Director: John Huston.
Paul Newman’s affable growling makes up for the shortcomings of this light comedy/action western. Its got some cool sequences for sure but for me a film should be either one or the other, if it was played straight it could have been a truely great one, if it went all comedy you could say the same, instead its a mishmash ending up as a “cute” film. Now I don’t know about you guys but “cute” is not one of the appelations you want to bestow upon a western. It even has a musical interlude ala Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, sung by Andy Williams. It doesn’t come close to achieving the brilliance of “The Westerner” that had Walter Brennan in the part along with Gary Cooper, and had the old settlers vs. cattlemen subplot.
It wasn’t a waste of a few hours but from the director of Treasure of The Sierra Madre you would have expected a hard hitting western masterpiece, instead you get a fuzzy bear. Stacey Keach injects a bit of life into the film as a black clad albino outlaw named Bad Bob, but Roddy McDowell(over-used in that era) was weak as the main heavy. It’s in the tradition of Cat Ballou, Support Your Local Gunfighter/Sheriff, etc. Not a bad film, but not a great one, either.