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Jim Kane is a loser cowboy in Nogales, Arizona.He has more good nature than good sense and often takes jack-of-all-trades jobs. His bank loans are jeopardized when his latest horse purchase is a bust. His horses are quarantined with STD. Jim is broke. The local hotel clerk sympathetic about his situation lets him live in the hotel maid's room for free. His ex-wife goes gentle on him when he cannot make the alimony payments. Jim turns down his uncle's offer of a job but accepts a deal to buy cattle in Mexico for a shady businessman who has a bad reputation. Jim travels to Mexico where he teams up with another loser, an old friend by the name of Leonard, who moved to Mexico in order to pursue one of his many failed get-rich-quick schemes. The two amigos set out to buy Mexican cattle from various local ranchers but they experience difficulties and soon run into trouble. Written by
Based on a novel called "Jim Kane", that was the working title of the film. The title was changed to take the emphasis off of one character and to stress the partnership of Paul Newman and Lee Marvin. See more »
"What we're gonna to do is walk right through that door"
The above line of dialog is all you need to know about the abbreviated mental capacity of the two lead characters played by Paul Newman and Lee Marvin, and why they were such losers trying to be important cattle brokers in Mexico, and of course failing miserably. The Summary quote above was just one of Marvin's many bright ideas that went nowhere.
Newman and Marvin were terrific here, but two other stars in this comedy, to me, were Marvin's great old '60's red Buick convertible and, of course, the terrific Strother Martin, whose hilarious line of "wait, wait, wait" in this film was almost as effective as his very famous one in Cool Hand Luke and his less famous one in Butch Cassidy of, "yes, there are plenty of jobs don't you want to know why?" He was the best at memorable lines, and he had some of the best ones in many of Newman's films over the years. Wayne Rogers(MASH) was in it too, playing a cattle buying middleman who was just about as dumb as the star characters.
This film was very entertaining in the very funny and goofy way Newman and Marvin played off each other with their lines, both thinking they were so clever when they were really just abject loser dopes. Newman's character was actually a good and simple guy underneath it all but he was just too dumb to breath out, and Marvin's sleazy small time crook and deal negotiator character thought he was so clever but was actually laughable in his incompetency. "Spies are everywhere", he said as he grossly overestimated his importance to the world, which was next to nothing.
Reminded me a lot of old Laurel and Hardy film stories, where great plans always came to nothing after much useless, but hilarious, activity.
Very entertaining film and a lot better than its rating for the very funny interplay of these 3 terrific actors.
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