McCullough is "passing through on my way to Australia" when he takes a job in a gold rush town. After a startling display of marksmanship he immediately arrests the youngest son of the evil landowner (Danby). A battle of hired guns begins as McCullough continues to tame the town and defeat the gunslingers with a combination of skill and wit. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character Jason, the sheriff, is a recap of the character Jason, in The Sheepman. In fact they perform the same shooting trick, tossing an item in the air and shooting a hole in the center of it. There are several other similarities. See more »
As they ride into town for the big showdown, we see the Danby clan from the rear. The angle changes to a front view and some of the riders have changed positions. Specifically, the Danby sons are now on either side of Danby, who is still in his same position. See more »
I hear you're gonna try and arrest me. You know you don't look near as tough as some of them other sheriffs we've had lately. Particularly that old boy that done run off about an hour and a half after he took the job.
Joe, you just make me feel tired all over when you talk like that.
Now, what do you mean by that?
It's bad enough to have to kill a man without having to listen to a whole lot of stupid talk from him first.
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James Garner shines in highly agreeable western spoof
Here is a funny, good-natured parody of classic westerns, starring James Garner in the role he was born to play - the reluctant hero, tackling crises with his wits, not his fists. You don't have to be familiar with western clichés to enjoy this film, but those who are in on the jokes will find it especially rewarding. Of course, Mel Brooks' similar `Blazing Saddles' is better remembered today, but I feel that `Support Your Local Sheriff!' is the more successful film. It achieves its results through the writers' ingenuity and the actors' flawless timing and delivery, as opposed to the riotous, hit-or-miss gags of Brooks' film.
Garner plays a drifter who is gradually making his way to Australia, for no discernable reason. He arrives in an unruly western town that's been through three sheriffs in the past two months and is now in desperate need of another. The town council is not choosy, and he is hired almost sight unseen. Then he sees the jail - real nice, but no bars for the cells. He picks the most incompetent man in earshot (Jack Elam) for his deputy, and sets about cleaning up the town. Garner is adept at all the usual gun tricks and is in fact an expert marksman, but he prefers to talk his way out of tight situations, always getting the better of his intellectually-challenged opponents.
The real trouble begins when he arrests a whiny ruffian (Bruce Dern) for murder, and books him in one of the cells without bars. In the true western fashion, his crotchety pop (Walter Brennan) and all his brothers ride into town to engineer a jailbreak. What happens next would be criminal to reveal here, except to say that it consists of one comic gem after another.
Each line is written and delivered to perfection by a cast that seems to have been formed from a convention of old character actors. Brennan is hilarious sending up his Old Man Clanton role from "My Darling Clementine." His very presence in any western gives it a feel of authenticity, but here he proves to be a good sport in spoofing one of his definitive parts. Elam, Dern, and Harry Morgan contribute priceless support, and Joan Hackett is effective as Garner's most unorthodox love interest. All this would be for naught, however, without Garner in the central role. It calls for a very specific type of actor: quick-witted, sarcastic, astute, overly accommodating, and not especially tough. This is a tailor-made role for Garner, and he fills it in such a way that any other casting would be inconceivable. Thanks to him, the other performers, and the droll, clever screenplay, the film hits all the right notes for a pleasant and genial western comedy.
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