Archive for the ‘Burt Reynolds’ Category

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

24 Oct


The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas — Directed by Colin Higgins.  Musical. The Madame and the local sheriff  and the football team and the girls of the night in a great big tumble. 114 minutes Color 1982.

* * * *

Dolly Parton’s bosom is a national treasure because such a big heart lies behind it. Wonderful to behold in all her amplitude and fun, she sashays through the piece with rare good humor, and in the end turns down Burt Reynolds proposal with simple and complete conviction. Reynolds is perfect as the good ol’ boy who can’t grow up, and his scene with Charles Durning as the Governor is staunch acting indeed. Durning does a delicious song-and-dance as a side-stepping politico. Jim Nabors does his yokel goon just fine. Dom De Luise is insufficient as the pesky puritanical scandal-monger TV personality. The piece is richly produced and shot and imaginatively directed. The songs are patter songs and specialty songs, and are jolly good, but none of them are up to, let’s say, the songs from Good News or The Bandwagon. Dolly Parton has brought in two of her own pieces, the “Sneaking Around With You” duet, which is witty and fun, and “I’ll Always Love You” in which she is very moving. Because the direction is so imaginative, and the costuming so right, the movie is perhaps more of a dance musical, which is just fine. The scene where the football team start in the locker room after the game and get undressed and are bare-assed in the shower, and get dressed again and get on their bus and head out to The Chicken Ranch and do a hoedown with the ladies in prom gowns who in turn strip down and they all end up naked in bed upstairs is an example of musical movie direction at its best and just one of several such sequences, all brilliantly edited. Colin Higgins deserves that feather he is wearing in his cap. The movie is a strawberry ice-cream sundae, enthusiastic, friendly, frank, and satisfying. A fine way to spend time without wasting it.




07 Dec

Semi-Tough – directed by Michael Ritchie – comedy/satire of two pro-football players in romantic convolutions with the owner’s daughter — 107 minutes color 1977.

* * * * *

A perfect comedy, better than it was when it was released. Focussed on the off-center, scenes do not start where you would expect, nor end where you would suppose. Actors do not play in accord with commonly held strictures of how a Hollywood comedy should be performed. The story revolves around the friendship of three best-friend housemates, two of whom are pro football players and the third the daughter of the owner of the team. All goes well until one of them, Kris Kristofferson, takes up with the human-potential movement and becomes so dull you could strangle yourself. At which point the female of the trio falls in love with him. To side-swipe him, Burt Reynolds, a master-hand at this, subjects himself to the merciless Lotte Lenya as Ida Rolfe and to The Training. The young woman’s father is played by the mighty Robert Preston. who is the cheapskate owner of the team and who is the reluctant bankroll for this the third wedding of his daughter. Is she worth this trouble? You bet she is. For she is played by the entrancing and richly accomplished Jill Clayburgh, who gives us a performance of perfect comic spontaneity and ease — and she is pretty as all get out. Credit goes to everyone involved, particularly to Walter Scott Herndon for Production Design, Charles Rosher Jr. for filming it, Walter Bernstein and Michael Ritchie for writing it, Ritchie for masterfully directing it, and for background music, to that master of the banal, Gene Autry. It has not aged, it’s improved with time. Don’t miss it.


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