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Lyda Kabanov and her assortment of buddies pose as leaders of the only church in Friendly, Texas, their intention being to rob the fortress-like bank built by the Brothers James, Dalton, and Younger to house their ill-gotten gold. Arriving in town on dust-covered feet, Lyda is introduced by phony evangelist Pious Blue as "my cousin" and she promptly opens her dress and displays her voluptuous charms. Written by
Zero Mostel and Kim Novak. Larry Storch. How can it go wrong? Well, it can. And did.
At this writing, there are no "memorable quotes" from this movie on the IMDb site, and for good reason: I really can't remember anything particularly funny or witty from this script.
My understanding from some sources is that this movie had a fat bankroll, and Mostel, Novak, and some of the others in this movie were doing what they were told and collecting a big paycheck. Mostel, for example, had just recovered from being blacklisted, and after a series of Broadway and movie successes, was trying to earn money to make up for lost time. Don't get me wrong, however, a poorly utilized Zero Mostel is still better than a well utilized almost anyone else. Unfortunately, he didn't have the support to really make it sizzle.
But the saddest part is the tragic misuse of Kim Novak. She is in this movie solely to decorate the screen. (Which she does, admirably. One good thing about this movie is that this may be Kim Novak at her most beautiful.) It is amazing, however, how many scenes she has where she has absolutely no lines, and just is there to look pretty. The Lady Godiva scene is a classic example of the "shut up and look pretty" mentality, and it's a pointless embarrassment. Give her some lines to say! As an actress, she was good enough for Hitchcock, so she should have been good enough for Hy Averback and this piece of drivel.
Sorry, I'm getting more and more worked up as I write this review. I'll quit now. BOTTOM LINE: I could have used a pleasant movie on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. This wasn't it.
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