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Bickford Waner, an apparently naive young man from Fort Worth, arrives in the tiny Texas town of Dime Box and takes on a variety of menial jobs. He's befriended by Reese Ford and his wife Molly, but before long Molly has seduced Bickford. Only with the arrival of Bickford's former girlfriend Janet Conforto is it revealed that Bickford is actually the notorious train robber Kid Blue. Humiliated by a scandal arising from his affair with his friend's wife, Bickford gives up on going straight and plots a crime. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
'Kid Blue' is a very odd movie. In many ways a very old fashioned western, but with Dennis Hopper playing a long haired, pseudo-hippie character. It doesn't know whether to be hip or square, and suffers for it. Still, like most of Hopper's overlooked Seventies movies it's worth a look.
Hopper plays Bickford Waner aka Kid Blue, train robber. Tired of his lack of success at crime he relocates to a small town, gets a real job for the first time in his life, and attempts to fit in. He isn't very successful. In between being harassed by the cruel local sheriff, 'Mean John' Simpson (the legendary Ben Johnson), and one of his fellow boarding house occupant's, Drummer (Ralph Waite of 'Five Easy Pieces' and 'The Waltons'), he tries to find a way to live his life without resorting to his old ways. He befriends some local Indians, the eccentric Preacher Bob (Peter Boyle, 'Joe', 'Taxi Driver') who juggles Christianity with building a flying machine, and a local couple, Reese and Molly Ford (the God-like Warren Oates, and Lee Purcell).
The Fords have the most impact on his life, especially when the beautiful Molly makes a move on him, and the enigmatic Reese starts telling him about the "old timey Greeks" who weren't ashamed to say they loved each other, and then suggests they share a bath together. The scenes between these two screen legends, Hopper and Oates, are priceless and easily the high point of the movie. Sadly, this is the only movie they ever made together
Another added kick is seeing Oates and Johnson, who played the Gortch brothers in Peckinpah's classic 'The Wild Bunch', reunited in very different roles. Also in the supporting cast are fine character actors like Warren Finnerty and Clifton James, who both worked with Hopper and Ralph Waite in the wonderful prison drama 'Cool Hand Luke', and M. Emmet Walsh ('Blade Runner', 'Blood Simple',etc).
'Kid Blue' is NOT one of the great lost westerns, but it IS an eminently watchable curio that any Seventies film buff will be entertained by, especially if they admire the consistently good work of the late Warren Oates, or have any curiosity about Dennis Hopper's undervalued post-'Easy Rider', pre-'Apocalypse Now' movies, which also include such strong performances as 'Tracks' and Wim Wenders 'The American Friend'.
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