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''Legends of the Fall'' is a 1994 film based on the 1979 novel by Jim Harrison. Directed by Creator/EdwardZwick. Starring Creator/AnthonyHopkins, Creator/BradPitt, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond. It's a GenerationalSaga about the lives and loves of the Ludlow clan. John Toll won the award for Best Cinematographer at that year's UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s.

The film's time frame spans the decade before World War I through the Prohibition era, and into the 1930s, ending with a brief scene set in 1963. It centers on the Ludlow family of Montana, including veteran of the Indian Wars Colonel Ludlow (Creator/AnthonyHopkins), his sons, Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Creator/BradPitt) and Samuel (Henry Thomas), and object of the brothers' love, Susannah (Julia Ormond).

!!Legends of the Tropes:

* AerithAndBob: Tristan definitely stands out compared to his brothers Alfred and Samuel's ordinary sounding names.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: Susannah falls for edgy, rebellious, roguish and adventurous Tristan.
%%* AloofOlderBrother: Alfred.
%%* AlwaysSecondBest: Alfred felt this way about Tristan.
%%* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Samuel to both Alfred and Tristan.
* BadassGrandpa: Col. Ludlow, who was already a RetiredBadass, comes to help his son Tristan while facing O'Banion and the sheriff. [[spoiler:He hides a shotgun under his coat and kills O'Banion]]. All while recovering from a stroke.
%%* BadassInANiceSuit: Tristan, Alfred, Col. Ludlow.
%%* BadassMustache: Col. Ludlow.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory: The First World War scenes are set in the Second Battle of Ypres which occurred in April 1915. A title card proclaims the date as February. (At that time the Canadian Division, depicted in the film, had not yet fought a major battle.) Weapons and equipment worn by the extras are more correct for 1916 or later - in February-April 1915, the Canadians in France were wearing Canadian pattern uniforms, leather Oliver pattern web gear, and using the Ross rifle. The film shows them in British uniforms, gear and with Lee Enfield weapons, which would all be correct if the film took place a year or so later.
* AwesomeMcCoolName: ''One Stab''. That being said, he's not the most blatant example of this with only a claim from Tristan implying he was quite the badass in his time to attest the appropriateness of his name.
* BearsAreBadNews: Two battles with a particular bear, [[spoiler:the second lethal to the sole surviving protagonist.]]
* BeardOfSorrow: Creator/BradPitt's Tristan doesn't shave when he's depressed.
* BigBrotherInstinct:
** Alfred is protective of his younger brothers.
** Tristan is highly protective of Samuel. [[spoiler:Which is what causes Tristan his HeroicBSOD after Samuel dies]].
* BigDamnHeroes: Alfred [[spoiler:saves Tristan from being shot at by a corrupt sheriff with the last O'Banion brother with a shot ]]
* BigNo: Tristan, repeatedly. [[spoiler:When he's failed to save Samuel from being killed by Kaiser soldiers, which leads to his RoaringRampageOfRevenge. He lets out several when he sees that Isabel II has been shot. [[RuleOfThree And a third]] while he gets in front of Colonel Ludlow after Ludlow shot the last O'Banion and the corrupt officer with him, but the sheriff is left standing to take a shot at them.]]
* BigYes: Alfred screamed this during his argument with Tristan.
-->'''Alfred:''' "Damn you, Tristan. You will marry her."
-->'''Tristan:''' "And make an honest woman out of her?"
-->'''Alfred:''' "'''YESSS!!!'''"
* BoisterousBruiser: Tristan. He is a friendly and rebellious rogue.
* BrainyBrunette: Susannah. Appears to be educated, smart, logical and practical.
* BreakTheCutie: Tristan and Susannah both suffer from the loss of Samuel. Susannah especially goes from hopeful fiancee to [[spoiler: despairing suicide]].
* CallToAdventure: Samuel feels he has a duty to go off to fight in World War I, and Alfred seems to agree. Tristan joins them, likely [[{{Protectorate}} because Samuel's there]] (this could have affected Alfred as well). [[spoiler:Tristan watches Samuel die after being riddled with bullets, Alfred is discharged due to an injured leg, and Tristan is discharged before the war ends.]]
* {{Chickification}}: Susannah. She appears to be one of the few female characters in the film which is predominantly male in casting. Not to mention that Susannah serves as a love interest to all three Ludlow brothers.
* ChekhovsGun: Literally. The shotgun Tristan gives to his father after WalkingTheEarth plays a big part in the finale.
