Tom Selleck Wanted This Little-Known Movie From the 1990s to Be a ‘Definitive Western’

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Although he is well-known for various roles over the span of five decades, “Blue Bloods” star Tom Selleck revealed he wanted this little-known movie from the 1990s to be a “definitive western.”

During a 1997 interview with The Spokesman-Review, Tom Selleck spoke highly about his “Last Stand at Saber River” movie. “I wanted it to be a definitive Western,” Selleck stated about the 1997 film. “In the world of feature films, we had no money at all. But we had the cast.”

Tom Selleck also discussed how money impacts Western movies. “I think all that money gets in the way. As soon as the star demands so many millions, everybody else gets in line. When you’ve got a limited budget, you have to get your act together.”

When chatting about the popularity of Western movies, Tom Selleck explained, “All actors want to make Westerns. They grew up on them. And they don’t make enough of them. I think they’re good for kids. Especially when they’re in the classic mode. They should involve a moral dilemma.”

According to IMDb, “Last Stand at Saber River” follows a returning Confederate veteran after the Civil War who must reclaim his Arizona land and homestead from the Yankee carpetbaggers who illegally occupy it. Selleck starred in the movie alongside Suzy Amis, Rachel Duncan, Haley Joel Osment, and David Carradine. The film aired on TNT. 

Tom Selleck Shares More Details About ‘Last Stand at Saber River’

Tom Selleck also spoke to the Oklahoman about the film, including Amis’ character, Martha, who is the wife of Selleck’s Cable. 

“She is one of this story’s greatest characters,” Tom Selleck explained about his character’s wife. “She’s a gunsmith who can shoot, ride horses, take care of her family. And put Cable in his place. Martha represents the strong women of the Old West who have not often been portrayed in films.” 

When discussing his experience riding a horse, Tom Selleck revealed, “I’ve ridden a lot, but I needed about a month on horseback to reach a point where I could say dialogue or pull a gun and the riding would be second nature. I wanted to have safe enough skills for myself and the people around me.”

In regards to one of the challenges that the production team had for the movie, Tom Selleck said it was the violence. “Violence is one of the necessary elements of drama, but it doesn’t need to be glorified to be effective. Television doesn’t usually show the impact of violence, and I think that’s … wrong. We should portray violence realistically. Not graphically or gratuitously.”

Tom Selleck went on to add that seeing the impact of a bullet, without being too graphic is the consequence of the act.