Actor Sam Elliott, has made headlines after going on a foul-mouthed tirade over the critically acclaimed film The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons. Elliott appeared to be particularly incensed by the homosexual subtext of the film.

Elliott, 77, was appearing on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast on Monday when Maron asked about his thoughts on the film. Elliott didn’t pull any punches, calling the film a “piece of shit.”

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Maron asked Elliott if he had enjoyed the film to which Elliott succinctly replied “Fuck no.” Elliott didn’t hold back on his extreme dislike of the film, lambasting not only the story but the creative team behind it.

‘Cowboys In Chaps And No Shirts’

“I looked at it when I was down there in Texas doing 1883 and what really brought it home to me the other day, … there was a fucking full-page ad out in the LA Times and there was a review — not a review, but a clip — and it talked about the evisceration of the American myth. And I thought, ‘What the fuck? What the fuck?’”

“They made it look like — what are all those dancers that those guys in New York that wear bowties and not much else? Remember them from back in the day?”

“That’s what all these fucking cowboys in that movie looked like,” Elliott said, comparing the cowboys to Chippendale’s dancers. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.”

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Maron replied, telling Elliott that’s “what the movie is about.”

Study Of Toxic Masculinity

THE POWER OF THE DOG (L to R): Kodi Smit-Mcphee As Peter, Benedict Cumberbatch As Phil Burbank In The Power Of The Dog. Cr. Kirsty Griffin/Netflix © 2021

The Power of the Dog, set in Montana in 1925, tells the story of a closeted cattle rancher in Montana, (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) who is sadistic and abusive towards his new sister-in-law and her son. It is a study of toxic masculinity, repression, loneliness and internalised homophobia.

Elliott, who has appeared in several Western films and was nominated for an Oscar for A Star is Born in 2019, said, “I just came from Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men — but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families that made their living and their lives were all about being cowboys. And, boy, when I fucking saw that [movie], I thought, ‘What the fuck?”

“Where are we in this world today?” questioned Elliott. “It’s not the biggest issue at hand, but for me it was the only issue because there was so much of it. I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his fucking chaps.”

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“He [Cumberbatch] had two pairs of chaps, a wooly pair and a leather pair,” said Elliott. “Every time he’d walk in from somewhere, he never was on a horse, maybe once, he’d walk into the fucking house, storm up the fucking stairs, go lay on his bed in his chaps and play his banjo. It was like, what the fuck? Where’s the Western in this Western?”

Twiterrati Slam Elliott

Elliott then directed his rant towards the Oscar nominated Campion. “What the fuck does this woman — she’s a brilliant director, by the way, I love her work, previous work — but what the fuck does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the fuck does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it was.’ That fucking rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

Twitter was soon filled with comments which were highly critical of Elliott’s opinion.  “I like Sam Elliott but someone probably needs to remind him he’s an actor from Sacramento who lives in Malibu, not an actual cowboy,” said one user on Twitter, who continued on to say, “Elliott’s a fraud, the last time he saw a horse he was probably eating it in a fancy French restaurant in LA.”

The Power of the Dog has been nominated for 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee), and Best Supporting Actress (Kirsten Dunst).

The film, adapted from Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel, made over 118 critic top ten lists in 2021, more than any other film.

The Power of the Dog is currently streaming on Netflix.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

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