The Ballad of Lucy Whipple

Bruce Broughton

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The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Review

by Jason Ankeny

A Western score of uncommon intricacy and depth, Bruce Broughton's The Ballad of Lucy Whipple captures the stark melancholy of prairie life with vivid clarity despite its anachronistic arrangements, which employ synthesizers and electronic effects alongside period instruments including banjo, fiddle, and accordion. Broughton remains a master of character insight and development, communicating the film's emotional arc with sympathy and clarity. Although he excels with more contemplative themes like the opening "Meet Lucy Whipple," the bleak "The Death of Butte" and the suspenseful "Diggins on Fire" are no less effective.

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