Saturday, December 15, 2018

Lonesome Dove, The Miniseries

The major TV networks in 1989 were offering much of the same old sitcoms and glitzy game shows that many viewers were finding to be greatly lacking in content, which meant that the time was right for a really good new western drama to make its way into our living rooms. And it arrived in the form of a short mini-series they called Lonesome Dove.

As with many successful TV productions, Lonesome Dove was based on a true story, and with excellent actors such as Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, and Danny Glover as some of the main characters, so the story line came alive and was believable. While the names of Charles Goodnight and Oliver Levy were not used in the TV production, the characters of Augustus McCrea (Robert Duvall) and Woodrow F. Call (Tommy Lee Jones) represented the real-life characters of Goodnight and Levy respectively, in the well-directed four-part miniseries.

Lonesome Dove, Main Cast

  • Robert Duvall as Captain Augustus "Gus" McCrae, former Texas Ranger
  • Tommy Lee Jones as Captain Woodrow F. Call, former Texas Ranger
  • Danny Glover as Joshua Deets, former scout for the Texas Rangers
  • Diane Lane as Lorena Wood, prostitute
  • Robert Urich as Jake Spoon, former Texas Ranger
  • Frederic Forrest as Blue Duck, bandit and murderer
  • D. B. Sweeney as Dishwater "Dish" Boggett, ramrod of the Hat Creek trail herd
  • Ricky Schroder as Newt Dobbs, Capt. Call's illegitimate son
  • Anjelica Huston as Clara Allen
  • Chris Cooper as Sheriff July Johnson
  • Tim Scott as Pea Eye Parker, former Texas Ranger
  • Glenne Headly as Elmira Johnson
  • Barry Corbin as Roscoe Brown
  • William Sanderson as Lippy Jones
  • Barry Tubb as Jasper Fant
  • Gavan O'Herlihy as Dan Suggs, leader of the Suggs Gang
  • Steve Buscemi as Luke, takes on Elmira
  • Frederick Coffin as Big Zwey, takes on Elmira
  • Travis Swords as Allan O'Brien
    Source: Wikipedia

  • The show is an adaptation of the 1985 novel of the same name written by Larry McMurtry. The 1985 novel was based on a screenplay collaborated by Peter Bogdanovich and McMurtry, and was supposed to star John Wayne, James Stewart and Henry Fonda.

    But the film was never produced after movie mogul, John Ford advised Wayne against it. However, a segment of the true story of Lonesome Dove was adapted into another John Wayne movie called The Searchers. In the John Wayne movie, the story line evolved around a mission to rescue a girl who had been abducted by Indians, as was told in part in the true story that Lonesome Dove is based upon.

    The award-winning TV miniseries drew a huge viewing audience of an estimated twenty-six million homes as it evidently reminded folks of how much they had missed a good western story. Lonesome Dove was complete with an ample amount of good guys, bad guys, renegade Indians, and heroines.

    Lonesome Dove, Support Cast

    • Nina Siemaszko as Janey
    • Missy Crider as Sally Allen, Clara's daughter
    • Lauren Stanley as Betsy Allen, Clara's daughter
    • Jerry Biggs as Roy Suggs, Suggs Gang
    • Sean Hennigan as Eddie Suggs, Suggs Gang
    • Julius Tennon as Frog Lip, Suggs Gang
    • Bradley Gregg as Sean O'Brien
    • Kevin O'Morrison as Doctor
    • Ron Weyand as Old Hugh Lanny Flaherty as Soupy Jones
    • David Carpenter as Needle Nelson
    • James McMurtry as Jimmy Rainey
    • Charlie Haynie as Ben Rainey
    • Sonny Carl Davis as Bert Borum
  • Helena Humann as Peach Johnson
  • O-Lan Jones as Sally Skull
  • Jorge Martínez de Hoyos as Po Campo
  • León Singer as Bolivar
  • Jack Caffrey as Cholo
  • Adam Faraizl as Joe Boot
  • Michael Tylo as Dee Boot
  • Matthew Cowles as Monkey John
  • Margo Martindale as Buffalo Heifer
  • Jordan Lund as Hutto
  • Tony Epper as Dixon
  • Bud Shrake as Sodbuster
    Source: Wikipedia

  • While Lonesome Dove was most certainly popular with people like me who enjoy a well-produced action western, I'd venture to say that it also attracted many others who just enjoy a good flick with a topnotch cast.

    So, it's been almost thirty years since the original Lonesome Dove legacy hit our TV screens. I'd say that it's about time for new classic western drama series to enter the prime time TV market.

    Gary Miller

    It's Christmas, so buy yourself, a friend, or a loved one, one of the following on the Lonesome Dove miniseries. Not only will you be happy you did, but you'll help WMD work with the lights on, so thank you much!


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