Legends of the Fall

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

LEGENDS OF THE FALL is a modern day MacBeth that takes the viewer from western prairies to the deadly trenches of World War I. Anthony Hopkins is Col. William Ludlow. He moves to Montana to raise his three sons, Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Samuel (Henry Thomas), and Tristan (Brad Pitt). It is his desire to shelter them from the madness of the world. But in spite of all he's done, they join in the war. Samuel, the youngest brother, leaves behind a fiancee, Susannah (Julia Ormonds). A complicated romance develops between her and Tristan. But it is stifled and prolonged as one tragedy after another occurs. This epic tale is not an uplifting one. LEGENDS is the tale of three brothers and their struggle to come to terms with themselves and the complex times in which they live. The performances combined with the incredible scenery, make this movie engrossing even if it is somewhat depressing.

As one might expect in a western or war movie, there is violence, but most of it is obscured. The war scenes occur at night and the gunfights produce little or no blood. However, a soldier is entangled in a barbed-wire fence and shot to death. Tristan tries unsuccessfully to save him, not so much gory as it is emotionally tough to watch. Later, Tristan encounters a cow caught in another barbed-wire fence. Unable to free her, he is forced to shoot the cow. It is not shown, but it is necessary to convey the inward struggle Tristan is having with not being able to save the soldier. His frustration and anger carries over into his love for Susannah and ultimately destroys their love as well as other family relationships. The remainder of the movie is spent on the family's struggle to endure and reconcile. And in the end, it is a gunfight that leaves them standing strong, focused and reunited. However, the road to reconciliation is riddled with a number of obscenities and profanities. Also, there is some brief side, rear and female breast nudity. These could have been left out without diminishing the realism.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
TriStar Pictures, 9000 Sunset Blvd., #711, Los Angeles, CA 90069

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (22) times - Mild 21, Moderate 1

Obscene Language: Several (8) times (f-word 3, s-word 1, obscene gesture 1, other 3)

Profanity: Many (14) times - Regular 11 (G-d), Exclamatory 3

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (War scenes; two throats cut; men stabbed; shoot-kill; soldier and cow caught in barbed wire; fist and gunfights; man killed with pitchfork; bear attack; skinned animals shown)

Sex: Implied twice (couple on bed, side rear nudity)

Nudity: Few times (side and rear nudity, woman's breast)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (conversation about sex)

Drugs: Many times (pipe and cigarette smoking; drinking beer and wine; reference to bootlegging)

Other: Indian spiritism (hearts removed to set souls free); off-screen suicide

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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