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Hearts of the West (1975)

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who tried... See full summary »

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lewis Tater
...
Howard Pike
...
A.J. Nietz
...
Miss Trout
...
Kessler
Richard B. Shull ...
Stout Crook
...
Polo (as Herbert Edelman)
...
Earl
...
Pa Tater
Anthony James ...
Lean Crook
Burton Gilliam ...
Lester
...
Jackson
...
Waitress (as Candy Azzara)
...
Bank Manager
...
Lyle
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Storyline

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who tried to rob him. During his escape, Lewis stumbles on to the set of a Wild West movie and through mishap and chance becomes a star of Hollywood Westerns. Written by Bree Humphries <mhumphri@brynmawr.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jeff Bridges is Lewis Tater, the Iowa farm boy who blazed a trail across the barren wastes of Hollywood and Vine in MGM's comedy surprise "Hearts of the West."

Genres:

Western | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 October 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hollywood Cowboy  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Pleasence's character, "A.J. Nietz", is named after prolific western / "B" picture director Alan James (real name Alvin J. Neitz), who started out in silent films and lasted through the talkie era, and who directed westerns with such stars as Ken Maynard, Jack Hoxie and Tim McCoy, among others. See more »

Goofs

While directing the fistfight scene in the desert. The director walks back and forth in front of the camera. Even at one point stopping right in front of the camera. Thereby ruining a lot of the shoot. This may have been meant to show what a bad director he is. See more »

Quotes

Howard Pike: If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Kings and queens... you know what I mean? Too bad it isn't that easy. In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before.
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Soundtracks

Pagan Love Song
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
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User Reviews

A Bridges Gem
12 July 2010 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

What a likable farm galoot Jeff Bridges makes. His Lewis Tater wants to be a Western writer and by golly neither pursuing crooks, nor double-crossing buddies, nor phony correspondence schools are going to stop him. Like his literary alter-ego The Kid, he's just too eager to get discouraged. Across burning deserts and thundering hoofs, he soldiers on toward fame and fortune and Hollywood and Vine.

And what a hoot his purple prose is. Like an amiable Walter Mitty, minor events get spun into major events for "The Kid" in such deathless passages as, "Twirling, The Kid fired with all he had into the phantom riders", or " A Colt in either hand, he scattered lead at the retreating dust."

What a great sleeper movie this is, thanks to the comical Bridges and some unerring light touches. Take for example the cheap Western they're filming. Catch how a groaning Lewis steps on the big romantic clinch, or how his curtain-chewing death throes put the director (Arkin) into a murderous tizzy. But I especially like that awkward little turn on the sidewalk where he brushes against the potted palm and wins the affection of Miss Trout (Danner).

The movie's also a telling look at the making of matinée Westerns, a staple of kids' viewing in the 1930's and 40's. As a former Front Row kid, I viewed those parts with mixed emotions. I guess I still want those guys to be real cowboys and not the shrewd businessmen-actors they likely were.

Anyhow, in my little book, this is a little gem from beginning to end, with scarcely a misstep along the way. It never ceases to amaze me that the Hollywood-bred Bridges (his dad was veteran actor Lloyd Bridges) can play such a convincing hayseed, but he can. Speaking of hayseeds, watch for a very unMayberry Andy Griffith, again showing what a fine, versatile actor he is. I'm just sorry this style of clever low-key comedy has given way to today's frantic bathroom kind. Maybe Hollywood needs to hire more Lewis Tater's, after all.


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