The Missouri Breaks

Synopsis: Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
Genre: Drama, Western
Director(s): Arthur Penn
Production: MGM
 
IMDB:
6.6
Rotten Tomatoes:
79%
PG
Year:
1976
126 min
177 Views


The first time I saw this country,

it had buffalo grass

and bluejoint up to the stirrups.

By the second year we had

8,000 Texas half-bred cattle

and over 3,500 volumes of

English literature in my library.

We just cut out

the unbranded stock

and divided 'em up between the outfits.

There was no arguin'

over mavericks like today.

You got it good today.

Two per cent annual loss then.

Now it's seven from rustling alone,

not to mention winterkill, calving loss,

miring down in the spring.

How many are you?

Mr Braxton, did you see they sew old boot

tops on the saddle to hold ammunition?

Pete, don't pester him

if he doesn't wanna be pestered.

Well, it'd just be awful nice

to know the whole story.

Well... it's beautiful country.

Yes, sir. It sure is.

You especially feel that now?

Yeah.

Sh, sh, sh.

I sure hope them sportin' ladies

don't get sunburned.

I like 'em white as pastry.

Ladies.

Are we all set here?

All set, Pete.

Shall we start the horse... or will you?

I will, sir.

Well, that's one of them.

His name was Sandy Chase and he came

here from Rhode Island with the army.

He was 24 years old.

We lost seven per cent of stock between

spring and fall last year, to rustlers.

You always mention the percentage.

I wonder why you do that.

This is my fourth frontier

and I know how they run.

I was in the California gold fields

before I was 18.

I was at the rush at Alder Gulch

and I went to South America.

These long ropers in the Missouri Breaks

are a mixed bag.

Barbers from Minneapolis,

failed grangers, Scandinavian half-breeds,

wolfers and woodcutters,

dishonest apprentices,

raftsmen, poisoners.

You give them a chance

and they'll waste everything.

You're astonished at my arrogance,

at not even having a trial, aren't you?

Then why don't you get over it?

Our situation has become

nearly as bad as it could be.

Honey, pull down Tristram Shandy again

for me, would you?

Daddy.

Excuse me.

Come on! Giddap! Yah!

Got the gate.

How'd she go, Tom?

Everybody else been back a day.

Brought in about 14 head

of the first-class order.

Yeah.

- Hey.

- Hey.

How was Wyoming?

It was fine.

Spent a couple of days in KC trying to

keep from associating with criminals.

Why, they've hit the Union Pacific

down there so many times

the place has begun to look like

a lawmen's convention.

They got two Pinkerton in KC

and I do believe one of 'em

was the legendary Charlie Siringo.

Did he claim to be a border cowboy?

Can't remember.

Said he could talk Mexican.

Yeah, that's him.

How'd you know it was a detective?

Rancher's wife wanting to go to bed

with him. He kept givin' her a "no".

Damned if I can understand that.

- Well, I took care of her, Cal.

- You did that, huh?

You're damn sure.

Had a good time too, thank you.

Did you?

Spent the night in Martinsdale.

Couldn't get no credit at the whorehouse,

so I picked up this chubby little girl

off some sodbuster's outfit.

Yeah... How was she?

About like a Swiss clock. Same exact

movement over and over again.

Yeah.

- It was Sandy, huh?

- Yeah.

Yeah.

Sandy's gone. He's dead.

David Braxton's foreman...

What's his name, Cary?

- Pete Marker.

- Pete Marker.

...caught him and they hung him.

Goddamn it.

I knew somebody's bunch

wasn't in that corral.

Little Tod was in town.

Everybody was at the hanging.

- How'd Sandy go out?

- Pretty good. Pretty good.

They hung him up on a cottonwood,

though, and he sort of...

He sort of what?

Sort of strangled for a while.

Braxton was there dressed in a suit.

- Lookin' like God.

- Hah!

Goddamn.

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Thomas McGuane

Thomas Francis McGuane III (born December 11, 1939) is an American writer. His work includes ten novels, short fiction and screenplays, as well as three collections of essays devoted to his life in the outdoors. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, The National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame and the Flyfishing Hall of Fame. Thomas McGuane was the keynote speaker for the 2016 Montana State University Trout and Salomonid Lecture Series. McGuane also partook in an oral history project conducted by Montana State University pertaining to his life as an angler and angling author.McGuane has three children, Annie, Maggie and Thomas. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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