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W.S. Van Dyke
Ben and Howdy are a couple of aging cowboys who bust broncos out of Sedona for Jim Ed Love, a slick operator if ever there was one. Sisters, Meg and Agatha, have their eyes on Ben and Howdy, but the boys aren't ready to settle down yet. They spend the winter in the high country corralling more than 100 stray cattle at $7 a head for Jim Ed. Most years, they blow their winter pay in one spring night at a Sedona bar, but this year, Ben and Howdy have a plan: to take an ornery roan that Ben has been unable to break and bet their bankroll that no cowboy at the Sedona rodeo can stay on the horse. What will they do if they win - marry the sisters or head for Tahiti? Written by
"Whatever Suits You, Just Tickles Me Plum To Death."
So said the agreeable Henry Fonda to just about every suggestion Glenn Ford or other cast members made to him.
This the first of a series of very agreeable entertaining comic westerns that Burt Kennedy directed and/or wrote starring some of Hollywood's great but aging male stars. I think for the first and only time both Ford and Fonda play a pair of losers. They seem to forever be in financial bondage to their off-and-on employer Chill Wills. Wills just out-slickers Ford and Fonda just goes along with that line that must have been repeated about 8 times in The Rounders.
But their biggest problem comes from a white-faced roan horse that Wills has talked the gullible Ford into taking. The horse named "Old Fooler" has a streak of cunning malevolence that provides most of the laughs in this comedy. If there was a special award given to animals for performances Old Fooler should have won it in 1965. In fact that horse created his own acting genre, the animal anti-hero.
Burt Kennedy gave us a lot of good laughs starting in the mid60s with his films and this is one of the funniest.
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