FYI -- another reviewer mistakenly referred to this as Beau Bridges' first movie, but he was only 20 years off. As a juvenile Bridges appeaed in 3 films -- most notably The Red Pony. As a teen, he was marvelous in the Explosive Generation as high school sex-ed teacher William Shatner's classroom nemesis. In 1967, he was riveting as the crippled hero in Larry Peerce's classic, The Incident.
By the way, another reviewer thought this was some sort of re-working of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. Aside from the fact that someone vanishes (a man), not much else relates. This is much closer to a Jeanne Crain B-movie that came out a few years later called Dangerous Crossing.
But, if you care one iota about plot, consistent and or logical character motivation, and pacing, avoid this never-ending series of outrageous vignettes masquerading as a movie. To be certain, there are a number of vividly memorable scenes, but the characters played by the actors in one scene are completely inconsistent with what they do in the next scene.
The one thing the three leads do have in common is that they all act masochistically at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason. This is not my idea of a good time or good film making.
But, speaking of Newton and MacLaine, I must take IMDB to task for this one although I recognize they are merely copying from the film's cast list. Still, when one transforms from one medium to another, some judgment must be exercised. In order for the uninitiated to find out that Newton and MacLaine (two of the film's four major characters) are even in the film, one must click on the blue more button for additional cast members, One normally does not bother to do this because all one normally sees are credits for the likes of Jennifer Baliniczewski, Haley Tiresius, Forrest J. Ackerman, Zvi Frischman, and Skip Jackson.
Please IMDB, bring Newton and MacLaine up front with Niven and Cantinflas. The movie's top stars should be featured at the top. Then the rest can be listed alphabetically.
The triangular chemistry, repartee, and interactions between the three stars was marvelous. Newman was brilliant as the zen-like bank robber. But, Mulroney more than held his own as the small-town loser husband, and was excellent in his relationship with Newman. I saw a couple of reviewers call this slow. I found it very fast, snappy, and whimsical. And, the sound-track was great too. All in all, this is one of the best caper films to hit the big screen since "The Sting."
The rest of this review deals with the other reviewers since it has been made clear by what I have read that the IMDB "no spoilers" rule strangely does not apply to Our Town. True, the movie was no more Thornton Wilder's play than Yentl was Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story or Educating Rita was Willy Russell's play or Christine was Steven King's book to name just three which were radically changed to accommodate the director's vision of what a movie based on these materials should say to the moviegoing audience. King has said words to the effect that, "(paraphrasing...) My book is my book. When I sell my rights to the movie-makers to use my book as a platform for a film, it is precisely that which I do. The movie is not my book any more than How The West Was Won is history. It is merely the participating artists' vision of the source material." The late James Michener has voiced similar opinions.
Admittedly, others like Gore Vidal have felt damaged when three lines were omitted. They view their text as sacrosanct. My suggestion to them is to emulate J. D. Salinger. If you don't want your work changed, do not sell the rights; a movie is not a book or a play; it is a movie.
For what it is worth, I had read the play first, was depressed by it, and was personally surprised, delighted, and enraptured by the lyrical ending which, to me, remained more true to the entire spirit of the movie (a la Sam Wood's Goodbye Mr. Chips -- still one of my all-time favorites, also not 100% true to James Hilton's book)than the original bummer ending would have, since the tone had been lightened and lyricized throughout. But, this is what artistic expression and interpretation is all about. Different eyes, minds, and hearts see and interpret the same things differently. Sam Wood, like Thornton Wilder, was an artist, not a mechanic, as were the other artists involved in the movie. What lives is their interpretation of the source material to make a movie that is an ode to small-town American life rather than Wilder's essay on the unbearable lightness of being, as it were.