Tom Horn is a 1980 Western film about the legendary lawman, outlaw, and gunfighter. It starred Steve McQueen in one of his last roles as the title character and was based on Horn's own writings.[1]

Plot

Tom Horn, a legendary frontier scout and tracker who helped capture Geronimo, drifts around the quickly disappearing western frontier. The story begins as he rides into a small town and provokes prizefighter Jim Corbett, ending up in a livery stable, unconscious and badly bruised.

Cattle company owner John Coble finds Horn in the livery and offers him his ranch to recuperate. He also offers him work investigating and deterring cattle rustlers who steal from the grazing association to which Coble belongs. He implies that the association will support Horn in implementing vigilante justice. Horn accepts the offer and receives the approval of U.S. marshal Joe Belle at an association picnic where he also catches the eye of the local schoolteacher, Glendolene.

Calling himself a "stock detective," Horn confronts cowboys at an auction whose cattle bear Coble's brand. After giving them fair warning he goes on a one-man crusade to kill or otherwise drive off anyone who rustles the cattle of his benefactors.

Horn's methods are brutal but effective. After a public gunfight, the local townspeople become alarmed at his violent nature and public opinion turns against him. The owners of the large cattle companies realize that while he is doing exactly what they hired him to do, his tactics will ultimately tarnish their image and begin to plot his demise. Joe Belle, who has political ambitions, wants Horn out of the way for the same reasons. Their conspiracy is set in motion when a young boy tending sheep is shot by a .45-60; the same caliber rifle Tom Horn is known to use.

Horn is slow to realize that he is being set up. Proud and convinced of his own innocence, he refuses to leave the county or avoid the town. Glendolene and Coble try to warn him to be careful, but Horn ignores the warning. Joe Belle coaxes Horn out of a saloon and back to his office where a man transcribing their conversation is hidden in the next room. Horn does not admit to the murders but states that "If I did shoot that boy, it was the best shot I ever made." Based on this conversation Horn is taken prisoner.

Unaccustomed to being unable to come and go as he pleases into his beloved hills, Horn seems lost. He breaks out of jail and attempts to flee. He is recaptured and convicted based on the testimony of the newspaperman who skewed the conversation between Belle and Horn.

As his execution nears, Horn accepts his fate and remains resolved in the moments before he is hanged.

Production

Since the troubled production and disastrous release of An Enemy of the People, McQueen had once again struggled to find work. He priced himself out of roles in a mooted Towering Inferno sequel and Raise the Titanic, was rejected for the Salkinds' Superman film due to his growing weight, turned down a role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and walked out on Richard Fleischer's planned adaptation of Tai-Pan when the second $1m installment of his announced $10m fee failed to arrive (the actor having earned $1m for no work already). However, after his divorce from Ali MacGraw McQueen decided to get back into films. He initially wanted to adapt Harold Pinter's play Old Times but First Artists insisted that he instead film Tom Horn, a script they had owned for some time, as the final film in the star's three picture deal he had signed with them under Warner Bros.

The film had been meant to go into production in 1978 but faced stiff competition, with United Artists also planning a film about Horn as a vehicle for Robert Redford. The latter dropped out and the film, about Horn's younger years, was eventually made by CBS as a four-hour TV movie named Mr. Horn with David Carradine starring. This aired just as the Warners/First Artists film went into production, receiving poor ratings. McQueen ordered several rewrites to the script, while original director Don Siegel left to be replaced by first Elliot Silverstein and then James William Guercio, who was fired after three days by McQueen. McQueen then wanted to direct himself but DGA rules forbidding actors from taking over direction once filming had begun scotched these plans and instead TV movie director William Wiard was brought in to finish the film. This was Wiard's only feature film directing credit.

Post-production was similarly fraught - the producers attempting both a linear version of the film and then another telling the story in flashback, before settling on the former approach. The film was still being reedited ahead of its March 1980 release date, but to no avail - it received poor reviews and was another box office failure. Tom Horn was the first and only McQueen vehicle to receive an R rating.

It was during production that McQueen had trouble breathing and was later determined to have a rare form of lung cancer called malignant mesothelioma.

