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The Villain (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Western | 27 July 1979 (USA)
"Cactus" Jack Slade (Douglas) is the meanest bad man in the west or so he thinks. When a bank robbery goes awry, he lands in jail facing a hangman's noose! When the corrupt owner of the ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nervous Elk
Foster Brooks ...
Bank Clerk
Damsel in Distress
Avery Simpson
Parody Jones
Ray Bickel ...
Mashing Finger
Telegraph Agent
Laura Lizer Sommers ...
Working Girl
Mel Todd ...
Jim Anderson ...


"Cactus" Jack Slade (Douglas) is the meanest bad man in the west or so he thinks. When a bank robbery goes awry, he lands in jail facing a hangman's noose! When the corrupt owner of the bank offers him a job, Jack sees a chance to both stay alive and get rich in the process. All he has to do is steal a strongbox full of money the banker lent to Mr. Parody Jones who needs it to keep his mining operation going. If he defaults on the loan, our "friendly" banker takes over the mine. Ms. Charming Jones (Margret) comes to town to collect the money and take it back to her father, Parody. To ensure the money makes it back home, Parody has called in a favor from a man who owes him a life debt. Enter Handsome Stranger (Schwarzenegger). The toughest and strongest hero in the west. As tough as a steel plate but, unfortunately, just as dense. As Charming and Handsome set off on their journey, Jack sets out after them. Using his trusty "Bad Men Of The West" handbook, Jack sets one trap after ... Written by gorn9146

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


...the fastest fun in the west!


Comedy | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 July 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cactus Jack  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The central character in this western-spoof is Cactus Jack Slade. Similarly, there had been another western-spoof with a central character called Evil Roy Slade (1972). This was a tele-movie that had been made earlier in the decade. Both the Evil Roy Slade and Cactus Jack Slade characters are seen dressed very much alike, completely in black outfit with black hats, both sport moustaches, are villains, and share the same last name. The Slade surname in the earlier film was an acronym for "Sneaking, Lying, Arrogance, Dirtiness and Evil." Moreover, both characters in posters are seen riding atop a Western vehicle, Jack on a locomotive and Roy on a horse carriage. See more »


Horse stands available when Nervous Elk yells "charge" and all the horses race from out of the stands (only visible in open matte TV showings). See more »


Cactus Jack: Take another step and I'll ventilate you!... Nobody outsmarts Cactus Jack Slade!
[Handsome Stranger and Cactus Jack are about to shoot it out]
Charming Jones: Hold it! Like the man says... just hold it.
[She walks up to Cactus Jack]
Charming Jones: [to Handsome Stranger] Ah, exactly *what* are your intentions?
Handsome Stranger: To see that justice is done!
Charming Jones: [to Cactus Jack] And yours?
Cactus Jack: Blow his head off! Steal the money!
Charming Jones: And...?
Cactus Jack: [laughs] ... And then I'm gonna ravish you!
See more »


Referenced in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »


Handsome Stranger
Written by Jimmy Darrell & Joe Smartt
Performed by Mel Tillis
See more »

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User Reviews

Dudley DooRight versus Wile E. Coyote for Jessica Rabbit
25 May 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm not quite sure why Kirk Douglas took the part of a live Wile E. Coyote in the film villain other than to say that he had now tried the slapstick comedy genre. But in this case the frustrated coyote is not matched up with the beeping road runner. His adversary is Dudley DooRight in the person of Arnold Schwarzneggar, the Handsome Stranger. Yes folks, that's his character name.

We've got a third cartoon character in the mix, Ann-Margret doing a prototype of Jessica Rabbit. Annie's really showing off the stuff today with bosoms akimbo, she's got every member of the cast panting after her with the exceptions of Strother Martin who is her father and still sees Daddy's little girl and Arnie whom she pants after, but who doesn't show the slightest interest.

The bulk of the film is taken up with Kirk as villainous Cactus Jack and his horse Whiskey, doing their best to stop Arnie and Ann and rob them of a large sum of money from banker Jack Elam to Strother Martin. It's here where all the comparisons to the road runner cartoons take place.

I'm sure Kirk Douglas liked the change of pace, burlesquing his own western image. And he had a tough assignment because the majority of his scenes are alone and the dialog was spoken to his horse. Maybe Mr. Ed should have been cast in the role.

If anybody noticed the name of the horse Whiskey is the same name that Kirk Douglas used for his horse in his acclaimed Lonely Are The Brave.

Lest you think that because this is a road runner film the ending is a road runner ending. Let's just say that Jessica Rabbit has her needs and priorities as well.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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LOVE this movie. kevinfromtx
Swaztika on horse! Jangali
The Ending and Roger from American Dad allsystmsdwn
Sleeper mikeval
Did Kirk ever comment on this? Willisroute2
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