Kehr’s Weekly Recap: Bronco Billy (1980)

Bronco Billy (1980)

A gentle fable on familiar themes, lightly salted with irony by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood plays the title character, the head of a modern-day wild west show that scrabbles from town to town in the backwaters of the midwest, spreading the forgotten values of fair play, comradeship, and clean living (up to a point). Sondra Locke, as a spoiled heiress, enters via a plot device lifted from It Happened One Night. Eastwood’s performance is dense and subtle, drawing on his natural shyness and gentility, though his direction — apart from two or three creatively edited sequences — is much less distinctive than it has been before. A minor film with a good heart — if anything, it’s too lovable (1980).

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Baum Mots: Schwarzenegger as feminine icon

rosenbaumThe principal source of the humor, it seems, is the usually unacknowledged fact that Schwarzenegger’s appearance and usual screen persona already has certain feminine and even maternal qualities, which this movie literalizes. In manner (i.e., voice and gesture) as well as appearance, Schwarzenegger, like Sylvester Stallone, has more in common with Jane Russell, Esther Williams, Jayne Mansfield, Anita Ekberg, and Dolly Parton than with the principal (and principally lean and mean) macho movie icons of the past — Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood. (Perhaps only Elvis Presley qualifies as a male star who encompassed both physical types over the course of a single career, at least if one gives precedence to sheer mass over muscles.)


Pregnant Pas
review of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Junior
25 Nov 1994

A lengthy memo from the the writer/director of the last J. Edgar Hoover biopic on what the new film gets wrong (fun read)

M E M O

(For the Internet)


CLINT EASTWOOD’S HOOVER BIO

STARRING DeCAPRIO

GETS IT ALL WRONG


Sadly, the new Warner Bros. epic is full of errors

and misrepresentations.


Here’s the real, never-been-told inside scoop on the celebrated FBI Chief.


from

LARRY COHEN


Producer/Director/Writer of the 1975 motion picture

THE PRIVATE FILES OF J. EDGAR HOOVER.

Kehr Capsule of the Week: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

Sergio Leone’s comic, cynical, inexplicably moving epic spaghetti western (1966), in which all human motivation has been reduced to greed—it’s just a matter of degree between the Good (Clint Eastwood), the Bad (Lee Van Cleef), and the Ugly (Eli Wallach). Leone’s famous close-ups—the “two beeg eyes”—are matched by his masterfully composed long shots, which keep his crafty protagonists in the subversive foreground of a massively absurd American Civil War. Though ordained from the beginning, the three-way showdown that climaxes the film is tense and thoroughly astonishing.