Cast

References

  1. St. Charnez, Casey. The Complete Films of Steve McQueen. Citadel Press, 1992, p. 225-232


External links


v - e - d
Warner Bros. Pictures 2019.png
1910s
1916: Robinson Crusoe

1918: My Four Years in Germany · Kaiser's Finish
1919: Open Your Eyes · Beware! · Speed

1920s
1920: The Tiger Band · The Lost City · Parted Curtains

1921: Miracles of the Jungle · School Days · Why Girls Leave Home · Ashamed of Parents
1922: Your Best Friend · Rags to Riches · A Dangerous Adventure · The Beautiful and Damned · Heroes of the Street
1923: Brass · The Tie That Binds · Little Church Around the Corner · Main Street · Where the North Begins · Little Johnny Jones · The Printer's Devil · The Gold Diggers · The Country Kid · Lucretia Lombard · Tiger Rose
1924: Conductor 1492 · George Washington Jr. · Daddies · The Marriage Circle · Beau Brummel · How to Educate a Wife · Broadway After Dark · Babbitt · Being Respectable · Her Marriage Vow · Cornered · Lover's Lane · The Tenth Woman · Find Your Man · Three Women · This Woman · The Age of Innocence · The Lover of Camille · The Dark Swan · The Lighthouse by the Sea · A Lost Lady
1925: The Bridge of Sighs · The Narrow Street · On Thin Ice · A Broadway Butterfly · Recompense · My Wife and I · The Man Without a Conscience · Eve's Lover · Tracked in the Snow Country · How Baxter Butted In · Kiss Me Again · The Woman Hater · The Limited Mail · The Wife Who Wasn't Wanted · His Majesty, Bunker Bean · Below the Line · The Man on the Box · Compromise · Bobbed Hair · Red Hot Tires · Seven Sinners · Satan in Sables · Rose of the World · The Clash of the Wolves · Three Weeks in Paris · Hogan's Alley · Pleasure Buyers · Lady Windermere's Fan
1926: The Fighting Edge · His Jazz Bride · The Sea Beast · The Man Upstairs · The Golden Cocoon · The Caveman · The Love Toy · Bride of the Storm · The Night Cry · Why Girls Go Back Home · The Little Irish Girl · Oh! What a Nurse! · The Gilded Highway · Other Women's Husbands · The Sap · Hell-Bent for Heaven · Silken Shackles · The Social Highwayman · Footloose Widows · The Passionate Quest · A Hero of the Big Snows · So This Is Paris · Don Juan · Broken Hearts of Hollywood · The Honeymoon Express · Millionaires · Across the Pacific · My Official Wife · The Better 'Ole · Private Izzy Murphy · While London Sleeps · The Third Degree
1927: Finger Prints · Wolf's Clothing · The Fortune Hunter · Don't Tell the Wife · Hills of Kentucky · The Gay Old Bird · White Flannels · What Every Girl Should Know · Matinee Ladies · Bitter Apples · The Brute · Tracked by the Police · The Climbers · Irish Hearts · The Missing Link · A Million Bid · Simple Sis · The Black Diamond Express · Dearie · What Happened to Father? · The Heart of Maryland · The Bush Leaguer · When a Man Loves · The Desired Woman · Slightly Used · Old San Francisco · Jaws of Steel · One-Round Hogan · The First Auto · A Sailor's Sweetheart · The Jazz Singer · Sailor Izzy Murphy · The College Widow · A Reno Divorce · A Dog of the Regiment · Good Time Charley · The Silver Slave · The Girl from Chicago · Ginsberg the Great · Brass Knuckles · If I Were Single · Ham and Eggs at the Front · Husbands for Rent
1928: Beware of Married Men · A Race for Life · The Little Snob · Across the Atlantic · Powder My Back · Tenderloin · Domestic Troubles · The Crimson City · Rinty of the Desert · Glorious Betsy · Pay as You Enter · The Lion And The Mouse · Five and Ten Cent Annie · Lights of New York · Women They Talk About · Caught in the Fog · State Street Sadie · The Midnight Taxi · The Terror · Night Watch · Waterfront · The Singing Fool · Show Girl · Do Your Duty · Land of the Silver Fox · Lilac Time · Beware of Bachelors · Noah's Ark · The Home Towners · The Haunted House · Outcast · On Trial · Adoration · The Little Wildcat · The Barker · My Man · Conquest · The Ware Case
1929: Synthetic Sin · Cheyenne · Scarlet Seas · Fancy Baggage · Seven Footprints to Satan · Stark Mad · His Captive Woman · The Greyhound Limited · The Million Dollar Collar · Weary River · The Redeeming Sin · The Lawless Legion · The Royal Rider · Stolen Kisses · Why Be Good? · Children of the Ritz · Saturday's Children · One Stolen Night · Kid Gloves · Queen of the Night Clubs · Love and the Devil · Hardboiled Rose · The Divine Lady · No Defense · The Desert Song · Sonny Boy · Frozen River · From Headquarters · House of Horror · Glad Rag Doll · Hot Stuff · The Squall · Two Weeks Off · Prisoners · The Flying Scotsman · Careers · Madonna of Avenue A · The Girl in the Glass Cage · The Gamblers · Broadway Babies · The Man and the Moment · The Time, The Place And The Girl · On with the Show · Twin Beds · Drag · Smiling Irish Eyes · Hard to Get · The Hottentot · Dark Streets · The Argyle Case · Say It with Songs · Her Private Life · Gold Diggers of Broadway · Honky Tonk · In the Headlines · Fast Life · Skin Deep · Hearts in Exile · The Careless Age · The Great Divide · A Most Immoral Lady · The Isle of Lost Ships · So Long Letty · Is Everybody Happy? · Young Nowheres · The Girl from Woolworth's · Disraeli · Paris · Footlights and Fools · The Sap · The Forward Pass · Little Johnny Jones · The Sacred Flame · The Painted Angel · Evidence · The Love Racket · The Aviator · Tiger Rose · The Show of Shows · Wedding Rings

