Kevin Costner Made A Classic Western That’s Nowhere On Streaming

The 2003 hit Open Range starring Kevin Costner can't be found on any major streaming platform.

By Chad Langen | Updated

Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner in Open Range

Despite boasting a talented cast that includes Yellowstone star Kevin Costner, Open Range is not currently available for streaming on Netflix, HBO Max, or any other major platform. The popularity of the film, which was a box office success and received critical acclaim, makes its absence from streaming services all the more disappointing. To experience this classic Western, you will have to rent or purchase it from a digital retailer or search for it on cable television.

Set in the early 1880s, Open Range tells the story of two cowboys, Boss Spearman (Robert Duvall) and Charley Waite (Kevin Costner), who are part of a group of free-grazing cattle drivers in the American West. The cowboys encounter trouble in a small town where the corrupt sheriff, Denton Baxter (Michael Gambon), and his men run things with an iron fist. Harassed, arrested, and with their friend Mose (Abraham Benrubi) beaten to death, Spearman and Waite are determined to seek revenge with the assistance of Sue Barlow (Annette Bening), a doctor’s sister residing in the town.

Kevin Costner directed, produced, and stars in Open Range, his second western after his Oscar-winning best picture Dances with Wolves. The movie was adapted from the Lauran Paine novel The Open Range Men, and Costner worked on the script with writer Craig Storper. Costner’s former production company, TIG Productions, produced the film, which was released by Touchstone Pictures.

Speaking of the film’s production, Open Range has some interesting trivia associated with it. While filming a scene where Kevin Costner’s character is meant to be knocked unconscious, the veteran actor reportedly insisted on actually being hit to make the scene look more realistic. This led to him being knocked out for approximately five seconds, much to the surprise of his co-star Robert Duvall.

Another interesting fact about Open Range is that the film features a special breed of cattle called Texas Longhorns. To ensure that the cattle looked authentic and historically accurate, Kevin Costner reportedly purchased 150 steers and trained them for the movie. The Longhorns’ unique appearance helped to add to the film’s realism, making it an even more compelling and immersive experience for viewers.

Trivia aside, Open Range was shot on location in Alberta, Canada, and boasts breathtaking cinematography by J. Michael Muro. The film’s stunning visuals are complemented by an equally impressive soundtrack composed by Michael Kamen. The Kevin Costner-directed movie took home the Bronze Wrangler award for Best Theatrical Picture at the 2004 Western Heritage Awards.

Open Range was well-received by critics and audiences, with many praising Costner’s return to the Western genre. Critics praised the film’s performances, particularly those of Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner, who had excellent chemistry on screen. Moreover, Annette Bening was also hailed for her portrayal of the independent and strong-willed Sue Barlow.

Along with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall, and Annette Bening, Open Range boasts a tremendous supporting cast, with Michael Gambon delivering a chilling performance as the villainous Denton Baxter. Abraham Benrubi, Diego Luna, and Michael Jeter are also standout performers in their respective roles. The movie’s casting was spot-on, with each actor bringing depth and authenticity to their characters.

Aside from its positive critical reception, Open Range also achieved box office success. Working on a production budget of approximately $22 million, the film grossed over $68 million worldwide. While that’s nowhere near the $424 million Kevin Costner’s previous western Dances with Wolves raked in, it was enough for the film to be considered profitable.

Open Range has become a favorite among fans of Westerns for many reasons, including its exceptional performances, beautiful cinematography, and engaging storyline. Kevin Costner’s direction is top-notch, and his portrayal of Charley Waite is undoubtedly a standout aspect of the film. The movie’s dedication to realism and historical accuracy also contributes to its enduring popularity among Western film fans.

At some point in the future, Open Range may become available for streaming on one of the many platforms currently available. At present, however, viewers who wish to watch this classic Western must pay to rent or purchase it from a digital retailer. Alternatively, Kevin Costner fans can watch the actor in the popular modern Western series Yellowstone, which is available for streaming on Peacock.