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Legends of the Fall (1994)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 10

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 182,466

My Rating

Movie Info

The sweeping, melodramatic saga of three brothers, their powerful father, and a beautiful woman, the popular period drama Legends of the Fall presents a romanticized view of rugged masculinity against lush Montana scenery. Based on a novel by Jim Harrison, the film covers decades in the lives of Alfred (Aidan Quinn), Tristan (Brad Pitt), and Samuel (Henry Thomas) Ludlow, the sons of retired military man William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins). Raised by the unorthodox Ludlow after the departure of


Western, Drama, Romance

Susan Shilliday, William D. Wittliff

Apr 29, 1997

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (54) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (24) | DVD (20)

At first, the picture plays like East of Eden with a bonus brother; it gets sillier as it goes.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The actors fit their roles exceptionally well, but Zwick rarely allows them the kinds of crucial, intimate moments that establish how the characters feel about each other.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just when it starts to seem as if Legends might just turn into a pretty good movie, along comes some tired, soap-opera plot device.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Check your cynicism at the door, and just revel in its enormity.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a vast psychodrama being played out on the Ludlow ranch, battles between generations, philosophies, races and sexes. And the landscapes, photographed by John Toll, majestically backdrop all the personal and cultural furies.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Everything about Legends of the Fall shouts epic filmmaking and it is not an altogether unpleasant sound.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A weird melodramatic epic -- Bonanza crossbred with the kind of novel that uses Fabio on the cover.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

While the production is attractive in a calendar-photo sort of way, there's not a speck of genuine feeling in its glossy images.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The real star, however, is John Toll's Oscar-winning cinematography, which is equally at home with the stunning beauty of the mountainous terrain and the killing fields of war-torn France.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Bloated as a TV miniseries two nights too long, Legends of the Fall is stiff and uninteresting.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It's a big movie that's so small on the inside it's not there.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

It either sweeps you up in its rapturous emotional wake or -- and it's a big or -- you just sit there and snicker. I found myself alternately doing both, though fortunately more of the former than the latter.

April 2, 2014 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Tween girls will swoon over this tear-jerker.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

[Pitt] casts such a saintly, beatific sheen over the proceedings that he seems to glow from within.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The part is a gift for Brad: he's a cowboy, soldier, adventurer and wanderer; impossibly glamourous and ludicrously far-fetched.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4

A semi-successful attempt at grand, schmaltzy romantic melodrama, in the manner of 1950s movies like Giant and other works based on literature. Hopkins is hammy as the patriarch but Aidan Quinn and particularly Brad Pitt as his sons at least look right.

February 15, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for Legends of the Fall

Not a legendary tale, but pretty absorbing family drama. Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt shine in their role and so do the supporting actors. However, I gotta admit that I didn't like Julia Ormond and Karina Lombard
February 1, 2011

Super Reviewer

A movie that I feel is both good and bad at the same time. While it is a powerful story, the script is so overly corny that it is ruined. The acting is so-so, Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins gave the only decent performances.
November 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

One of my more favourite Edward Zwick films, I?m not a big fan of his but this film is quite pleasant with some good performances.
September 25, 2009

Super Reviewer

"Legends of the Fall" is an epic set in the early 1900s about a close-knit family that randomly comes together and breaks apart. Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn), and Samuel (Henry Thomas) have always been real close. One thing that all three brothers have in common is that they all go into war together and see how tough it is to experience such a struggle, even though their father, Colonel William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins) doesn't like the idea. Another thing they have in common is that they all love Susannah (Julia Ormond).
All of the characters in "Legends of the Fall" have their own separate personalities that can clash or come together at the drop of a hat. I could explain each of them, but that would give the movie away. Throughout the film, the different characters provide commentary about different events such as reading letters that are written, or telling personal thoughts.

"Legends of the Fall" won the 1994 Oscar for best cinematography in a motion picture, and it's true, this film does have spectacular scenery and landscapes, but that's the least that "Legends of the Fall" has to offer.

There are both good times and bad times in "Legends of the Fall." Overall, it's a fairly depressing movie, but that's just because it's a realistic film about how jealousy and bad times such as war ruled the world back in the early 1900's, and probably even more these days.

As I mentioned earlier, all of the main cast put out their absolute best effort in "Legends of the Fall." As always, I was the utmost impressed by Anthony Hopkins's performance. Brad Pitt, who was the main star in this film, puts out what is his best effort ever, in my opinion.

I can tell when a movie is one of my favorites of all time by how much I want to see it after I see it for the first time, and especially by how often I watch it after seeing it several times. "Legends of the Fall" is one of those movies that never has and never will get old to me.

No matter what kind of movie you like, even if you're not crazy about epics or dramas, give "Legends of the Fall" a chance. It just might become one of your favorite motion picture legends. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. Indeed, Pitt's best, one of Hopkins's best, and one of my favorites.
September 14, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. One Stab: Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and they live by what they hear. Such people become crazy, or they become legends.
    – Submitted by Jeff R (6 months ago)
    1. Samuel Ludlow: Still hung over?
    2. Tristan Ludlow: Still drunk.
    – Submitted by Jeff R (7 months ago)
    1. One Stab: Every warrior hopes a good death will find him. But Tristan couldn't wait, he went looking for his.
    – Submitted by Jeff R (7 months ago)
    1. One Stab: Tristan died in the moon of the popping trees. He was last seen in the north country, hunting. His grave is unmarked, but it does not matter. He had always lived in the borderland, anyway. Somewhere between this world and the other. lt was a good death.
    – Submitted by Jao R (8 months ago)
    1. Susannah Finncannon: l have nowhere to send this letter. And l have no reason to believe you wish to receive it. l write it only for myself. l'll hide it away with all the other things left undone between us.
    – Submitted by Jao R (8 months ago)
    1. Alfred Ludlow: I followed all of the rules, man's and God's. And you, you followed none of them. And they all loved you more. Samuel, Father, and my... even my own wife.
    – Submitted by Jao R (8 months ago)
View all quotes (7)

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