Prime McMurtry on Amazon

The following is the first of a two-part article:

Amazon Prime subscribers have the most choices when it comes to streaming films and TV shows associated with the late western novelist Larry McMurtry: Brokeback Mountain, The Murder of Mary Phagan, Hud and The Evening Star. And subscribers to Starz via Prime’s add-on channel (or other sources) can stream Terms of Endearment and four Lonesome Dove titles.

Brokeback Mountain (2005, Amazon Prime)

(Note: Watch soon, as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ leaves Amazon Prime as of this Thursday, April 1)

McMurtry won an Oscar and received a Golden Globe nomination for his screenplay adapted from Annie Proulx’s 1997 New Yorker short story about two 1960s cowboys (Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal) whose friendship develops into a love affair. Ang Lee won an Oscar and Golden Globe for his direction; the film itself was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and won for Best Picture-Drama at the Globes; and Ledger, Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams received Oscar acting nominations, with Ledger and Williams also getting Globe noms.

Non-prime subscribers can stream Brokeback Mountain for $3.99 from various sources.  

The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988, Amazon Prime

This two-part NBC miniseries, starring Jack Lemmon, earned McMurtry an Emmy nomination for his story, based on real events, about the aftermath of the murder of a 13-year-old Atlanta girl in 1913. Lennon received an Emmy and Golden Globe Best actor nominations for his performance as Georgia’s governor, and the miniseries itself won an Emmy as Best Miniseries and received a Globe nomination.

You can also stream The Murder of Mary Phagan with an Epix subscription, or for $3.99 from Amazon or iTunes.

Hud (1963, Amazon Prime)

McMurtry first came to the screen when his 1963 novel, Hud, was adapted into this movie about a Texas rancher’s (Melvyn Douglas) battles with his unscrupulous son, Hud (Paul Newman). Douglas won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Patricia Neal, playing the men’s housekeeper, won for Best Actress. Newman and director Martin Ritt received Oscar nominations. The film also received five Golden Globe nominations (the three actors, Ritt, and the film itself for Best Picture – Drama).

You can also stream Hud free with ads on Pluto TV, free without ads if your library is part of Kanopy, or for $2.99 from several sources.

Terms of Endearment (1983, Starz)

Terms of Endearment, based on a 1975 McMurtry novel, won five Oscars, including: Best Picture, Best Actress (Shirley MacLaine), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Director for James L. Brooks, with all but Brooks also winning Golden Globes.   

Non-Starz subscribers can stream Terms of Endearment for $2.99 from several sources.

The Evening Star (1996, Amazon Prime)

Based on a 1992 McMurtry novel, The Evening Star was the sequel to Terms of Endearment, again starring Shirley MacLaine, But it was Marion Ross (yes, Mrs. Cunningham of Happy Days), who picked up the film’s only major award nomination, a Supporting Actress Golden Globe nod for her role as MacLaine’s housekeeper.

Non-Prime subscribers can stream The Evening Star for $2.99 from several sources.

The Last Picture Show (1971)

McMurtry received his first Oscar nomination for co-writing this adaptation of his 1966 novel with director Peter Bogdanovich. It’s an ensemble about a group of teenagers coming of age in a small Texas town in the early 1950s. Two older actors, though, Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman, won supporting actor Oscars, with Johnson also winning a Golden Globe.

You can stream The Last Picture Show for $3.99 from various sources.

Come back here tomorrow for a look at the ‘Lonesome Dove’ franchise.

(Top photo: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Brokeback Mountain’)

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The Savvy One is an elusive bird. Wise and wary of the new television omniverse. Wide-eyed and binge watching his way through life. He is ever perched and ready to bring the knowledge of TV Discovery to the world.

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