365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 94

Release Year: 1994

Oscar Wins:

Best Cinematography

Oscar Nominations:

Best Art Direction

Best Sound


Epic tale of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of 1900s USA and how their lives are affected by nature, history, war, and love.


This flick comes from that simple time when every woman wanted their hair to look like Jennifer Aniston’s. And, they swooned to the long haired Brad Pitt in “Interview with the Vampire”. Later that year, they would become caught up in the family saga “Legends of the Fall”. How well has the film aged? The film opens on the Luster family, as they make their way in the American West. The sons Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Samuel (Henry Thomas) all get along for the most part. That is until Samuel’s fiancee Susannah (Julia Ormond) arrives from Boston. All three men have a strong attraction to Susannah that grows stronger when Samuel and Tristan leave to fight in World War I. Samuel gets killed and it’s not long after the mourning that the two remaining brothers make their move towards Susannah.

Susannah rejects them both flat out, before she eventually finds herself falling in love with Alfred. Tristan distraught and leaves his home for the High Seas. He comes back and marries an Indian and tries to live his life without Susannah. But, things don’t always end up the way that we hope. Ed Zwick does a capable job with lightweight historical fiction that another director could’ve bungled with the greatest ease. Sure, he seems to keep going back to the well with flicks such as this, “Glory” and “The Last Samurai”. But, Zwick manages to bring a fresh masculine perspective to period romance and introspection. It’s a voice that has been missing in Hollywood since the 70s and we should be glad that he provides it today. But, that’s not a free ride for poor storytelling. “Legends of the Fall” falters in its ability to make you care about any character outside of Tristan. The flick should’ve been called The Adventures of Tristan in the early 20th Century. Everybody’s life revolves around this man and no one else gets portrayed with any depth unless it involves Tristan. Such focus makes an ensemble useless and it drags down a high score for the flick. So, what’s left is nothing more than a pretty good flick.

The Blu-Ray comes with a commentary, deleted scenes and featurettes. The A/V Quality is pretty sharp with a rather robust 1080p transfer that shows off the Oscar wining cinematography. However, I found the DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track lost a lot of back channel support during the World War I scenes. That being said, it’s still an incredible release. I’d recommend a purchase.


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