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Film / Appaloosa

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"Like my father, I'd been West Point, and I was good at soldiering. But soldiering didn't allow for much expansion of the soul. So after the war between the States and fighting Indians, I turned in my commission and rode away to see how much I could expand it. First time I met Virgil Cole was when I and my eight-gauge backed him up in a showdown he was having with some drunken mountain men. Virgil asked me right there on the spot if I'd partner up with him and his peacekeeping business. Which is why I was with him now, and why I still carry the eight-gauge. We'd been keeping the peace together for the last dozen years or so. And as we looked down on a town called Appaloosa, I had no reason to doubt we'd be doing just that for the foreseeable future. But life has a way of making the foreseeable that which never happens, and the unforeseeable that which your life becomes."
Everett Hitch

A 2008 Western film based on the Robert B. Parker novel of the same name. Directed by, produced by, adapted for film and starring Ed Harris as Virgil Cole, who along with his friend Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen) become lawmen of the town of Appaloosa, New Mexico in order to stop Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons), a rancher who killed Cole's friend and the town's previous marshal, Jack Bell.

A woman named Allie French (Renée Zellweger) arrives in town as well, and soon, the mission to take down Randall Bragg becomes more complicated than any of them could ever imagine.

  • Badass Moustache: Hitch has quite the 'stache.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Bragg uses his political connections to escape justice, and the same town leaders who hired Cole and Hitch to stop him are soon quite chummy with Bragg. Subverted when Hitch decides to just kill him.
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  • BFG: Hitch's eight-gauge shotgun.
  • Big Bad: Randall Bragg is the one who sets the events of the film in motion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Hitch kills Bragg, but in order to do so he has to resign as Cole's deputy - and lifelong friend - and has to leave town.
  • Cop Killer: Randall Bragg kills Appaloosa town marshal Jack Bell and two of his deputies at the beginning of the film.
  • Cultured Badass: Hitch is as well-educated as he is good with a gun. And he's very good with a gun.
  • Enemy Mine: Cole, Hitch, Allie, Bragg and the Shelton Brothers agree not to try anything around each other as long as they are stuck in Injun Country.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Bragg. And everyone knows it.
  • The Gunslinger: Cole is a Quick Draw example.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Cole and Hitch, so very much.
  • The Lancer: Hitch is the deputy to Cole.
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  • Love Triangle: The relationship between Cole, Hitch and Allie at the beginning.
  • The Paragon: Cole.
  • Riding into the Sunset: Hitch, after killing Bragg in a duel at the end of the film.
  • The Western: Set in 1882 New Mexico.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Bragg is both well-known to be a bad guy behind a lot of criminal activity in the area, but he's also wealthy and well-connected - he even returns from a prison escape with a Presidential pardon! - which (almost) makes him untouchable.
  • Wicked Cultured: Bragg. He's especially annoyed at those who aren't cultured, such as Cole.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Allie and Cole may be together, but she flirts with Hitch more than once and is caught multiple times in compromising situations with some of Bragg's henchmen. Hitch reasons she does so because she's unsure of her personal well-being, and hopes she settles down with Cole. But then he catches her coming out of Bragg's hotel room...

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