Ol' Max Evans -
The First Thousand Years


About the Film



  "By the time I was 17, life was really whippin' up and the son of a gun never stopped.  It has been a dead run for 90 damn years and my ears laid back all the time." -- Max Evans     

Internationally-renowned, best selling New Mexico author Max Evans, a true Renaissance man, has also been a miner, prospector, movie producer, soldier, husband, father and  artist.  He was a legendary hard-drinking, calf-roping cowboy who helped establish the New Mexico Film Commission. At 92, Evans is a gifted raconteur, one of a kind, and a vanishing breed of hero of the American West.   

OL' MAX EVANS - THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS is a fast-paced ride though changing times and includes Max telling his stories of Hollywood, studio executives, ranching, publishing houses, brawls with Hollywood friends such as director Sam Peckinpah, spiritual encounters with animals, tales of the changing West and more. 


Acclaimed actors Sam Elliott and Peter Coyote lend their voices to the film. Coyote is the narrator and Elliott (who appeared in Evans' film HI-LO COUNTRY) bring Max's prose to life. The film is composed of a number of episodes from Max Evans' life, told through interviews with Max and his friends and colleagues, narration, still photographs, location footage, graphics and re-creations   Winner of the Western Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, Evans career spans more than 60 years, over 25 books, and includes the novels Bluefeather Fellini, War and Music; short stories For the Love of a Horse and Animal Stories, A Lifetime Collection.   Evans' movies include "Rounders," and "Hi Lo Country."

OL' MAX EVANS - THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS.   A Film by Lorene Mills, Paul Barnes & David Leach.



Lorene Mills - Co-Producer.  Lorene Mills is the host of New Mexico PBS-TV's longest running public affairs program "Report from Santa Fe."  During Nearly 50 years on the air, Lorene and "Report from Santa Fe" have given viewers a unique opportunity to become part of a series of remarkable conversations - always thoughtful and engaging, often surprising - held in a warm and civil atmosphere.  Lorene began her career in academia, earning her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Colorado.  She has always loved books and writers and author Max Evans has been one of her favorites for years.  She first interviewed him in the late 1990s and this film, "OL' MAX EVANS - THE FIRST THOUSAND YEARS,"  grew out of her love and deep appreciation for his works.

Paul Barnes - Co-Producer.     Paul Barnes has worked on documentary films since graduating from NYU's Film School in 1973.  Free-lancing as a film editor in Manhattan for nearly 20 years, Barnes worked on such films as "No Maps On My Taps," "Say Amen Somebody," "Wasn't That a Time" and Errol Morris' "The Thin Blue Line."   In 1984 he first worked with Ken Burns on his Academy Award-nominated "The Statue of Liberty."  The collaboration was so successful that Burns asked Barnes to be the lead editor on his classic PBS series "The Civil War."   Barnes worked exclusively for Burns for the next 25 years on such projects as "Baseball," "Jefferson," "Lewis & Clark," "Jazz," "The War," and "The National Parks" among others.   

In 1998, Paul began producing with Burns. The first project, "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony,"  was followed by "Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson" which won the Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special in 2004. Barnes also produced and edited the acclaimed series "The Roosevelts (2014). 

Paul  ended his career as an editor on the highly acclaimed recent broadcast "The Vietnam War."  He retired to Santa Fe with his husband of 32 years, Vernon James, in 2016.  

David Leach - Editor.  David has been making films for over 40 years.  He lived and worked in Toronto from 1971 to 1990 cutting commercials, documentaries and television dramas including "Lonesome Dove: The Series."  Since moving to New Mexico with his wife Linda, he has edited numerous broadcast television and feature documentaries.  In 2015 he was awarded Best Editing by the United Nations Association Film Festival for "Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning," David also edited "Dying to Know:  Ram Dass and Timothy Leary."

