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‘Brokeback’ writer says life isn’t for ‘sissies’

‘You need strength; love is not easy,’ says Larry McMurtry
/ Source: The Associated Press

Larry McMurtry, who co-wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Brokeback Mountain,” says the film’s meaning can be summarized: “Life is not for sissies.”

McMurtry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose books include “Lonesome Dove,” adapted Annie Proulx’s story with Diana Ossana for “Brokeback Mountain.” The film, nominated for eight Academy Awards, has elicited some controversy for its gay cowboy plot — something McMurtry thinks is off-base.

“It doesn’t present any kind of agenda, any politics at all, one way or the other at all. It just says life is not for sissies,” McMurtry says in an interview with “CBS News Sunday Morning,” to air Sunday (9 a.m. ET).

“Brokeback Mountain” stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two cowboys who maintain a secret relationship in difficult circumstances. As the years go by, one is more willing to sacrifice than the other.

“You need strength; love is not easy,” says McMurtry. “It’s not easy if you find [it], it’s not easy if you don’t find it. It’s not easy if you find it but it doesn’t work out. It merely says the strong survive, but not everybody is strong.”

McMurtry, 69, was nominated for an Oscar in 1972 for co-writing the screenplay (adapted from his novel) of “The Last Picture Show” with Peter Bogdanovich.