* AlternateCharacterInterpretation:
** The biggest one is whether or not Alfred loved Susannah. Or did he just see her as a trophy wife?
*** Additionally, there's Alfred's claims of having "followed all the rules" and status as the good son, despite his association with the O'Bannions. The first time he met them, it was clear they had some sort of "arrangement" with the Sheriff and they weren't exactly secretive about their involvement in bootlegging.
** Likewise does Susannah really love Tristan himself? Or is she only attracted to the wild and passionate nature of their relationship?
* HarsherInHindsight: When Susannah meets Isabel II, she cheerfully says "we'll be sisters" - since she intends to marry Samuel. They do end up as sisters in law - [[spoiler: when Susannah is married to Alfred and unhappy, while Isabel II is married to Tristan - the one Susannah really loves]].
* HeReallyCanAct: A lot of critics noted that this was the role that cemented Brad Pitt's leading man status.
* HilariousInHindsight:
** Julia Ormond playing Brad Pitt's lover is very amusing if you've seen her in ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'' where she plays [[spoiler: his daughter]].
** This film wasn't the last time Brad Pitt [[Film/InglouriousBasterds would have a Native American background and scalp Germans in a world war.]]
* JerkassWoobie: Poor Alfred, who is eternally TheUnfavourite. Not to mention the poor guy also has to lose his baby brother, and [[spoiler: eventually his wife]] - all while being looked down on by his family.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter: Isabel II barely has any lines once she grows up. Her sole purpose is to provide Tristan with children and [[spoiler: die horribly so he can swear vengeance]].
* UnintentionallySympathetic: Susannah's ultimate fate is meant to be LaserGuidedKarma. But a combination of Tristan being a massive DesignatedHero and Julia Ormond making her quite TheWoobie leaves people sympathising with her more than the film intends them to.
* TheWoobie: Susannah loses everyone she cares about and ends up in an unhappy marriage. Take note of how happy she is when she first arrives on the ranch. [[spoiler: Then remember that she kills herself when she has no reason to live]].