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This is an adventure movie from the early 80's, not fabulous, but it stands on its own merits. Sam Elliott is believable, ruggedly handsome and sexy as the key player, and Katherine Ross looks the best I ever saw her ( that translates into beautiful for men, I think). The rest of the cast fades into the background against their beauty together. Add gorgeous scenery and a glorious sea and it is a delicious movie. Nothing too much of anything, just enough of it all to be enjoyable.
However, the real reason to watch "Travis McGee" as now showing on cable and satellite on the Mystery Channel is to discover...Travis McGee!! You see, Travis is much more than a movie character aptly and sexily played by Sam Elliottt. He is the protagonist of 21 wonderful books written by the late author, John D. McDonald. The book series started in the early 60's ( before most of us were even born) and ended only with the author's death in the late 80's. Each book stands on its own, just as this movie does, but as a collective work, the series is the story of OUR society in the US, as seen through the eyes of a playboy/hero.
Not only do we see Travis ( Sam Elliott) performing his magic with the ladies and his brilliant BS with the men, we get an idea of what it would be like to live in a simpler life, the life Travis chose on his boat. He was a rebel against credit cards, phone records, beaurocrats in general,and the despoiling of natural beauty along the coastline of Florida, specifically.
There actually is a slip at Bahia Mar, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, F-18, known to all Travis fans as HIS slip for the Busted Flush ( his beloved houseboat)... It sits empty in Ft. Lauderdale, a memorial to a man who touched so many lives, yet never was.If you are ever in the area, check it out. With the price of large boat slips in the area, it is a fit testimony to the power of the written words of John D. McDonald, and his ability to make you believe that Travis will come floating by with a sexy white gleaming smile in deepwater tan smile for us all.
Watch the movie for the enjoyment, then read the books for the JOY!
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