Legends of the Fall is one hell of a tragic drama with a deep storyline. It is based on a book with the same title by Jim Harrison.
Colonel Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) lives with his three sons in a ranch somewhere in The Rocky Mountains. The eldest, Alfred (Aidan Quinn) is an overachiever who unsuccesfully, tries so hard to win his father’s validation and love. Tristan (Brad Pitt) the middle one, is an adventurer. There is a love and hate relationship between Tristan and his father but his father is proud of him. The youngest, Samuel (Henry Thomas) is how the youngest child can be; vulnerable and lovable.
It all starts with Samuel taking his fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond) to visit his father and brothers. Susannah charms everyone in Ludlow family. Alfred falls for her. Tristan too.
One day Samuel decides to leave to fight for war leaving Susannah behind at the house. Tristan must protect Samuel. So he goes to the frontline where Samuel unfortunately dies during a battle.
Heartbroken, Susannah finds comfort by Alfred. Tristan copes with the loss by travelling around the world and in the end he comes back home. Meanwhile Susannah and Alfred are married, Alfred has become governor. Susannah still loves Tristan though, after all these years. Alfred finds out about this. Old wounds are opened between these two brothers, they fight over the love of one woman they love and they fight for their father’s love, validation and approval.
And the end, Alfred dies, Susannah dies. Father Ludlow dies. Even Tristan’s wife dies. And Tristan? He is left behind, alone. This is a very tragic movie. Sad story, excellent cast and breathtaking view make Legends of the Fall one of my favorite movies.
Highly recommended to watch.
Other movies that make me sad: Hotel Rwanda, What dreams may come, Shame, Cloud Atlas.