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Film: Legends Of The Fall
A 1994 film based on the 1979 novel by Jim Harrison. Directed by Edward Zwick. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond. Is a Generational Saga about the lives and loves of the Ludlow clan. John Toll won the award for Best Cinematographer at that year's Oscars.

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 (Anthony Hopkins), his sons, Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Samuel (Henry Thomas), and object of the brothers' love, Susannah (Julia Ormond).

The film was both a critical and box office hit. It earned $160,638,883 in the worldwide market. With almost 67 million in the United States market, it was its 17th most successful film that year. The creators hoped that it would receive several awards, but it ended up overshadowed by more prominent productions.


This film provides examples of:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Susannah falls for edgy, rebellious, roguish and adventurous Tristan.
  • Aloof Older Brother: Alfred.
  • Always Second Best/Always Someone Better: Alfred felt this way about Tristan.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Samuel to both Alfred and Tristan.
  • Badass Grandpa/Cool Old Guy/Colonel Badass/Retired Badass: Col. Ludlow, after recovering from his stroke.
  • Badass: Tristan, Col. Ludlow, and Alfred.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Tristan, Alfred, Col. Ludlow.
  • Badass Mustache: Col. Ludlow.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Two battles with bears, one lethal to the sole surviving protagonist.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Brad Pitt doesn't shave when he's depressed.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Alfred is protective of his younger brothers.
    • Tristan is highly protective of Samuel.
  • Big "NO!": When Tristan failed to save Samuel from being killed by Kaiser soldiers, which leads to his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
    • He lets out several when he sees that Isabel II has been shot.
  • Big "YES!": 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!!!"
  • Bishōnen: Brad at his prettiest.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Tristan. He is a friendly and rebellious rogue.
  • Brainy Brunette: Susannah. Appears to be educated, smart, logical and practical.
  • Break the Cutie: Tristan and Susannah.
  • Brown Eyes: Susannah.
  • Canucks with Chinooks: The Canadian Expeditionary Force and some of its battles are rather prominently featured.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literally. The shotgun Tristan gives to his father after Walking the Earth plays a big part in the finale.
  • The Chick: Susannah.
  • Crapsack World: None of the characters lead particularly happy lives, even when not considering the one who committed suicide out of despair.
  • Damsel in Distress: Susannah.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Tristan's final encounter with the bear at the end of the film. Also most of the other deaths scattered throughout.
  • Deadly Distant Finale: Tristan is killed by a bear in 1963, after outliving the rest of his loved ones.
  • Disposable Woman: Isabel II doesn't get much screentime until her death. And even the sole purpose of that appears to be to send Tristan off the deep end again
  • Dogged Nice Girl: She repeatedly tries to get Tristan to understand the love that they share and tries to stop him from leaving her.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tristan was apparently a bit too harsh when dismissing Susannah.
  • Dude Magnet: Susannah. She manages to have all three Ludlow brothers falling in love with her.
  • The Dutiful Son: Alfred. Unfortunately, his idea of duty doesn't always match up with his father's idea.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: One of the cops does this at a roadblock with a Tommy Gun to get Tristan's attention. He ends up killing Isabell.
  • Happily Married: Tristan and Isabel II. Unfortunately, Isabel dies.
  • Hunk: Tristan. Have you seen Brad Pitt in this film?
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Alfred. They are very light blue and piercing.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This is how the younger O'Banion brother met his end.
  • Important Haircut: Susannah hacks off her hair prior to committing suicide.
  • I Will Wait for You: Susannah says this to Tristan before he leaves. Subverted in that Susannah didn't wait and ended up marrying Alfred.
  • The Irish Mob: The O'Banions, the only group of bootleggers prominently depicted, are Irish.
  • Karmic Death: Tristan is killed by the bear he maimed.
  • Killed Off for Real: Samuel in the beginning of the movie. He dies in battle, forever changing Tristan as a person.
  • Knife Nut: Tristan.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: Susannah. Her hair is ultra long.
  • Loveable Rogue: Tristan.
  • Love Confession: Alfred confessed his love for Susannah in a rather awkward situation.
  • Love Hurts: 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?
  • Love Triangle: More like a love rhombus or love square, with all three Ludlow brothers falling in love with Susannah.
  • May-December Romance: Isabel II and Tristan, although it's more May-September. She's young enough to be his little sister rather than his daughter
  • The Mourning After
  • Mr. Fanservice: Tristan.
  • Nice Girl: Susannah.
  • The One That Got Away: Tristan for Susannah. She always loved him but eventually, the love was unreciprocated.
  • Parental Abandonment: The Ludlow brother's mother left because she wasn't comfortable with the living situations. She felt there were too many bears.
  • Parental Favouritism: Col. Ludlow seemed to show favouritism towards Tristan.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: 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.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: As Tristan was leaving the Ludlow Ranch to find himself, Susannah begged him to stay. Despite her best efforts, Tristan was adamant. She responded, "I Will Wait for You. Even if it takes forever."
  • Precocious Crush: Isabel II to Tristan.
  • Proper Lady / Ojou: Susannah. She is ladylike and polite.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Susannah.
  • Rebellious Spirit: Tristan. He is adventurous and carefree by nature.
  • Regal Ringlets: Susannah. She is long, curly hair.
  • Removed from the Picture: After Tristan went away for many years without any communication, Alfred managed to marry Susannah after years of unrequited love. When Tristan came back, that was the beginning of Susannah's emotional descent which ended with her being Driven to Suicide.
  • The Roaring Twenties: Part of the Prohibition-related chapters.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • 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.
  • Scenery Gorn: Trenches littered with decaying fallen soldiers during World War One.
  • Scenery Porn: From the Ludlow ranch to the African Safari.
  • Shirtless Scene: Tristan has a few shirtless scenes throughout the film.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Susannah. First with Samuel and then with Alfred.
  • The Sixties: The final scene takes place in 1963, though you'd never know it.
  • Snow Means Death: They buried Samuel's heart during the winter.
  • Spurned Into Suicide: Susannah.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Tristan and Susannah oh so much.
  • Tragedy: Most of Tristan's loved ones died tragically while he outlived them.
  • Tragic Dream: 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.
  • Twilight of the Old West: The early part of the film.
  • The Unfavourite: 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.
  • Unrequited Love: Susannah for Tristan. Susannah is madly in love with Tristan but he insists that Susannah moves on and marries another. 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. This is subverted when Susannah marries Alfred.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: Isabel II marries one of the three guys that grew up with her.
  • Virgin Power: At the start of the movie, Susannah is a virgin. Subverted when she loses her virginity to Tristan.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Tristan and Susannah.
  • World War One


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alternative title(s): Legends Of The Fall
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