Actor Sam Elliott, who is currently starring in the Yellowstone prequel series 1883, recently appeared on Marc Maron’s podcast where he criticized the Benedict Cumberbatch starring western The Power of Dog for its homosexual themes.
In the most recent episode of Maron’s WTF with Marc Maron Podcast, Maron brings up The Power of the Dog asking Elliott, “Did you see The Power of the Dog? Did you watch that movie?”
Elliott responded, “Yeah, you want to talk about that piece of s**t?” Maron followed up, “You didn’t like that one?” Elliott added, “F*** no.”
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Maron then asked him to elaborate, to which Elliott said, “I’ll tell you why. I didn’t like it anyway. I looked at it when I was down there in Texas doing 1883. And what really brought it home to me, the other day, when I said to you I want to f***ing talk about it. There was a f***ing full page ad out in The LA Times and there was a review, not a review, a clip, and it talked about the evisceration of the American myth.”
He continued, “And I thought, ‘What the f***? What the f***?’ This is the guy that’s done westerns for ever. The evisceration of the American west. They made it look like — what are all those dancers, those guys in New York that wear bowties and not much else? Remember them from back in the day?”
Maron answers, “Oh, the Chippendales.”
Elliot then says, “Yeah, that’s what all these f***ing cowboys in that movie looked like. They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f***ing movie.”
Maron responds, “I think that’s what the movie’s about.”
Elliot then states, “Well, what the f*** does this woman…”
Maron then interjects, “Who? Jane Campion?” (Campion is the director of The Power of the Dog).
Elliot continues, “Yeah. She’s a brilliant director by the way. I love her work — previous work. But what the f*** does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the f*** does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say this is the way it was. So that f***ing rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”
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Elliot then elaborated, “And the myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from f***ing Texas where I was hanging out with families, not men, but families, big, long, extended, multiple generation families that made their living and their lives were all about being cowboys. And boy when I f***ing saw that I thought, ‘What the f***? Where are we in this world today?”
Maron then stated, “I don’t know that’s the biggest issue at hand.”
Elliott countered, “No, it’s not the biggest issue at hand, but, for me it was the only issue because there was so much of it.”
“I mean Cumberbatch never got out of his f***ing chaps. He had two pair of chaps, a wooly pair and a leather pair,” he explained.
Elliott then added, “And every f***ing time he’d walk in from somewhere. I don’t know where in the f*** — he was never on a horse, maybe once — he’d walk into the f***ing house, storm up the f***ing stairs, go lay on his bed in his chaps, and play his banjo.
He concluded, “I was like, ‘What the f***? What the f***? Where’s the western in this western?”
The official description for the film on Netflix states, “A domineering but charismatic rancher wages a war of intimidation on his brother’s new wife and her teen son — until long-hidden secrets come to light.”
A longer synopsis from Netflix reads, “Wealthy Montana brothers Phil (Cumberbatch) and George Burbank are two sides of one coin. Phil is graceful, brilliant and cruel where George is stolid, fastidious and gentle. Together they are joint owners of the biggest ranch in the Montana valley. It is a place where men are still men, the rapidly modernizing 20th century is kept at bay and where the figure of Bronco Henry, the greatest cowboy Phil ever knew, is revered. When George secretly marries local widow Rose (Moss), a shocked and angry Phil wages a sadistic, relentless war to destroy her entirely using her effeminate son Peter as a pawn.”
What do you make of Elliott’s criticism of The Power of the Dog?
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