All the Pretty Horses

by Sydney Blair

Book vs. Movie

Character development:

At the beginning the story the author Cormack McCarthy, introduces his character in the first few parts. He gives them a full background so that the reader comes to the characters. Especially john grady cole and rawlins. It explains why he wants to leave and tells of his mother and him seeing her in a new town with her boyfriend. He hates her because she is selling his ranch that she happened to get in a divorce.

whereas in the movie, Thorton gives a little attention to the reason as to why he decides to go there other than his John Grady Coles dad dying and the ranch being sold.

Rawlins wants to leave because he has nothing there, and he had just broken up with his girlfriend. The book gives detail of what happened and even a meeting between the two before he leaves. The movie gives no explanation as to why he is going other than his best friend is going so therefore he is going with him.

The Aunt is also different in the novel, she is describes as having a mothering role and says that it is because the mother died therefore she had to take her place. It also explains why she is much harder, which is because Alexandria is so much like her mother and she reminders the aunt of her. While in the book, it explains that the mother is somewhere else in Mexico, and the aunt is more like a governess who needs to protect the daughters reputation.

Belvins, in the movie, tags along with them and tells them that they should take him with him because he is a true cowboy where as in the book it gives a description of the kid fixing a car in the town that they stop in and he just happens to over hear them talking about Mexico


All the trouble starts when John grady cole and Rawlins acquire a tag along, Belvins. He comes up with this horse that no 16 year old kid would have (its way to pretty of a horse, properly breed). So the reason as to why he is on his way to with them to mexico is very apparent. The book goes into the integrity of stealing, while the movie leaves this out. and that if the kid was with them to escape the law then he should go on his way by himself and that it goes against cowboy rules. while in the movie they just make belvins feel like an outcast and he is too green to be around them. Which turns out to be true. They get caught in a rain storm, which gives Belvins the nerves and he ends up stripping down into his underwear and leaving his horse. The next morning the horse is gone and in the town that they come across he happens to see the horse and steals it. However this causes an uproar in the town and the people in the town chase after him. He is then cornered and he shoots two men. A little later on in the book the two guys are taken from the ranch hand jobs and taken into custody and since there is no capital punishment in Mexico "arrangments" have to be made for murder. So the police officer gets paid off for letting the two guys go as long as Belvins is killed. The movie does not talk about violating laws and morals where as the book goes into detail of what should be done and what shouldn't be.

The book had a smooth and easy rhythm to read with while the movie was a little choppy with its transitions. Although it was given the same tone as the book, it did not capture the dream like state.

Like any other book and movie, there are critics that say that the movie was nothing like the book which is true when it comes to certain scenes however the movie was a true western like the book morals and all.