Friday, June 19, 2015

The Johnson County War (TV)

Johnson County War – U.S.A. title
Os Implacáveis – Brazilian title
Войната в окръг Джонсън – Bulgarian title
Oi pyles tou Paradeisou – Greek title
Ítéletlovasok – Hungarian title
La guerra di Johnson County – Italian title
La ley de los Fuertes – Spanish title
Johnson County War – English title

A 2001 U.S.A., German television co-production [Hallmark Entertainment, Larry Levinson Productions, Mat 1 Productions (Hollywood), RTL Television (Munich)]
Producers: Stephen W. Bridgewater, Mary Church, Frank Q. Dobbs
Director: David S. Cass, Sr.
Story: “Riders of Judgment” by Frederick Manfred
Teleplay: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana
Photography: Douglas Milsome [color]
Music: Sheldon Mirowitz
Running time: 240 minutes

Cain Hammett – Tom Berenger (Thomas Moore)
Harry Hammett – Luke Perry (Coy Perry III)
Dale Hammett – Adam Storke
Rory Hammett – Michelle Forbes (Michelle Guajardo)
Marshal Hunt Lawton – Burt Reynolds (Burton Reynolds, Jr.)
Queenie – Rachel Ward
Jesse Jacklin – Jack Conley
Mitch Slaughter – Silas Weir Mitchell (Silan Neilson)
Timberline – Adrien Dorval (Patrick Dorval)
Lord Peter – Christopher Cazenove
Clara Jager – Fay Masterson
Arthur – William Samples
Dencil Jager – Stephen Bridgewater
Hambone – Blu Mankuma
Bat Waddy – Tim Koetting (Tom Koetting)
Wally Tascott – Ken Pogue (Kenneth Pogue)
Sam the wolfer – Jimmy Herman
Governor Barb – Henry Beckman
Senator Thorpe – Ron Hartman (Ronald Hartman)
Irv Hornsby – Hal Kerbes
Allen Stone – David Lereaney
Rodney Claybourne – Paul Coeur (Paul Jolicooeur)
Texas Charlie – Tom Erikson (Tom Eirikson)
Texas Ike – Doug Lennox
Texas cowboy – Tom Carey
Butcherknife – Bunk Duncan
Sheriff Sine – Tom Heaton
Night herder – Chris Ippolito
Jimmy Albert – Kirk Jarrett (James Jarrett)
Joey – Stevie Mitchell
Ringbone – Billy Morton (William Morton)
Texas gunman – Shawn C. Orr
Russell – John F. Parker
Tom – J.C. Roberts
Bobby – Joe Norman Shaw
First bad cowboy – Steve Shayler (Steven Shayler)
Second horseman – John Dobbs
Avery – Lyle St. Goddard
Spade – Stephen Warner
Telegraph operator – Peter Strand Rumpel
Skunker – Jerry Wills
Bagpiper – Rodger Yule
Voice – Carol Stanzione
Stunt coordinator: Tom Eirikson
Stunts: Ryan Barron, Dwight Beard, Dusty Bews, Guy Bews, Joe Bews, Peter Bews, T.J. Bews, Tom Bews, Dave Borley, Jim Campbell, Marty Chiefcalf, Harley Cole, Jim Cooper, Chad Cosgrave, Joe Dodds, John Dodds, Wanda Ferraton, Jim Finkbeiner, Ben Gauthier, Frank Gauthier (François Gauthier), Corry Glass, Reg Glass, Tom Glass, Art Graves, Wade Graves, Kevin Jarrett, Kirk Jarrett, Gary Lauder, Dave Leader, Roger Lewis, Tim McLean, James Paradis, Shane Pollitt, Max Radford, Greg Schlosser, Cam Sutherland, Cathy Vayda, John Wigley, Dwayne Wiley, Ken Zilka, Shawn C. Orr

The novel Riders of Judgment was the source for the U.S.A., German co-produced made-for-television film “The Johnson County War”, starring Tom Berenger. Manfred's novelization uses Nate Champion, Jack Flagg, and John Tisdale as the models for his Hammett brothers, Cain, Harry, and Dale, and turns Frank Canton into a strange family nemesis called variously Hunt Lawton and Link Keeler. Manfred changes the names of the county and the nearby towns.

The Hammet family, a rough-and-tumble band of three who go to great lengths to protect their livelihood. Cain is the wise older one, a cautious and diplomatic leader whom everyone in surrounding towns admires from afar for his bravery and work ethic. In the middle is Dale, a kindly cowpoke who talks tougher than he is, and whose wife, Rory, thinks is a pansy for not avenging her father’s death at the hands of dastardly Marshal Hunt Lawton. Cain and Dale are both trumped in charm and looks by Harry, a young thief who’s left for dead one day by the land tycoons (but eventually saved) after attempting to rustle livestock.

The Hammets are up against Lord Peter, a discredited nobleman who hires henchmen like Jesse Jacklin and Mitch Slaughter to do his business, which involves doing away with the little men of Antelope by any means necessary. At first they offer a job to Cain, but it’s clear he wants no part of them, so he becomes enemy No. 1. While turning their sights to killing Cain and his posse, Lord Peter and his high-society friends at the Cheyenne Social Club raid whomever they can in order to clear out the locals and have the valley all to themselves.

That includes the hanging of prostitute Queenie, who warned the Hammets about the roundup, and friends of Cain who simply want to help and maintain a modest lifestyle. The prosperous industrialists take matters into their own hands and join the battle, even though they have zero frontline experience. Realizing they can take advantage of that, the Hammets and the small army they’ve been able to rustle up do what they can to fend off an attack that proves too powerful.

The production was filmed in Alberta, Canada and shown on The Hallmark Channel.

YouTube film clip:

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