Rancho Diablo, Shooter's Cross is a classic style horse opera
filled with gunfights, crooks and most of the expected sidekicks.
The core story is classic horse opera
but the delivery is odd.
Overused on television, it gradually lost its allure as tastes changed from the black-and-white morality of the horse opera
to the more sophisticated ambivalence of post-1960s cinema.
Despite all the directing awards Steven Spielberg has received, the current horse opera
in his neighborhood is doomed to end up on the editing room floor.
The story is a mix of the historical feel of an early L'Amour story and the horse opera
style of Max Brand but with a touch of adult themes.
Autry's early recordings merged the western style with country music, then known as hillbilly, while his movies set the standard for the horse opera
, with its white-hatted singing cowboy, heroic horse and bumbling sidekick, a format later taken up by Roy Rogers and others.
Compliments to the real live horse - after all it is a horse opera
- at the end.
Purely by chance, Ed Harris picked up a copy of Zane Grey's 1912 horse opera
"Riders of the Purple Sage" in 1980.
Kevin Costner and Kevin Kline shine in the first of the former's horse operas