Stars: Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Broderick Crawford, Lionel Barrymore, Beulah Bondi
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 135 minutes
This complex and rich film by John Sayles stars Chris Cooper as the contemporary sheriff of a Texas border town still under the sway of his late, legendary lawman father (Matthew McConaughey, seen in flashbacks). The discovery of a skeleton and crusted-over badge--buried some 40 years--initiates an investigation into an old crime no one wants to talk about but which will determine for Cooper's character, once and for all, various truths about his father's life. Sayles ingeniously sets this mystery against the backdrop of a developing, multicultural community losing its economic base while haggling over a history of racism. The overall effect is of a complicated American tragedy mitigated by the possibility of personal redemption. A terrific experience. --Tom Keogh
You're the sheriff of Rio County, right? Un jefe mui respectado.
Step across this line. You're not the sheriff of nothing anymore, just some tejano with a lot of questions I don't have to answer. A bird flying south, you think he sees this line? Rattlesnake? Javelina? Whatever you got. You think halfway across that line they start thinking different? Why should a man?
Sheriff Sam Deeds:
Your government's always been pretty happy to have that line, the question's just been where to draw it.
My government can go fuck itself, and so can yours! I'm talking about people here. Men.
With your attitude, Private, I'm surprised you want to stay in the service.
I do, sir.
Because it's a job?
Outside... it's... it's such a mess. Um... It's...
Chaos. Why do you think they let us in on the deal?
'Cause they got people to fight. Arabs. Yello people, whatever. Might as well use us?
It works like this, Private. Every soldier in a war doesn't have to believe in what he's fighting for. Most of them fight just to back up the other soldiers in their squad. They try not to get them killed, they try not to get them extra duty, they try not to embarrass themselves in front of them. Why don't you start with that?