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Bronco Billy McCoy is the proud owner of a small traveling Wild West show. But the business isn't doing too well: for the past six months he hasn't paid his employees. At a gas station he picks up Antoinette, a stuck-up blonde from a rich family, who was left behind without a penny by her husband on their wedding night. Billy likes her looks and hires her as his assistant. She seems to bring them bad luck and the business gets even worse. In these hard times she loses her reluctance and starts to like her new way of life... and Bronco Billy. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Lets hear a cheer for everyone's favourite cowboy.
Bronco Billy the sharpshooting cowboy is the owner of a modern-day travelling Wild West Show that seems to get caught in one messy situation after another. And not helping is the lack of crowd figures to their show. But nothing is going to stop Bronco Billy along with his companions from living their American dream. Through some amusing chain of events a wealthy, snobby heiress Antoinette Lilly finds herself tagging along with the show and becoming one of Bronco Billy's assistant, after her new husband leaves her stranded with nothing.
I don't understand why they think this cap gun shoots nothing but blanks. While, Eastwood (who directs and stars) goes all sentimental, warm and fuzzy for a change. It wasn't as well accepted (despite it being one of Eastwood's favourites) and flopped at the box office with it receiving such poor jabs from most critics. Not to say it's great, but this comically light-hearted character journey has a certain amount of charm within its foundation that doesn't make it as bad as you would believe. Even with this whimsical nature, it never gets overbearing. Sure it can cause you to cringe at times, but it wears its heart on its sleeve and keeps it integrity intact. More often I found myself smiling at the shenanigans, well it was hard not to. It's simply a satire worked into an old-fashioned story of familiar ingredients, were there was plenty of things going on in the plot. Who knew these traditional plot devices could maintain such interest. This is because of a delightful bunch of wholesome performances, authentically zippy purple patches of random fun and Eastwood's conventionally hardy direction makes sure it ticks along sufficiently. Even if it's nicely shot, there's nothing overly flashy or quirky creeping up, so it's all about the loyal chemistry and assured story that keeps one compelled. Streamlining the moralistic story are deep insights and symbolic brushes of the true feeling of the American dream. You got to earn it, as it's not served on up on a plate for you and from that you make the most out of it to live up to 'your' dreams. Pacing-wise it can stall in stretches, but I didn't find it boring when that did occur. The stock characters here seem to be grounded by reality, despite some silly developments (mainly involving a mental institution). The relaxed Clint Eastwood chimes in with a wonderfully touching performance. He simply chews up the material with great vigour. A terrific Sandra Locke has a screen presence that's equally as dominating in the role of the stuck-up, cold-blooded high-end dame. Eastwood regular Geoffrey Lewis' oddball greedy turn was marvellously madcap. The performances of Sam Bottoms, Dan Vadis, Sierra Pecheur and Bill McKinney are pleasurably sincere as Eastwood's ragtag team.
If there's one Eastwood film that's unfairly lampooned. "Bronco Billy" gets my vote. This gratifying show must go on.
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