The Outfitters

Director: Reverge Anselmo
Screenwriters: Reverge Anselmo

Institute History

  • 1999 Sundance Film Festival


Much as Mel Brooks did in Blazing Saddles, Reverge Anselmo reinvents the studio western, only this time as independent comedy. With an adept sense of place and people, The Outfitters combines outlandish situations with truly human characters to create a film both amusing and touching. An utterly amazing sound track from such diverse artists as Ennio Morricone, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and Tommy James and the Shondells sets the mood.
Shot entirely on location in New Mexico, the film follows the travails of P. D. (Danny Nucci) and A. J. (Del Zamora) Mitjans, brothers disagreeing on how to dispose of a ramshackle ranch inherited from their father. They embark on hapless moneymaking schemes long on intent but short on execution, ranging from ostrich wrangling to quarantined-cattle rustling, in an attempt to save the ranch. During their misadventures, they receive help from Cat Bonfaim (Dana Delany), their former baby-sitter, who plays a scandalous game of Hubba-Hubba Surfboard with P. D., and the niece of a belligerent horse-semen vendor, Connie Binoculars (Sarah Lassez), a druggie hippie-chick who falls for A. J.
The driving force behind the film is Anselmo’s knowledge and insight about this world and his ability to weave minute details seamlessly into every scene, creating a multilayered cornucopia of comedy. The chemistry between Nucci and Zamora authentically captures the love and frustration between two brothers. By combining these elements with a majestic regional setting seldom described so accurately, The Outfitters writes a delightful new page in the western genre.

Reverge Anselmo, Director
Reverge Anselmo debuts as a feature film director, writer, and producer with The Outfitters. Anselmo was born in Mexico City in 1962. He served three years in the U.S. Marines and is a survivor of the expeditions sent to Lebanon. He later attended the Erv Malnarich Outfitters and Guides School in Hamilton, Montana, and St. John’s College in New Mexico. He spent several years in Paris and Latin America. His first novel, The Cadilac of Six-By’s, was published in May 1997.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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