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Working in an Austin, Texas, beauty parlour in 1954, Nadine Hightower endeavours to retrieve some 'art studies' she injudiciously had taken. Her visit to the photographer leaves him dead and her in possession of highly valuable plans of a proposed new road. With both the police and the murderous villains after her she enlists the help of her (almost) ex-husband Vernon, the none too successful owner of the Bluebonnet Bar. Fortunately the thugs are as much no-hopers as the Hightowers. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
The nick-names for the nudie Nadine photographs of Nadine Hightower (Kim Basinger) were "art shots" or "art studies". See more »
When Kim Basinger is looking through her closet for lingerie, she pulls down a large grey box labeled "Scarborough's". This is an '80's-era shipping box for the former high-end department store, not a '50's-era box. (Scarborough's is now closed). See more »
Damn it, woman, I'm trying to get the Blue Bonnet refinanced.
If you ask me, the Blue Bonnet's...
I didn't ask. There is no way they're gonna let me have that money unless you agree to the divorce and promise to make no claim on the Bonnet.
Do you see the keys to a new Buick convertible with white sidewall tires, a radio and air conditioner? When you see the keys in my hand, you'll see my name on those papers. Now you got that, slick?
[points to his beat-up old pickup truck]
You see that Chevy? ...
[...] See more »
Let me begin by saying I am just astonished to see the low average of viewer comments for this splendid movie. I just have to figure the commenters are a bunch of Yankees who never set foot in the South and have no feel for the slow, quiet humor that this fine film represents.
But even that cultural adjustment doesn't explain the complete failure of these other reviewers to appreciate a really finely drawn comedy, from beginning to end. This is a wonderful work by the fine writer and director Robert Benton, who defies the axiom, Comedy is hard. He makes it look easy.
What he did was simple, looking back, but so very hard for most people to do: He set up a funny plot and kept it funny from one scene to another, by keeping it low key and letting the characters carry the humor lightly, one slightly ridiculous moment after the other, thus avoiding the great comedic danger: You can kill comedy by overworking it.
Benton takes a plausible story about some Texas corruption and discovered maps with some amusing twists to it and jacks it up with some great dialogue and some fine actors -- mostly Southern, as it happens: the fine actor Rip Torn (birth name, Ripley J. Torn, Jr., Texas) and Kim Basinger (Alabama). Robert Benton himself is from Waxahatchie, Texas, and wrote the screenplay with full knowledge and confidence of the plausibility of the plot and the reality of his characters.
Folks, I know lots of people like these characters. So do you. Good people, simple people, women who on the phone who soon ask, How's yer Mom 'n 'em? And Benton has given them a moment of great adventure and humor.
A few gems: Jeff Bridges: "I'm not in the Vernon Darlin' business anymore." Basinger naming her early fetus Doris Isabel and talking to her. Rip Torn: "Why is it you work your butt off all your life to get ahead and it takes two nitwits about ten minutes to screw the whole thing up." And in her most glorious beauty, Glenne Headley as the girlfriend, full of Texas spunk.
I truly pity the Yankees and Californians west of Bakersfield who cannot see the beauty of this film. But you know what? We don't need you. This movie is like Elvis. It will live forever.
17 of 20 people found this review helpful.
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