Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1988. Esparza, Universal Pictures, Wildwood Enterprises. Screenplay by John Nichols, David S. Ward, based on the novel by John Nichols. Cinematography by Robbie Greenberg. Produced by Moctesuma Esparza, Robert Redford. Music by Dave Grusin. Production Design by Joe Aubel, Thomas L. Roysden. Costume Design by Bernie Pollack. Film Editing by Dede Allen, Jim Miller. Academy Awards 1988. Golden Globe Awards 1988.
A tiny town in New Mexico which has been perfectly quiet for centuries is suddenly the centre of action when a land developer threatens to turn the place upside down. Wanting to ruin agricultural land that belongs to local bean farmers, the construction baron (Richard Bradford) woos the people of Milagro onto his side with the promise of high-paying jobs (temporarily, of course) in building the resort complex he has in mind. However, when a feisty farmer (Chick Vennera) diverts the town’s water supply illegally for his own bean field, the people suddenly find a reason to rebel: they have always resented the strict application of water laws that has always been in favour of the rich, thus making Bradford and his people the new enemy. Lots of memorable characters, though the overall effect is rather shallow.