Sam Whiskey is an all-round talent, but when the attractive widow Laura offers him a job, he hesitates: he shall salvage gold bars, which Laura's dead husband stole recently, from a sunken ...
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Franklin J. Schaffner
Sam Whiskey is an all-round talent, but when the attractive widow Laura offers him a job, he hesitates: he shall salvage gold bars, which Laura's dead husband stole recently, from a sunken ship and secretly bring them back to the mint before they are missed. But how shall he manage to get several hundred pounds of gold into the mint without anyone noticing? Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
The steamboat's smokestack was wobbling back and forth in the river current when the guys first saw it. A steamboat smokestack wouldn't still be standing against the river current if it were that loose. See more »
General Sherman said, "War is hell." "Worse than that," Sam said, "The pay's bad."
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Sam Whiskey is directed by Arnold Laven and written by William W. Norton. It stars Burt Reynolds, Ossie Davis, Clint Walker and Angie Dickinson. Music is by Herschel Burke Gilbert and cinematography by Robert C. Moreno.
Widow Laura Breckenridge (Dickinson) offers Sam Whiskey (Reynolds) a $20,000 reward for the return of some gold that her late husband had stolen from the Denver mint. However, she doesn't want the gold for herself, she wants Sam to put it back into the mint before it's found to be stolen and soils her family name!
Maybe it's because I consider myself a Reynolds fan that I found this to be a whole bunch of fun? That I appear to be at odds with critical consensus about Sam Whiskey's worth as entertainment?
Stolen money burns a hole in your pocket.
Sam Whiskey knows exactly what it's doing, it mixes the caper movie with a Western setting and lets the principal players have fun with it. The quadruple lead players bounce off of each other with considerable charming results, the set-up is suitably daft, a reverse robbery if you like, and there's no shortage of suspense and action. In fact the various twists that arise as Reynolds, Davis and Walker go about their mission of goodwill for the sultry Dickinson, are well implemented into the plot. The De Luxe colour photography is most pleasing, though the absence of scenic panoramas is sorely felt, and the music score is complementary to the tone of the story.
True, the direction is hardly inspiring, the quirky nature of the whole thing narrows down the number of film fans it might appeal to and the idea is indeed thin. Yet for Reynolds fans it should be sought out, to see him at the end of the 60s before "his" time would come in the 70s. Watch him perform with a comedic glint in his eye, see Dickinson smoulder and raise temperatures, Walker play at odds with his macho persona, and Davis having fun being the tough boy of the group. Enjoy the cheekiness (Re: ludicrousness) of the caper, the early diving technique on show or sample the verbal amusement that comes from the stars. I just know I had a big enough grin on my face come the end to make this a strong 7/10 rating. Non Reynolds fans should probably knock a point off that rating, though.
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