1930s
1931: The Maltese Falcon

1935: Captain Blood
1938: Angels with Dirty Faces · The Adventures of Robin Hood
1939: Dark Victory · The Wizard of Oz · Gone with the Wind

1940s
1941: The Maltese Falcon

1942: The Man Who Came to Dinner · Yankee Doodle Dandy · Casablanca
1944: Arsenic and Old Lace · To Have and Have Not · Meet Me in St. Louis
1946: The Big Sleep
1947: Dark Passage
1948: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre · Key Largo
1949: White Heat · The Fountainhead

1950s
1951: A Streetcar Named Desire · An American in Paris

1952: Singin' in the Rain
1955: Rebel Without a Cause

1960s
1964: The Incredible Mr. Limpet · My Fair Lady
1970s
1971: The Priest's Wife

1974: Blazing Saddles
1977: The Late Show · Brothers · Viva Knievel! · Exorcist II: The Heretic · One on One · Greased Lightning · Outlaw Blues · Bobby Deerfield · Oh, God! · A Piece of the Action · Starship Invasions · The Pack · The Goodbye Girl · The Gauntlet

1980s
1980 Just Tell Me What You Want · Simon · The Ninth Configuration · When Time Ran Out · Tom Horn · Gilda Live · Die Laughing · Heart Beat · Friday the 13th · The Shining · Up the Academy · Bronco Billy · No Nukes · Honeysuckle Rose · Caddyshack · The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu · The Big Brawl · AC/DC: Let There Be Rock · Divine Madness · The First Deadly Sin · One Trick Pony · Oh, God! Book II · Private Benjamin · The Awakening · Any Which Way You Can · First Family · Altered States

1981 The Man Who Saw Tomorrow · Sphinx · Back Roads · Eyes of a Stranger · This Is Elvis · Excalibur · The Hand · Outland · Superman II · Arthur · Wolfen · Under the Rainbow · Prince of the City · Body Heat · So Fine · Chariots of Fire · Looker · The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie · Rollover · Sharky's Machine ·

1990s
2000s
2010s
2020s
Upcoming
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.