|Amanda Plummer, John Savage and Diane Lane in Cattle Annie and Little Britches|
Hollywood made a brief, lyrical attempt at resurrecting the western in the early 1980s with The Long Riders, Cattle Annie and Little Britches and Barbarosa, but unhappily none of them was a hit and they’ve all been largely forgotten. Cattle Annie, directed by Lamont Johnson, was released in 1981 and remains the most obscure. It had a brief life on VHS but it’s never come out on DVD, and you’d be hard put to find it on television. I was lucky enough to catch a print – faded but not enough to cancel out the pleasures of Larry Pizer’s pastoral cinematography – in a centennial tribute to Burt Lancaster at the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square over the summer.