Amazing Facts and Fun Trivia About Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove was a television miniseries that aired in 1989. It was a western television series about two cattle ranchers who have at first decided to retire on a ranch in Lonesome Dove, Texas. However, a friend of theirs pops into town and tells them all about the ranching opportunities in Montana. Because this gets them excited, they decide to have a cattle drive from Lonesome Dove, Texas to Montana. During their journey, they run into some troubles on the way. Here is more information about the show as well as some fun facts and trivia maybe some of you fans haven’t heard yet.

No Stunt Double for Jones?

Tommy Lee Jones played Woodrow F. Call on the show. He refused to have them bring in a stunt double for any of the horse riding scenes. Of course, he is experienced since he does actually own his own ranch and breeds cattle and horses in Texas.

Original Creator and Cast

Lonesome Dove was originally created by Larry McMurtry in 1971 as a movie script. John Wayne was supposed to play Woodrow Call, James Stewart was to play Gus McCrae, Henry Fonda was supposed to play Jake Spoon and the director of the movie was intended to be Peter Bogdanovich. However, Mr. John Wayne turned the role down and the movie was put away. Ten years later, the script was bought back by McMurtry and it was then turned into a book and afterwards the series was based off of it.

Cows were Actually Struck by Lighting

There was a real storm that hit during the early part of the cattle drive and the cows were really struck by lightning. The lightning strike goes from cow to cow by the tips of their horns and to this day, it is a real phenomenon that is called ‘St. Elmo’s Fire.’


To make things seem real and to keep the authenticity going, the producers decided to use real ranch horses. Then, during the effects of the ‘guns’ actually hitting Gus’s horse, Robert Duvall was really bucked off the horse. Because it brought in some real authenticity to the movie, the camera’s kept rolling and the scene was left in.

Knowing there are so many Lonesome Dove fans out there, did anyone know any of these facts about the show?



  1. michelle shaw says:

    my very favorite book… I love Larry McMurtry…That being said, Robert Duvall is one of my all time favorite actors… This movie was brilliantly cast…. I can’t imagine any character being played by anyone other than the ones cast. Movies usually don’t follow the book very close but this one was spot on… except for the ending.. I like the way the book ended better… and of course they couldn’t include every scene in the movie that was in the book or it would have been a twelve hour movie instead of six hours…. But I thought it was beautifully adapted and every cast member truly brought their characters to life… Of course, none more than Robert Duvall…. I have committed every sentence to memory and I never tire of reading the book or watching the movie…. Sheer perfection.

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