The film version of Larry McMurtry's novel, Leaving Cheyenne emerges as a misguided, heavy-handed attempt to span 40 years in the lives of three Texas rustics and their bizarre but homey menage a trois.
The film version of Larry McMurtry’s novel, Leaving Cheyenne emerges as a misguided, heavy-handed attempt to span 40 years in the lives of three Texas rustics and their bizarre but homey menage a trois.
Divided into three main sections, Lovin’ Molly opens in 1925 and sets up the situation in which two farmboy friends (Anthony Perkins, Beau Bridges) wage amicable war for the affections of a liberated earth mother (Blythe Danner) who loves them both in her fashion. Jumping to 1945 with a voiceover bridge, Danner has been married and widowed to a third young man (Conrad Fowkes) while continuing her sidebar relationships and bearing two children by a married Perkins and still-bachelor Bridges.
Pic’s final section takes place in 1964 as the three find their time running out. Perkins dies of a heart attack and the ever-ready Bridges beds down with the accommodating Danner for what must be the 4,160th time.
Columbia. Director Sidney Lumet; Producer Stephen Friedman; Screenplay Stephen Friedman; Camera Edward Brown; Editor Joanne Burke; Music Fred Hellerman; Art Director Gene Coffin
(Color) Extract of a review from 1974. Running time: 98 MIN.
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