November 27, 1978 12:00 PM

Somewhere deep inside this lavish, lumbering modern-day Western (set in 1945) lurks a nice, simple movie trying to get out. Director Alan Pakula (All the President’s Men) has gussied it up with a lush Michael Small score, gorgeous Gordon Willis cinematography and big bankable stars—Jane Fonda, James Caan and Jason Robards. (There are also so many cattle stampedes that the film could easily pass for one long Merrill Lynch commercial.) Fonda is fine as a stoic rancher battling change, Caan is likably laconic as her business partner-lover, and Robards glowers his way through the role of the villain. The pace is so agonizingly slow, however, that it’s an effort to stay awake for the fiery finale. (PG)

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