In this episode, we discuss the largely uncommented-on Thunderheart, a 1992 police-on-a-reservation film inspired by the tumultuous events that took place during the 1970s. It stars Val Kilmer as a Federal Agent investigating a murder occurring amidst deep civil unrest. Featuring terrific supporting performances by Sam Shepard and Graham Greene, this movie offers a glimpse into a world very rarely seen in movies, either classic era westerns or in modern times! Topics of conversation include one of our favorites, whether or not this is a proper western, similar reservation-themed stories in popular culture (Tony Hillerman and Longmire), a cursory discussion of the Leonard Peltier story that inspired the film, vacation memories of visiting South Daktoa’s Badlands, wild speculation about Sam Shepard’s lovelife, the process of receiving a rabies shot, Johnny Depp’s Tonto, a theoretical peyote sequence cut from the film, and an extended ramble about the differences between how mainstream and offshoot faiths are represented in film. Also, and this is important to note, the film’s talented director, Michael Apted is indeed still alive and his Up documentary series is in fact still ongoing! Sorry about the confusion there. Michael Apted is great. He made Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Other films discussed at the end of the female-focused recent releases Hidden Figures and The Beguiled, both receiving mild recommends! If you’d like to hear back episodes not listed on the iTunes feed, you can find them on our website, Also, please leave us ratings and reviews on itunes! Also, if you would like us to answer any western-related questions you might have, or would perhaps like to hear us talk about a specific film, please email us at! Hey, why not?

Thunderheart is a 1992 release, starring Val Kilmer, Graham Greene and Sam Shepard. It was directed by the very much alive Michael Apted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *