EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|WINDWALKER (director: Kieth Merrill; screenwriters: Ray Goldrup/Blaine Yorgason/from the novel by Blaine Yorgason; cinematographer: Reed Smoot; editors: Janice Hampton/Stephen L. Johnson/Peter L. McCrea; music: Merrill Jenson; cast: Trevor Howard (Windwalker), Nick Ramus (Smiling Wolf/Crow Brother/Narrator), James Remar (Windwalker as a young man), Serene Hedin (Tashina), Dusty 'Iron Wing' McCrea (Dancing Moon), Silvana Gallardo (Little Feather), Emerson John (Spotted Deer), Jason Stevens (Horse That Follows), Roberta Deherrera (Happy Wind), Ivan Naranjo (Crooked Leg); Runtime: 108; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Thomas E. Ballard/Arthur R. Dubs; Pacific International Enterprises Inc.; 1980-in Cheyenne & Crow with English subtitles)|
in inspiring a spiritual awe."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Devout Mormon filmmaker Kieth
Merrill ("Yellowstone"), known primarily for his outdoor family value
pictures, passionately directs this involving offbeat western. It has
beautiful wintry mountain scenery (filmed in Utah) and is noted for
being entirely spoken in the tribal tongue (offering subtitles). The
only white man in the film is noted British actor Trevor Howard (who
was coached to deliver his lines in Cheyenne). The rest of the cast is
made up of Native Americans. Merrill keeps this as an honest and
accurate telling of the Indian tale, only bogging down at times with
too much sentimentality. It's based on the 1979 novel by Blaine
Yorgason, who cowrites it with Ray
It's set in the 18th century
and is told in flashback, as narrated by the Cheyenne warrior Windwalker's (Trevor Howard) long-lost son
(Nick Ramus). It begins with the elderly Windwalker on his deathbed
getting up enough strength, thanks to the "Great Spirit," to see if he
can try once again to reunite his family by finding his twin son who
was snatched by Crow and has now become a Crow warrior attacking his
family. Windwalker feels he cannot have a peaceful afterlife again
until this mission is accomplished.
As a young man, Windwalker (played by James Remar) suffered the tragic loss of his wife Tashina (Serene Hedin) and one of his twin sons, Smiling Wolf, at the hands of an enemy Crow tribe that attacked him to steal his horses and wife. His twin son was part of that attack, not knowing he was Cheyenne and that it was his father and mother being attacked. How they eventually reunite is filled with the magical lore of Indian traditions, in a pic that may lack credibility in dramatic storytelling but is awesome in inspiring a spiritual awe.
REVIEWED ON 5/25/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