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Richmond L. Aguilar
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"Les Apprentis Sorciers" is a thriller in which the characters are Latin-American exiles living in Paris. It is also a comedy about artists who play at revolution rather than actually participate in one.
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>
This very pointed satire on the end of the "old west" and the concurrent growth of capitalism is set in Dime Box, Texas at the beginning of the 20th century. Dime Box is a real town in central Texas but here it is set on the Mexican border, where the new industry in town is a factory manufacturing ashtrays with a Mexican flag and an American flag stuck into them, symbolizing hands across the border (when a buck is concerned.) One of the funny bits I remember is Dennis Hopper asking what an ashtray is for, and he is told for putting cigarette and cigar ashes in, and he replies that people smoke outdoors, why do they need something to put the ashes in?
So he is something of an innocent, even though a former outlaw who has decided to go straight, move to town, and join the 20th century. He gets many lessons in capitalism, Native American spirituality vs Christianity, modern sexuality, and, since this was made in the early 70s, the attitude of law enforcement toward young, long-haired males. I haven't seen this in over 30 years but saw it several times in theater then and laughed every time.
It has such a great cast, particularly the males, Hopper, Boyle, Oates, Ben Johnson, all as adept at comedy as drama. Sure would like to see this get a DVD release!
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