Barry Kirk - Cinematographer. Director and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Barry Kirk began his career as a still photographer. With his personal mantra that half the world is back-lit, Barry's discerning eye has created memorable images and spectacular lighting. Carrying a camera around the world for over 30 years, he has had the honor of shooting for the Smithsonian Museum, National Geographic, Aldo Leopold Foundation, the Olympics, Kentucky Derby Museum, Discovery Channel, and UNM Center for Regional Studies. 

Directing and shooting for both national and international advertising agencies, Barry has collaborated with multiple art directors and creative teams.  

Screening Info; Reviews


April 4, 2019

Lubbock, TX

 "Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years,"  

presented in partnership with the TTU Southwest Collection!

 6:00 PM - International Cultural Center Auditorium  
Co-directors Lorene Mills and Paul Barnes will attend

DVD Availability!

 DVD copies of "Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years" are now available by calling 1-888-367-5369 or ordered online at KENW.ORG.  DVD's are $20 plus $5 S&H, Blue Ray discs are  $25 plus $5 S&H.  


Ventana Magazine

Max is featured on the cover of this issue of Ventana Magazine in support of the February 11, 8 pm showing of his biography film "Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years."  Catch it this coming Monday on all three New Mexico PBS stations.

True West Magazine

Read more about Max Evans' Hollywood connections here in True West Magazine.  Don't forget - "Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years" airs on Monday, February 11 at 8 pm on all three New Mexico PBS stations!

BIG NEWS!  The award-winning documentary "Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years" announces its television broadcast premiere on Monday, February 11, 2019 at 8 pm.  This New Mexico PBS television broadcast premiere will be simulcast on all 3 PBS stations , airing on KENW-TV (Channel 3, Portales) KNME-TV (Channel 5, Albuquerque) and KRWG-TV (Channel 22, Las Cruces.)

              Saturday, Oct. 13.  7 pm

 Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX.  Location TBA

                Thursday, Sept. 27.  7 pm

      Lea Theater, 106 E. Central Ave.   

                 Lovington, NM

             Friday, Sept. 21, 4:30 pm

          Breckenridge Film Festival,   

                Breckenridge, CO

        Saturday, Sept. 15.  Time TBA

       Warehouse 21 Gallery, Magdalena, NM

 Thursday, June 7, 2018  5 pm

"Ol' Max Evans - the First Thousand Years," the award-winning documentary about iconic New Mexico author Max Evans, has been accepted into the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience and will be screened at the KIMO Theater on THursday,  June 7th at 5:00 p.m!

Thursday, April 19th, 7:30 pm

Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave, Los Angeles.  

A double feature of Ol' Max Evans-The First Thousand Years and The Ballad of Cable Hogue. 

We're so pleased to announce that Max Evans has been inducted into the New Mexico Film and Television Hall of Fame!  The event takes place February 11 at 7 pm, Sweeney Convention Center, Santa Fe.  https://nmfilmhalloffame.org/awards/


Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 1pm at the center for Contemporary (CCA) Cinematheque, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe. For tickets call (505) 982-1338 or purchase at CCA.

Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m at The Screen.  Part of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 

Oct.18-22 Center for Contemporary Arts (CCA) -- 1050 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 982-1338  


Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017  4:00  p.m.  


KiMo Theater -- 423 Central Ave NW Albuquerque, NM 8710 (505) 768-3522   


December 3, 2017  

New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum -- 4100 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011 (575) 522-4100  

Please Note!   Due to overwhelming demand both screenings in Las Cruces have sold out and no more tickets are available.


A terrific  February 9th article about the New Mexican Film Office's 50 year history and Max Evans  by  Santa Fe New Mexican Pasa Tiempo contributor Jon Bowman here.   

"If you thought about how a film documenting the life of  writer Max Evans might feel, you'd drift to relentless winds, danger, baritones and..."

Santa Fe Reporter

"Max Evans did not, as he likes to boast, experience a life of adventure. He was the adventure, and he's outlived most of those who weathered the storms he likely created over the years..."

Santa Fe New Mexican

"In his 93 years, Evans has come out of every situation with a grand story and he'll tell you about them if you have the time..."  


Albuquerque Journal


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Ol' Max Evans - The First Thousand Years

(505) 471-4452