Movies: A Tender Cowpoke Love Story

Talk about revisionist westerns! Brokeback Mountain is, as far as one can tell, the first movie to trace the course of a homosexual relationship between a pair of saddle tramps, doing so in considerable--if discreetly visualized--detail, from first idyllic rapture to angry rupture some 20 years later.

Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet in the summer of 1963 when they sign on to tend a herd of sheep on the eponymous peak, which director Ang Lee locates high in ravishing Marlboro Country. Ennis is a slow-drawling man's man, a simple soul content to live out a...

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