Speaking of family fare, this Christmas tale is so loaded with glowing good cheer you may want to go out and draw a bead on a grizzly b’ar.
Set in 1888 Wyoming but shot near Tucson, Arizona, the picture stars David Carradine as Ike, an Indian-hating rancher, and Wes Studi as a cosmically wise and stoic Indian medicine man, Chief Thomas, who lives with his family on a piece of Ike’s land. Ike is mean mad because Indians killed his wife and his daughter married a livery wimp. Carradine makes a fun grumpus, and every now and then a kind of crocodile amusement crosses his stone scowl, but the picture is so determined to preach tolerance and forgiveness that it never stops to develop a personality. A shame really, because Director James Intveld, who is also an actor and musician, has roots in the funkier end of the LA Rockabilly scene and has done some nice work in that area. The extras include cast and crew commentary, a making-of featurette and a director/writer track. This movie won a Spur for Best Western Drama in 2006 from Western Writers of America.