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Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts

Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts

On DVD: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Running Time: 
1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Let's Get Ready to Rumble!

Back in 1986, Ricky Schroder served as the guest timekeeper for the Wrestlemania 2 main event pitting Hulk Hogan against King Kong Bundy.

Judge John Goodnight returns in Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts, the third entry in the franchise from the Hallmark Movie Channel.  A couple generations ago, the Western genre ruled television with long running series like Bonanza and Gunsmoke.  Nowadays, modern Westerns such as Justified rely heavily on mature themes not suitable for a younger audience.  This film proves that quality Westerns can be light-hearted and family friendly while maintaining interesting characters.

While traveling through Wyoming, Judge John Goodnight (Luke Perry, TV’s Beverly Hills 90210) stumbles across a Pinkerton stagecoach under attack.  Goodnight manages to scare off the attackers, but the entire crew is killed except for a young woman named Lucy Truffaut (Katharine Isabelle, Ginger Snaps).  Unbeknownst to Goodnight, Truffaut is a talented con-artist on the run.  Hot on her trail is Cyril Knox (Ricky Schroder, TV’s NYPD Blue), a war veteran whom she wronged in the past.  It’s now up to the honorable Judge to sort this mess out.

Watching a television film on DVD is a weird experience, particularly when it comes to overlooking the awkward pauses where commercials would have aired.  Some people might criticize the film for being a bit boring, but this is a Western, people!  Perry does a good job as Goodnight, but the character is largely a one-dimensional stereotype.  He drinks, he smokes, he gambles, and he stares down a bear in the opening scene.  You know, typical stuff.  In a nod to diehard Western fans, Goodnight pardons a young man named Cassidy whom he later discovers goes by the nickname “Butch.”

The special features contain several deleted scenes including an alternate ending and a few more humorous mentions of Butch Cassidy.  On the cast interview featurette, it’s easy to see how much Ricky Schroder enjoyed working on the film.  This comes as no surprise really since Schroder made his name as a serious adult actor in Lonesome Dove.  Schroder excels playing the dastardly Knox and certainly deserves more high profile roles he could sink his teeth into.  As is the case with most Westerns, some people will enjoy this more than others.  Diehard Western fans might consider a purchase, but for most folks Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts is worthy of a rental.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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