Author: Paul I. Wellman
Setting: 1840's Texas
Plot: Paul Regret, New Orleans' gambler, engages in a duel with the only son of influential Judge Beaubein. Regret shoots the young man, but does not kill him. Regardless, he has to flee New Orleans with a price on his head. Going to Texas, he is given a choice by Sam Houston himself, of either being extradited to Louisiana or joining the Texas Rangers. Regret cho0ses to join the Rangers, not because he wants to be a Texas Ranger, but because he preferred that to hanging. He learns the ropes of being a Ranger...witnesses the aftermath of a Comanche raid [and from reading The Captured by Scott Zesch (I never finished it), I knew exactly what the author delicately alluded to]...and with his shooting skills earns respect, if not acceptance among the Rangers.
When Regret is commissioned with Tom Gatling (his rather hostile partner) and Captain Blake Henrion to discover the hideout of the Comancheros, the story really takes off. I won't let on what happens, only that they get captured.
Paul Regret's love interest is woven throughout the book and ends up being important to the story.
There was a movie made from the book....
The Duke is not Paul Regret--rather he's the Tom Gatling character--with a different name. If you ask my opinion, the book is better. The Comancheros, the movie is actually quite different than the book. The opening scene is the same and then one scene when Regret is among the Comancheros is the same. That's about it.
In the movie, Paul Regret meets his love interest on a boat (in the book he's known her for several years). He is arrested on the boat by the Duke (or Jake Cutter). Sam Houston is not in the movie. Anyway, Regret gets hauled around by Cutter--Regret knocks Cutter on the head and runs away. He get's re-caught and ends up being drug into the Comanchero trip (no Capt. Henrion in this version). The end is not nearly as powerful.
That was very uncohearant...but I just wanted to say that the book was the better of the two stories. Of course, being a Duke fan--the Comancheros isn't bad :) (Duke is himself you know...I like the Paul Regret of the book better--he's not quite such a prig.)
Book: 5 star
Movie: 3 star
I have wanted to watch this movie for a while, since I re-discovered it in the DVD cabinet this winter. I'm going to say right off the bat, I enjoyed it. I believe I giggled more than I was on the edge of my seat. The Princess Bride has plenty of Drama, Romance (of course! it's a fairy tale), Danger, and Humor. It is somewhat hokey in someplaces, but for just having a good laugh...who cares!
The Plot: The little boy is sick: his grandpa comes and reads him the story of The Princess Bride. Naturally, the boy is rather resistant to a fairy tale to start with--but through the movie, he gets drawn into the story. (I found this a neat, even hiliarious twist.)
Buttercup is a commoner; Wesley is a commoner. They fall in love. (Suprise!) He goes off to seek his forture and "dies". Five years pass and Buttercup ends up being engaged to the Prince of the land. (She doesn't love him, of course--her heart still belongs to Wesley; even though she believes him dead.) The day of the engagement, she gets kidnapped. The kidnappers are followed by a man in black...between this point and the 'happily ever-after' there is danger, humor, suprises, trechary, and, well, romance. I don't want to give too much away, but things include poison, valient sword fights (my favorite!), fire swamps, etc. The identity of the villian is suprising and unexpected.
Pros and Cons on the story: Wesley is the hero...he is the faithful man who leads. loves, and protects. Buttercup is not a feminist. (I liked that part.) Niether character is portrayed as perfect. There is character growth (even if just tiny.) There is no magic. Even when Wesley is 'dead' and raised up he wasn't really dead--just mostly dead. (That whole part was funny as he 'comes back to life'--the actor was great!) I'm not quite sure if the filmmaker was mocking the church by making the bishop (or whatever he was) lisp something awful or not...I will say though that the lisp was unexpected and somewhat startling at first. (Rather sounds like Elmer Fudd--all 'r's are 'w's...) There was one word which was 'bad'--I don't know if it was 'Jeeze' or "Jesus" (okay, so the former is just slang for the latter and ought not be used at all either); it was only used once and by the little boy when he got agitated over what was going to happen next. That was the only profanity. There were NO CRASS JOKES. (Maybe that's because the film was made in 1987?) Buttercup's dresses were modest--no cleavage (you wouldn't get that today! They'd be taking every chance to show off her chest!) Certain characters were 'bad-guys' who end up being 'good-guys'--not exactly sure how to rate that, but the movie wouldn't have worked without them. There was enough kissing, but the focus was more on the story than the smooching. One thing I did notice that was somewhat odd--you never see Buttercup's parents; so I don't know if she was supposed to be an orphan or whether they would have just been extraneous characters that weren't really necessary...(i.e. character who would have been in one sence/had to been paid by the producers.)
The Art: The 'special effects' (F/X) work was very, very good for the time. I thought it looked more 'real' than some more modern, digital F/X or CGI work (take Star Wars [episodes 1-3] for instance--that looks fake.) The costumes were well done; except the crowns looked kind of hokey ;) The acting is professional...afterall, it takes a professional to act as limber as Wesley...(it makes me snicker to think of the sence I'm referencing.) The fencing was well done (as far as my limited knowledge could tell.) Some ot the make-up work was rather obvious, but as it's a fairy-tale it wasn't ridiculous.
Overall rating: For good, clean fun; 5-star.