** Many elements occur twice in the film. Tristan's guilt over [[spoiler:Samuel dying being shot up while trapped in barbed wire]] gets shown by Tristan being very affected by helping a suffering cow that got tangled in barbed wire which he puts down. The beginning narration from One Stab (mentioning letting a kill's spirit free by cutting out its heart, painting lines on Tristan's forehead, and saying a warrior hopes a good death will find him) happens again with [[spoiler:Tristan cutting out Samuel's heart to bring home after he's killed by Germans and being horrified watching another hunter holding an animal's cut-out heart, One Stab being shown painting lines on Tristan's son as well, and One Stab stating of Tristan dying to a bear as "a good death".]]
* TheChick: Susannah, who is the lone woman with any kind of screen time amongst the main cast.
* ComfortingTheWidow: Susannah attempts this [[spoiler: after Isabel II's death, to no avail]]. Earlier on, Tristan's affair with her was a partial example - since she and Samuel had not married yet.
* CrapsackWorld: None of the characters lead particularly happy lives, even when not considering the one who [[spoiler:committed suicide out of despair.]]
%%* DamselInDistress: Susannah.
* DeathIsDramatic: [[spoiler:Tristan's final encounter with the bear at the end of the film.]] Also most of the other deaths scattered throughout.
* DeadlyDistantFinale: [[spoiler:Tristan]] is killed by a bear in 1963, after outliving the rest of his loved ones.
* DefectorFromDecadence: Colonel Ludlow, sorta. He lives in his ranch to keep far away from politics, and makes obvious his disgust of the American government when Alfred says he's going to run for Congress while implying he's seen children shot and a village slaughtered in its sleep from government orders.
* DiesWideOpen: [[spoiler:This is the way Isaebl II dies this way after being accidentally shot by a police officer]].
* DisposableWoman: Isabel II doesn't get much screentime [[spoiler:until her death. And even the sole purpose of that appears to be to send Tristan off the deep end again.]]
* DoggedNiceGirl: Susannah repeatedly tries to get Tristan to understand the love that they share and tries to stop him from leaving her.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:After Tristan rejects Susannah, she shoots herself in despair.]]
* DudeMagnet: Susannah. She manages to have all three Ludlow brothers falling in love with her.
* TheDutifulSon: Alfred. Unfortunately, his idea of duty doesn't always match up with his father's idea.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: Invoked InUniverse by the narrator on [[spoiler:elderly Tristan's DefiantToTheEnd death fighting with the bear he'd maimed when he was young.]]
-->'''Narrator:''' It was a ''good'' death.
** Made more awesome by the fact that he was probably around 75 at the time.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: Tristan's only request is that he be taken to the woods because, "I don't want my boy to see. [[GetItOverWith Let's get on with it]]."
* FailureHero: Tristan, summarized by One Stab below in Walking Disaster Area. Most of Tristan's life is avenging the deaths of loved ones he failed to protect.
* FiringInTheAirALot: One of the cops does this at a roadblock with a Tommy Gun to get Tristan's attention. [[spoiler: He ends up killing Isabell.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}} - Mrs. Ludlow left because of bears. [[spoiler: A bear is what kills her last surviving son years later]].
%%* FreudianTrio: The Ludlow brothers.
%%** TheId: Tristan.
%%** TheSuperego: Alfred.
%%** TheEgo: Samuel.
* GlorySeeker: Samuel speaks of having some yearning for personal glory in the war in a letter to Susannah. [[spoiler:So he joins a reconnaissance once he gets a chance to dodge Tristan keeping him safe, and gets killed by a German machine-gun after being blinded in a gas attack.]]
%%* AGoodWayToDie: "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75O_JBfpX7Ihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75O_JBfpX7I It was a good death.]]"
* HappilyMarried: Tristan and Isabel II have a happy marriage, in contrast to Tristan's wild and destructive affair with Susannah. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, Isabel dies.]]
%%* {{Hunk}}: Tristan. Have you seen Brad Pitt in this film?
* IWillWaitForYou: Susannah says this to Tristan before he leaves. [[spoiler: Subverted in that Susannah didn't wait and ended up marrying Alfred.]]
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: This is how the younger O'Banion brother met his end.
* ImportantHaircut: Susannah hacks off her hair [[spoiler:prior to committing suicide.]]
* InstantDeathBullet: In some places - Isabel II [[spoiler:is killed by a bullet in somewhere between her breast and shoulder. No one noticed until her mother did and began screaming about it, and Isabel was already dead by that time. Ludlow and Alfred also have their targets fall with little fuss when the last O'Banion comes by for revenge, though Ludlow was using a double-barreled shotgun. Averted in other places - Samuel manages to seem conscious up until dying despite being riddled by machine-gun bullets for about ten seconds, and Roscoe Decker kills one of the O'Banions by shooting him in the right shoulder, watching him get up, and then shooting him in the gut]].
