Legends of the Fall



Tween girls will swoon over this tear-jerker.
  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 133 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is about familial ties, and presents a strong family with strong, traditional bonds. Non-traditional or criminal behavior has negative consequences. Stereotyical representations of settlers, Native Americans and the treatment of women.


Graphic war scenes, multiple shootings, fights, impaling, implied suicide


Sex scene, brief nudity.


A few uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus multiple "Goddammit"s.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film features limited sexual material (including a sex scene) and language. There is violence throughout the film, including shootings, fights, an impaling and an implied suicide. Most violent acts are motivated by revenge.

What's the story?

Set during the early 1900s, LEGENDS OF THE FALL is the epic tale of the three Ludlow brothers, Tristan (Brad Pitt), Alfred (Aidan Quinn), and Samuel (Henry Thomas). Tristan is the wild brother, as opposed to the cultured-but-innocent brother (Samuel) and the savvy-and-ambitious brother Alfred. Growing up, the three were tight, led by their headstrong father, Col. William Ludlow (Anthony Hopkins). But when Samuel returns home from college with his bride-to-be, Susannah, things get complicated, even more so after Samuel is killed in the war. Tristan and Alfred fight over Susannah and later Susannah fights with Tristan's wife, Isabel (Karina Lombard), over Tristan.

Is it any good?


Legends of the Fall goes a long way to preserve as many stereotypes about settlers in the Wild West as it can, including Native Americans, and the treatment of women in that era. While Hopkins does a good turn as the firm yet emotionally vulnerable father, the rest of the cast is less than stellar. This goes double for Pitt, though the gratuitous shots of his upper torso that appear throughout the film are what made it a major box office hit.

Best viewed on a big screen TV for its breathtaking Academy-Award winning cinematography (we're not talking about Brad's personal landscape), Legends of the Fall is undoubtedly a chick flick. Though unfortunately, women in this film do not fare very well.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about chick flicks. Who do you think this film was made for? Do you think there is something offensive about the term chick flicks -- or in targeting women with predictable, sentimental movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 16, 1994
DVD release date:May 15, 1998
Cast:Aidan Quinn, Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt
Director:Edward Zwick
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:133 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, and for some sexuality and language

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bySandra miller August 11, 2014


It is great!
Teen, 14 years old Written bykslee00310 December 17, 2011


this is too perfect for any age. has demonstrates that bad guys gets in troubles. and demonstrates what families are about. however, this has too much of a war scene.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byHappilyEverAfter October 23, 2009
Good movie.. didn't really represent the time period too well though. It was very depressing, but it had some interesting topics.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex


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