|Index||5 reviews in total|
First let me say, I think Tim Conway is one of the funniest people on the
planet. His work on The Carol Burnett Show and his recent work in Vegas
with Harvey Korman result in genuine side-splitting, tear inducing, belly
laugh's. That talent, however, is wasted in this effort. There is a fine
line between a lovable goof and an annoying idiot, unfortunately, this movie
crosses the line towards the latter in the most extreme manner.
The character that Tim Conway portrays begs the question, "How are you still alive?!" This is truly one of the worst, idiotic and annoying characters I have seen in a movie perhaps ever! If you are a fan of Tim Conway's work, then please see him live with Harvey Korman or check out classic Carol Burnett skits, but do not see this movie -- it is almost bad enough to make one turn on him...
The Billion Dollar Hobo is something that Will Geer was and Tim Conway
could potentially be if he follows the instructions that Geer lays down
for a trip on the open road, or open rail if you prefer.
Geer is a Howard Hughes like billionaire who started out back in the Thirties as one of the Depression's millions of jobless who became itinerant migrants. He worked his way from that and he wants to see if Tim Conway's got the right stuff in him.
But this is Tim Conway we're dealing with even if he is the last relative Geer has on the earth. As an aide Geer gives him his dog who is descended from the German Shepherd who accompanied him back in the Thirties.
Well after guile less Tim gets hoodwinked into a plot to kidnap a rare breed of Chinese dog that the People's Republic Of China has sent to the USA as a token of friendship, he needs the help of the Shepherd who proves to be the smarter of the pair. Not just the fact he's got Tim Conway as a human companion, but this dog is a regular Rin Tin Tin.
In fact back in the day the plot of The Billion Dollar Hobo could be a Rin Tin Tin picture. Maybe that was the mistake, the dog should have been the star, not Tim Conway.
Not taking anything away from Conway who is a very funny man, but in this film some of the comic bits fall flat and Conway just can't quite get his character off the ground.
Conway's done a lot better stuff, especially when he's teamed with Don Knotts. This one just doesn't quite make it.
Tim Conway is one of my favorite comics and this seemed like an ideal vehicle for him: playing a goof-up who finds out he is heir to a fortune but must prove his resourcefulness by becoming a hobo for a short time. It's too bad that they couldn't have focused on that as the main plot. The makers chose to throw in a gang of crooks who kidnap a valuable dog and then have Conway and the dog that's been sent along with him to keep him out of trouble, unknowingly join up with the crooks. The film generates few laughs and no one seems to be having much fun. The children's book which came out based on this film was way more enjoyable. If you like Conway, you might get through this but his TV show appearances are a lot funnier.
Seemed to me that Tim Conway isn't a bad comedian at all but the script
he had to work with provided him very little interesting or funny to
do. Ironic, since he was one of the scriptwriters himself.
The concept of the movie was good enough to still provide the movie with some great comical moments and characters but yet they decided to choose a very uninteresting approach with a very uninteresting story-line about a couple of dog-nappers. It just doesn't work out, especially not comically.
The comical sequences also go on for far too long. They get stretched out so much that they simply seize to be funny very quick. The movie does still has one or two really funny moments but this is of course all not quite enough to save the movie.
The directing is very lifeless and the editing makes the movie seem all the worse. It makes the comedy feel even more awkward and takes the pace and flow out of a lot of sequences. No wonder editor Avrum M. Fine only made 5 (very bad) movies in his career.
Really not worth watching.
This one was so bad that I started writing about it while I was still watching it. Can't help using the pun, but this one was a real dog. The VHS copy I had was a lousy print, and the soundtrack was distorted...the music sounded as if it had been imported from outer space. I'd go back and get a refund if I could remember where I got it. Literally, this film is a dog, because the only saving grace is the fact that the real stars are the animals. Bo, the pure-bred German Shepherd, is the real hero of this film. Tim Conway's usual screw-up character somehow just doesn't cut the mustard in this corny piece of un-necessary celluloid. Will Geer , it turns out, is Tim's Billionaire uncle, and Tim's only living relative. Tim has to prove he's got the right stuff in order to come into the business of his uncle, and the fortune of his uncle. He has to become a hobo and, as usual, he screws it all up. The Uncle lays down rules about cheating and stealing which, sad to say, are a low point of the film as Tim does steal a car later after he runs out of gas in a van that does not belong to him. This is never reconciled in the film, and as far as I was concerned this dis-qualified him from his intended inheritance. But...what the heck...movie logic is just that...movie logic. Who has figured it out yet? Anyway, as funny as Tim Conway can be, I have to say forget about this one. You don't need to see this film to know that most dogs are smarter than a whole lot of humans. An awful film, an awful print, and a story that has been abused over the decades and centuries...nothing really new here except for the attempts at re-telling the story...and this re-telling is not exceptional, nor is it worth the time it takes to watch it.
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