Matewan - Favorite Sayles
One of my favorite Sayles movies, along with the more recent ‘Lone Star’. Probably saw for the first time on cable, and have watched several times since over the past few years. Fascinating history lesson of the early socialist movement, with a great 'wild west’ shootout at the finale that is worthy of comparison to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Full of a lot of usual 'Sayles’ touring company regulars, and with a wonderful performance at its center by Chris Cooper (also star of 'Lone Star’ coincidentally) and featuring two very creepy villains played by Kevin Tighe and Gordon Clapp.
Had this to say on Netflix sometime around 2001:
One of my favorite of Sayles’ films. Great Cast of the director’s 'stock’ company in an intelligent and beautiful film with a bloody shootout finale to rival 'The Wild Bunch’ (especially considering the budget). Unfortunately, this DVD transfer is absolutely horrible. No widescreen option, the Sound is wretched, the picture is grainy (although I remember the original was filmed this way??). would sure like to see a Criterion version of this film.
4 stars out of 5
Released 1988, First Viewing October 1989 with many revisits