* TheIrishMob: The O'Banions, the only group of bootleggers prominently depicted, are Irish.
* InformedAbility - We're told early on that Susannah has many ideas and political opinions about the topics of the day. We never hear her speak about any of them. She at least feigns no understanding of business and, as the wife of a congressman, doesn't give her first speech until years after he's been in office.
* ItsPersonal: [[spoiler:Implied heavily by the narrator at the end that the bear Tristan had maimed decades ago was looking for payback.]]
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Tristan is killed by the bear he maimed.]]
%%* KnifeNut: Tristan.
* LongHairIsFeminine: Susannah. Her hair is ultra long.
%%* LoveableRogue: Tristan.
* LoveAtFirstSight: All of the Ludlow brothers in regards to Susannah.
* LoveConfession: [[spoiler:Alfred confessed his love for Susannah in a rather awkward situation.]]
* LoveHurts: What do you expect when all three brothers fall in love with the same girl? Or when a girl's fiance dies tragically in battle? Or when unrequited love takes place? Or when the man you love abandons you, never comes back for years at a time, and then writes you a letter telling you: "All that they had is dead. MARRY ANOTHER"? And when the woman couldn't be with the man they really love, they commit suicide?
* LoveTriangle: More like a love rhombus or love square, with all three Ludlow brothers falling in love with Susannah.
%%* TheMourningAfter
* MagicalNativeAmerican: One Stab to an extent, who doesn't have a lot of characterization himself and mostly just narrates mystically with statements stepped in Cree culture. He also manages to outlive everyone, which probably puts him in the vicinity of 100 years old when telling the story.
* MrFanservice: Tristan is this in-universe, as a PrettyBoy that is also a {{Hunk}} at the same time.
* NeverFoundTheBody: [[spoiler:Tristan after his fatal encounter with the bear, according to One Stab.]]
%%* NiceGirl: Susannah.
* TheOneThatGotAway: Tristan for Susannah. She always loved him but eventually, the love was unreciprocated.
* ParentalAbandonment: The Ludlow brother's mother left because she wasn't comfortable with the living situations. She felt there were too many bears.
* ParentalFavoritism: Col. Ludlow seemed to show favoritism towards Tristan. Alfred expressed it as much, and Ludlow had a stroke once he read a letter from Tristan which made his return to the ranch seem dubious.
* PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: Tristan and Isabel II. From the time that Isabel was a girl, she has said that she was arranged to marry Tristan when she is of age.
* PleaseDontLeaveMe: As Tristan was leaving the Ludlow Ranch to [[LeavingYouToFindMyself find himself]], Susannah begged him to stay. Despite her best efforts, Tristan was adamant. She responded, "IWillWaitForYou. Even if it takes forever." [[spoiler:She doesn't.]]
* PlotTriggeringDeath: There's obviously problems waiting to happen with Susannah being a fiancee to Samuel and his brothers also clearly being love-struck with her, but [[spoiler:it's Samuel's death that causes things to get truly rocky among the entire Ludlow family.]]
* PrecociousCrush: Isabel II, a child, has one on the much older Tristan. [[spoiler: When she grows up, it turns into actual love]].
* ProperLady: Susannah. She is ladylike and polite.
* RapunzelHair: Susannah in true period tradition has beautiful waist length hair. Notably she still keeps it into the 1930s when shorter hairstyles were the fashion.
* RebelliousSpirit: Tristan. He is adventurous and carefree by nature.
* ReformedCriminal: Roscoe Decker. He's clearly wanted by the authorities for ''something'', but no one in the Ludlow family ever mention that or gives it any mind.
* RegalRinglets: Susannah. She has long, curly hair.
* RemovedFromThePicture: After Tristan went away for many years without any communication, Alfred managed to marry Susannah after years of unrequited love. [[spoiler:When Tristan came back, that was the beginning of Susannah's emotional descent which ended with her being DrivenToSuicide.]]
* RetiredBadass: One Stab, as Tristan claims [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counting_coup he had counted coup]] hundreds of times but by that point, One Stab just lives peacefully with the Colonel and his sons.
** Colonel Ludlow also clearly held something over from his military days when [[spoiler:he fearlessly fires a double-barreled shotgun at the last O'Banion brother's group of three once he sees them distracted for a moment looking at One Stab calming a testy horse. Since those weapons only hold two shells, [[BigDamnHeroes it's Alfred who has to kill the last one]].]]
