SILENT TONGUE, the second directorial outing of playwright Sam Shepard, follows in the wagon ruts of FAR NORTH, his lukewarm debut. Like that film, this pretentious effort is laconic to the point of nonexistence, and suffers from too much mystical imagery and too many pictures of Indians,
which are apparently supposed to be self-evidently deep.
The Texas Panhandle, 1873. Frontiersman Prescott Roe (Richard Harris) is desperate to help his bereaved son Talbot (River Phoenix), who has been crazed with grief since his half-Kiowa wife, Awbonnie (Sheila Tousey), died in childbirth. Awbonnie's father, Eamon McCree (Alan Bates), is the
proprietor of the most joyless ...