February 19, 1990 12:00 PM

TNT (Mon., Feb. 19, 8 P.M. ET)

B

A family divided over the issue of selling mining rights on their land is at the center of this modern-day Western. Richard Crenna and Gena Rowlands as the feuding parents are both fine actors, wonderful together in their few scenes of intimate antagonism. Neither is particularly convincing as a hardscrabble rancher type.

It’s only slightly easier to give credence to Lea Thompson and Justin Deas as their kids. That leaves it up to supporting actors Elizabeth Berridge as a cocktail waitress and Jim Bishop as a neighboring cowboy to add the flavor to this alfalfa opera.

The movie settles down when they get out of the pickups and bars and into the saddle. That’s when the splendor of Big Sky Country can weave its spell. Still it’s a nice piece of writing, modest but poignant, by Larry McMurtry.

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