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: Tristan [[spoiler:is none too pleased when Isabel II is killed.]]
** Nor when Samuel was killed earlier. He'd actually already killed the Germans who killed Samuel during his rescue attempt. The ones he scalped were just another set of enemy soldiers.
* TheRoaringTwenties: Part of the Prohibition-related chapters.
* SanitySlippage:
** [[spoiler: Tristan pulling a knife on Susannah when he woke up.]]
** When Tristan beat the racist bartender with his own billy club after he refused to serve One Stab.
** And again when he nearly beats the cop to death with his own machine gun after he inadvertantly killed Isabel II
* SceneryGorn: Trenches littered with decaying fallen soldiers during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI.
* SceneryPorn: From the Ludlow ranch to the African Safari.
* SettleForSibling: Susannah marrying Alfred after giving up on Tristan returning.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Tristan's reaction to Isabel II when he returns.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: By the end, what has been accomplished? Everyone Tristan loved died, and then he died too.]]
* ShirtlessScene: Tristan has a few shirtless scenes throughout the film.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: Susannah. First with Samuel and then with Alfred.
* TheSixties: The final scene takes place in 1963, though you'd never know it.
* SnowMeansDeath: They buried [[spoiler:Samuel's heart]] during the winter.
* SpurnedIntoSuicide: [[spoiler: Susannah kills herself after Tristan rejects her]].
* StarCrossedLovers: Tristan and Susannah oh so much. When they first meet, Susannah is engaged to (and seems to love) his younger brother. They have an affair after his death, but Tristan abandons her and marries Isabel II. [[spoiler: Even after Isabel's death, he rejects Susannah and she ends up killing herself. Tristan lives out the rest of his days without marrying another]].
* TheThreeFacesOfEve: Interestingly enough Susannah fits into all three roles depending on what brother she's with. When she is with Samuel in her youth, she is the Child (an Ingenue; sweet and innocent). The brother she actually marries - Alfred - turns her into the Wife. In her passionate affair with Tristan, she becomes the Seductress.
* {{Tragedy}}: [[spoiler:Most of Tristan's loved ones died tragically while he outlived them.]]
* TragicDream: [[spoiler:Susannah wanted to bear Tristan's children when they were still together. Unfortunately for her, Isabel II filled that role. Despite what her letter says regarding her fond wishes for the birth of Tristan's children, she was in reality utterly devastated.]]
%%* TwilightOfTheOldWest: The early part of the film.
* UnbalancedByRivalsKid: Susannah practically collapses upon reading a letter telling her of the birth of Tristan and Isabel 2's son. When she meets the boy several years later, she's almost in tears.
* TheUnfairSex: Inverted. In a scene from the trailer, the Colonel yells at Susannah for being nothing but trouble since she came to the house. Rather than the son that made a pass at his brother's fiancée.
* TheUnfavorite: Even from the beginning the Colonel doesn't favor Alfred nearly as much as he does Tristan or Samuel, and their relationship only grows colder. Alfred knows it, too.
* UnrequitedLove: Susannah for Tristan. Susannah is madly in love with Tristan but he insists that Susannah moves on and marries another. [[spoiler: She does end up marrying Alfred after not being able to wait for Tristan forever.]]
** Also, Alfred for Susannah. Alfred was in love with Susannah, but she was in love with Tristan. [[spoiler: This is subverted when Susannah marries Alfred.]]
* VictoriousChildhoodFriend: [[spoiler:Isabel II marries one of the three guys that grew up with her.]]
* WalkingDisasterArea: Tristan. Everyone he loved died young. According to One Stab:
-->I thought Tristan would never live to be an old man. I was wrong about that. I was wrong about many things. It was those who loved him most who died young. He was a rock they broke themselves against [[FailureHero however much he tried to protect them]].
* WellDoneSonGuy: Alfred's decisions constantly alienate him from his father. When he compromises his ethics in a BigDamnHero moment, he finally reconciles with the Colonel, giving each other a long, heartfelt hug.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The Sheriff and the O'Banions arrive at the ranch looking for someone, who's picture resembles ranch hand Decker. Decker even leaves upon seeing them coming up, before they can get a good look at him. The Colonel and Albert make up a story about the man in the picture having been there years earlier, but left to go overseas. We never find out why the O'Banions are looking for Decker, nor why they show no interest when he's in the car when Isabel II is shot. It's entirely about having an excuse to introduce the villains and corrupt Sheriff.
* WhenSheSmiles: An epic one given by Julia Ormond's character. Series/SiskelAndEbert raved about it in their review.
%%* WillTheyOrWontThey: Tristan and Susannah.