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      Zandy's Bride

      PG Released May 19, 1974 1h 56m Western List
      Reviews 58% Audience Score 100+ Ratings In the late 19th century, Zandy (Gene Hackman), a hard-boiled California rancher, takes a mail-order bride. But Zandy isn't especially interested in love; instead, he wants a woman who can aid him in the daily struggles of country living. Hanna (Liv Ullmann), the bride, arrives by stagecoach from Minnesota, and immediately angers Zandy by being older than she had stated in her letters. She's also more stubborn than expected -- but this toughness might be just what Zandy needs in a wife. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (3) Critics Reviews
      Dick Lochte Los Angeles Free Press Liv Ullmann is saddled with a glum, grin-and-bear-it characterization that disregards her gently ingratiating charm. Dec 12, 2019 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Tepid pioneer romance film. Rated: C+ Sep 30, 2016 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: C- Jul 16, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Charles T Gene Hackman turns in one of his best performances in this intimate western. Hackman is Zandy, a hard and angry rancher who needs a wife to cook the meals and birth him some sons, and sends away for one. The titular bride comes in the form of Hannah (Liv Ullmann), fresh off the stage from Minnesota to the gorgeous coast near Monterey, California. Hannah has lied about her age and Zandy already has it in for her from the beginning. The two are married immediately, and Zandy sexually assaults his new bride that night (this is a very hard "PG" rated film). Zandy's place is filthy, and Hannah does what she can to clean it up. She makes some meek requests- things like a clothesline, no hats at the dinner table, and Zandy must wash his hands before eating. Zandy reacts angrily and violently to this, and eventually we find out why. Zandy goes to visit his father (Frank Cady), mother (Eileen Heckart), and little brother (Sam Bottoms). There, Pa treats Ma with even less regard than Zandy treats Hannah. Zandy returns home and finds Hannah has befriended Maria (Susan Tyrrell), a hot-to-trot Latina who has obvious designs on Zandy. Tyrrell is surprisingly good in a part that she would be all wrong for. The film wanders from situation to situation, things that may seem minor today, but were part of life back then. Zandy is attacked by a bear, and carted home by some neighbors, who invite the isolated couple to a Thanksgiving barbecue. In one of the film's strongest scenes, Hannah tries to please Zandy by curling her hair and dressing in a red dress, just to be dunked in a horse trough and humiliated by her husband, who thinks she looks like a hussy. Hannah meekly fights back here and there, but she is trying to make the most of her situation. She walks in on Zandy and Maria together, and Zandy takes off for months without telling Hannah where he is going. Jan Troell and screenwriter Marc Norman fashion a great film here. This is a western, but there are no gunfights, no sheriffs, no outlaws, just seemingly realistic life. Troell's camera finds great little scenes, showcasing the actors who are dressed down and dowdy. Life then was ugly, and Troell captures it well. Hackman is incredible. He is really unlikable, cruel, and delights in the cruelty he shows to his new wife. Hackman never crosses the line into caricature, his character is totally believable. Ullmann is also great, not becoming just another victim who turns into a liberated woman at just the right time. The audience realizes she is a person before Zandy does. Like I wrote, Tyrrell is good, as is Heckart. She has a great pained look that is the product of years of her character's abuse at the hands of Frank Cady's Pa, eons from his folksy sitcom characters. The script sends us through the lives of these people without too much direction, and I believe this is because these people's lives were just as directionless. There is an underlying anger and toughness to this cast that you do not see in many westerns, which seem to make us think that life then was really fun. "Zandy's Bride" is not your average western, and even non-genre fans will find something to like. I highly recommend it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 07/18/23 Full Review Audience Member Easy to hate but better to love. Strong performances by Hackman and Liv Ullmann. One of my all time favorites. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/07/23 Full Review Audience Member Well-acted, but glacially slow even by early '70s audience standards. If you're expecting much growth between Zandy (Gene Hackman) and his mail-order bride (Liv Ullmann), you're also likely to be disappointed; for the most part, this western-set relationship depicts a constant state of misunderstanding, mistrust, and abuse. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/16/23 Full Review s r Harsh and realistic depiction of what it would be like as a mail order bride coming to settle in the west. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member good western but reminded me of "rachel & the stranger" Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review Audience Member An example of the 'Death of the Western' genre, with a story that mirrors the changing focus of Hollywood with that of the anti-hero of the west. The is a downbeat story of power, manipulation and control of husband over wife, but one that's not too easy for the aforementioned. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Zandy's Bride

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      Synopsis In the late 19th century, Zandy (Gene Hackman), a hard-boiled California rancher, takes a mail-order bride. But Zandy isn't especially interested in love; instead, he wants a woman who can aid him in the daily struggles of country living. Hanna (Liv Ullmann), the bride, arrives by stagecoach from Minnesota, and immediately angers Zandy by being older than she had stated in her letters. She's also more stubborn than expected -- but this toughness might be just what Zandy needs in a wife.
      Director
      Jan Troell
      Producer
      Harvey Matofsky
      Screenwriter
      Marc Norman
      Distributor
      Warner Bros.
      Production Co
      Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Western
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 19, 1974, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 1, 2007
      Runtime
      1h 56m
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