Old-fashioned rural values and stoicism clash with consumerism and the recklessness of youth in this brilliant study of characters and a new social order. Melvin Douglas and Paul Newman play the father and son who represent this clash, and Newman's younger brother, played by the unusually talented Brandon deWilde, is the one caught in the middle – simultaneously drawn to Newman's narcissism and to his father's dignity and firmness of principle. The film is based on Larry McMurtry's novel "Horseman, Pass By" (his debut, incidentally), and what a remarkable feat his social comment here is. Without the benefit of temporal distance, McMurtry illustrates the state of American agriculture and the cowboys' new position in modern society better than anyone has done before or since. And director Martin Ritt transfers McMurtry's observations brilliantly to the big screen, well helped by a perceptive script by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. and commanding performances by the three leads as well as a steaming Patricia Neal. One of the best films of its kind and of its time. McMurtry followed-up impressively with The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove over the next thirty years.