Friday, August 8, 2014
Beginnings and Endings
Much of the younger male cast is weirdly bland, though they all try hard to be funny. Marvin actually is funny, as is whatever stunt man did the insane riding tricks the drunk gunslinger performs on a couple of occasions.
You could file this under the Farewell to the Western category of movies, a category that stretches from the farce of Blazing Saddles through the dramedy of Cat Ballou and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all the way to the drama of Unforgiven, The Shootist, and True Grit. There's a lot of singing from Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole, whose balladeers serve as both narration and Greek Chorus for the goings-on. Recommended.
John Candy is great in his first major supporting role as "New Teen Heart-throb" Ox[burger], and Warren Oates is all angry grimaces and comic menace in what was, I believe, his last screen role. Harold Ramis can't act, even a little, but he sure could write successful film comedies. Ivan Reitman directs with his usual shaggy charm. Bill Paxton gets a credit as one of the platoon, though I didn't spot him. Recommended.