LAST STAND AT SABER RIVER (TV MOVIE) (director: Dick Lowry; screenwriters: from an Elmore Leonard book/Richard M. Cohen; cinematographer: Ric Waite; editor: William B. Stich; music: David Shire; cast: Tom Selleck (Paul Cable), Suzy Amis (Martha Cable), Rachel Duncan (Clare Cable), Haley Joel Osment (Davis Cable), Keith Carradine (Vern Kidston), David Carradine (Duane Kidston), Tracy Needham (Lorraine Kidston), Chris Stacy (Chris), Harry Carey Jr. (James Sanford), Patrick Kilpatrick (Austin Dodd), Michael Osment (Wynn Dodd), David Dukes (Edward Janroe), Lumi Cavazos (Luz); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: May Ann Braubach/Thomas Kane; Warner Home Movies; 1997)

"There's plenty of action, but the stale story is routine and not too demanding."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Veteran TV director Dick Lowry ("Silver Bells"/"Street War") ably directs this made for television film. The teleplay is by Richard M. Cohen, based on a book by Elmore Leonard.

Paul Cable (Tom Selleck) is a Confederate soldier who in 1865, in El Paso, Texas, abandons the army before the war has ended and after gone for over three years reunites with his loyal schoolteacher wife Martha (
Suzy Amis) and two children (Rachel Duncan & Joel Osment). She thought he died in a battle.  Her wish now is to return to their home in Arizona. The problem is the Union confiscated their home and squatters live there.

When the Cable family arrive home, Union sympathizers, the Kidston brothers (Keith and David Carradine), warn the family to leave or else. Instead Paul gets into a gun fight with the ruthless squatters, kicking them off the land. The main villain, however, turns out to be the duplicitous Edward Janroe (David Dukes), who took over the trading post, and because of his treachery causes a deadly gunfight between Paul and the brothers.

There's plenty of action, but the stale story is routine and not too demanding.

REVIEWED ON 1/10/2017       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"