gunna as in The Jack Bull
Matched Pair by Gunna as in The Jack Bull

Plot of The Jack Bull

I will keep this short. Watch it to get all the good details.

In Jack Bull John Cusack is Myrl Redding a struggling western rancher and family man in the Wyoming territory before it became a state. Everyone in the territory is working hard to make their lives and families comfortable in this almost lawless land.

Myrl Redding wants an underhanded injustice corrected. The wealthy landowner, Henry Ballard, is too proud to admit that his hired hands have mistreated Redding's horses, left as a toll to cross his land. A feud with tragic results holds your interest till the very end of The Jack Bull.

If I remember correctly the end or the beginning of the film says based on a true story. The "true story" takes place in the 16th century and there was no Myrl Redding in Wyoming. The film is based on The Legend of Michael Kohlaas, a novella. This legend was made into a film in 1969 and a newly released 2013 French film.

Amazon Editoral of the DVD

The Jack Bull
The Jack Bull

Use this link to read the Amazon editorial review of the DVD and one of the 5* customer reviews Jack Bull received.


A Movie About a Determined Man

Forrest Gump was a movie of a determined man that was enjoyed in the nineties.

The Jack Bull also is out of the nineties. I caught it one night surfing the channels for something to watch several years after its TV release. It is an HBO release. The new revisionist westerns are a favorite of mine. My first school research paper was on the settling of the American West.

I am just drawn to the subject, but no doubt about it, I will not pass up John Cusack films.

Script Written by Dick Cusack

Back to Our Movie

Have you noticed that Joan is in many of her brother's movies? For The Jack Bull it is John's father that writes the script. The idea was inspired by the novel "Micheal Kohlhass" by Heinrick von Kleist written in 1811. "Micheal Kohlhass" is a different time and country, 16th century Germany, but it is a story about horses, revenge and justice.

Dick Cusack did a very good job of adapting the plot into the American west. The events ring plausible and the characters authentic. Costuming looks natural. Maybe the Ballard character was a bit flashy at first.

At the end of the film I thought it was a real story about a ranger in Wyoming and an actual boy who loses his parents. If you want a journey into the old west this movie is it.

10 Fun Facts About The Jack Bull

  1. Dick Cusack (John's father) is the jury foreman.
  2. Bill Cusack is in the movie somewhere.
  3. John Goodman is the Judge.
  4. John C. McGinley from "Scrubs" is the hired hand.
  5. The plot is based on a 16th century novella. Read about the short story "Michael Kohlhass" on wikipedia.
  6. Drake Bell from "Drake and Josh" is the son, and played the son again in "High Fidelity."
  7. L.Q. Jones is the evil ranger. You will think, "I have seen him before."
  8. Filmed in Calgary, Alberta
  9. Released 1999.
  10. Film credits song is "Ring Them Bells" written by Bob Dylan.

What do you think of John Cusack or the movie The Jack Bull ?

© 2009 Sherry Venegas

Thanks for riding with this one.

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    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 3 years ago from La Verne, CA

      It is an engaging story without special effects or over the top dramatics. Just human interactions. I will have to check out the history of the Jack Russell dog, though. I am not sure they were in Wyoming at that time. The word Jack for the dog is where the title came from.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 3 years ago from Kansas

      I might have to check it out.

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 6 years ago

      I haven't seen this yet but it's been on my John Cusack wishlist for a while! He's made such an interesting array of movies. Just watched Max for the first time this week, possibly one of his very best performances. Thanks for this lens, enjoyed reading it very much. in fact, I think I will make Jack Bull the next movie I get!

    • JoyAgain profile image

      JoyAgain 7 years ago

      My family owns this movie and enjoy watching it every now and again. I admire the grit. Sometimes it takes courage and determination to deal with bullies. Great movie! Nice lens! Thumbs up!

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      Hadn't heard of this movie before. I may see if I can locate a copy. The problem with living in the boonies is no video store. :)

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Hubby loves (is nuts about) western movies and I really love John Cusack. I will have to mention this movie to hubby!

    • Timewarp profile image

      Paul 7 years ago from Montreal

      I visit the set of this movie while they were shooting in country near Calgary. Just realized I still havent seen the movie, will have to check it out!

    • profile image

      myraggededge 7 years ago

      Haven't seen this and I do like John Cusack so might check it out. Thanks. Blessed :-)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I can see I'm going to have to see this movie. I like Romantic Westerns like the onees John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara starred in. Sounds like I'd enjoy this one too. 5*s for sure.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi PaperFacets, I liked this lens...I saw the movie a while ago and really liked it. I think John acted really well and I agree with Papawu, it did seem like a true story.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 8 years ago from La Verne, CA

      [in reply to papawu]

      Can I add your commit to the lens? I like the "with humor, action, good guy, bad guy. It made you mad, it made you glad, and it made you sad. What more can you want in a western?" Very good. Thanks for the commit.

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 8 years ago

      I saw the movie years ago and thought that John gave an amazing performance. And, you're right, it does almost seem like a true story. It was a bit of fantastic writing as well. It had all the elements of a good western, with humor, action, good guy, bad guy. It made you mad, it made you glad, and it made you sad. What more can you want in a western?