You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Silent Tongue

Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money.

With:
Alan Bates Richard Harris Dermot Mulroney River Phoenix Sheila Tousey Jeri Arredondo

Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money.

The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the ghosts of those they wronged. Result is an unpalatable combination of prairie melodrama, Greek tragedy, Japanese ghost tale and traveling minstrel show, staged with little sense of style and cinematic rhythm.

Richard Harris arrives in search of Alan Bates, a drunken Irish charlatan of the first order. Bates had sold Harris his half-Indian daughter (Sheila Tousey), who married Harris’ son (River Phoenix). Tousey has since died in childbirth, driving Phoenix to the brink of madness. Hoping to cure his son’s delirium, Harris kidnaps Bates’ second daughter (Jeri Arredondo) and takes her back to Phoenix.

The dialogue is mostly rambling and unmemorable and, in the case of Bates and his brogue-tinted blustering, indecipherable.

Silent Tongue

France - US

Production: Canal Plus/Belbo/Alive. Director Sam Shepard; Producer Carolyn Pfeiffer, Ludi Boeken; Screenplay Sam Shepard; Camera Jack Conroy; Editor Bill Yahraus; Music Patrick O'Hearn; Art Director Cary White

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1993. Running time: 106 MIN.

With: Alan Bates Richard Harris Dermot Mulroney River Phoenix Sheila Tousey Jeri Arredondo

More Film

  • Mia FarrowTime 100 Gala, Arrivals, New

    Mia Farrow Didn't Want Dylan Farrow to Talk About Woody Allen Sex Abuse Claims

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • Melissa McCarthy The Kitchen

    Melissa McCarthy Snorts Ecstasy With Sex Crazed Puppets in 'Happytime Murders'

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • It movie review

    'It: Chapter 2' Director Andy Muschietti Says 'Bring Your Adult Diapers'

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • Deadpool 2 Ocean's 8

    Poll: Which Summer Tentpole Are You Most Excited to See?

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • Matthew Rhys, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis,

    Can 'Mowgli' Sell MovieGoers on a Darker 'Jungle Book'?

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • Fantastic Beasts

    Eddie Redmayne Faces the Dark Arts in 'Fantastic Beasts' Sequel Footage

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

  • 'WarGames' Composer Arthur B. Rubinstein Dead

    'WarGames' Composer Arthur B. Rubinstein Dies at 80

    Sam Shepard transplants a couple of his famously dysfunctional families to the Old West in Silent Tongue, a bizarre, meandering and, finally, maddening mystic-oater, the first Western financed entirely with French money. The sins of the fathers are distinctly visited upon the sons in this loosely knit yarn, with the characters literally haunted by the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content