The Shadow Riders, Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott star as brothers who battled on opposing sides of the Civil War only to return home to discover that their family, including a younger brother and one of the brothers’ fiancée, have been kidnapped by a marauding band of rebel guerrillas who refuse to accept the defeat of the Confederacy. Aided by their uncle, they set out to rescue the family.
The Shadow Riders, The cast of Ben Johnson, Sam Elliot, and Tom Selleck in a western is unbeatable.
Some have compared this movie to The Sacketts (same writer, same cast), and gave is something of a pan.
I found the story line in general, and a couple of the sub-plots, very very entertaining. I think you have to recognize that adultery has been around since the beginning of time. The treatment of of Uncle Jack (Ben Johnson) reminded me a lot of one of my uncles, and the dialog just sounded right.
While the scenery may have looked a little California, the place settings in Texas were genuine – Big Springs and Baffin Bay are real places. Baffin Bay is at the south end of Padre Island off Laguna Madre – home of the best bay fishing in Texas.
The Shadow Riders, While I certainly feel that serious film criticism has its place, it is just silly to over-think and over-analyze a film like this.
It’s a Western, but it’s not The Searchers.
It has a sense of humor about itself. The actors are fun to look at. The good guys win. The nice guy gets the girl. The bad guys get shot or face the law. They all lived happily ever after. Is any of this a spoiler for a “Good-Time Western?” Nope, but that’s okay.
It’s a fun movie. If you don’t like this movie, you are thinking too much. If you don’t love this movie, that’s all right. You were only meant to have a good time with it.