Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Horse Nation movie critic Amanda Ronan is ready to taste test some cinematic man-candy.
They tip their hat in just the right way, the grin is always lopsided, the stride is always confident albeit bowlegged, they’re scrupulous but never self-righteous… you know who I’m talking about… the archetypal cowboy. In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, I’d like to take the time to pay homage to a few from the silver screen.
Let’s start with a good one. My mom told me this guy was “the sexiest man alive other than your dad” when I was about 9 years old. For your listening pleasure, I give you Mr. George Strait from Pure Country (1992).
Admit it, you swooned a little. While we’re in the mood for a man that can carry a tune, let me introduce you to Garrett Hedlund from Country Strong (2010).
Come on! At the end of the song when his hair brushed up against her forehead… perfection. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve decided that if my life were ever made into a movie, Garrett Hedlund would absolutely play my husband, Josh. Okay… maybe I am.
These next two cowboys, well, the truth is they only had eyes for each other. But the movie, Brokeback Mountain (2005) directed by Ang Lee, is arguably one of the best unrequited love stories ever written and in my opinion has one of the top “Reunited Kiss” scenes ever, just after the infamous post swan, in the rain, dock kiss of The Notebook. And let’s face it… if two cowboys have to get together it might as well be Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.
On a lighter note, Crazy Cora and “Roy” aka Matthew Quigley, played by Tom Selleck, light up the screen in the western/romantic/comedy Quigley Down Under (1990). You’ll have to watch yourself to see a kiss scene, but their first meeting is one of my favorites.
Then we head into the American wilderness with Tom Berenger, a shy cowboy that proves he’s “a good student,” in The Last of the Dogmen (1995). Watch this goodbye kiss go from mediocre to “turn that horse around boy!” epic.
Of course, we have to honor the cowboys from the land down under. Tom Burlinson, in The Man from Snowy River (1982), is arguably the most iconic drover, but my favorite has to be Hugh Jackman of Australia (2008). The movie wasn’t a huge box-office hit, but I’ll never forget that “drover shower.” Bow-chicka-wow-wow…
And it gets even better when he suits up in a white tuxedo and they kiss in the rain. Why is it always in the rain?
Whew… Happy Valentine’s Day Horse Nation!
About the Author
Amanda’s experience with horses is just as eclectic as her taste in movies. She has dabbled in almost every discipline from eventing to team penning to fox hunting. She started riding when she was 8 with her local 4-H club in Western performance events. She moved on to the AQHA circuit with her Quarter Horse, “Aggie,” when she was 12 and he was a green 2 year old. Through college she held a working student position at Seahorse Sporthorses, owned by Terri Adams, where she was introduced to the wonderful world of show jumping and eventing. Along with Aggie, who just turned 20 years old, she has two OTTBs in her herd named “Gump” and “Lizard.” Amanda continues her jumping training with Ms. Adams and works on that necessary evil also known as dressage with Mimi Burch of Blue Moon Farm.