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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
One of Paul Newman's demands is that he gets to spend an hour each morning on location in a sauna. That is why his character in the film uses the shower steam to create a sauna early in the story. See more »
If anyone has read my review of Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr's The Sundowners I said that the film has really no plot, but relies successfully on the charm of the characters to carry it along.
Pocket Money falls in the same category. It just follows the driftings of its two leads to carry the film along. It works to a degree, but unlike the other film, the supporting characters aren't as interesting.
Still Paul Newman who seems to personify a definition of insanity in that he keeps doing the same thing and expecting different results and his hustling pal Lee Marvin amble along in this film with such a degree of charm you can't help but like them.
But you watch Pocket Money and you know these two guys will never hit the big time. Still they seem to try. My favorite part of the film is Marvin convincing Paul Newman to ride a bucking horse to gain some respect from prospective Mexican customers. It almost, but not quite descends into the kind of con games that Crosby used to employ on Hope.
It would have been nice for a couple of mega stars like Newman and Marvin to have gotten a better film to do though.
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