7.7/10
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23 user 23 critic

Lemonade Joe (1964)

Limonádový Joe aneb Konská opera (original title)
Straight shooting Lemonade Joe cleans up Stetson City, in this musical parody of early Westerns, after shooting the pants off villain Old Pistol. Joe's endorsement of Kolaloka (Crazy Cola) ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lemonade Joe - Salesman fy Kolalok & Son
... Dough Badman - Owner of Trigger Whisky Saloon (as Rudolf Deyl ml.)
... Horác Badman Alias 'hogofogo'
... Tornado Lou - Arizona Warbler
... Winnifred Goodman
... Ezra Goodman - Father
... Gunslinger Grimpo
... Pancho Kid - Gunslinger
... Banjo Kid - Gunslinger
Eman Fiala ... Pianist
... Barman #1
... Barman #2
Jirí Steimar ... Kolalok - Joe's Father
... Drunk Postman
Oldrich Lukes ... Sheriff
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Storyline

Straight shooting Lemonade Joe cleans up Stetson City, in this musical parody of early Westerns, after shooting the pants off villain Old Pistol. Joe's endorsement of Kolaloka (Crazy Cola) lemonade as the refresher that assures deadly aim, convinces the Arizona sin-town to abstain from alcohol. Based on the 1963 Czech stage production. But Trigger Whiskey maker Duke Badman's brother the devious gunslinger Hogofogo, comes to save his sibling's saloon from Joe's allies, father and daughter temperance revivalists, the Goodmans. Written by David Stevens

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25 November 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lemonade Joe  »

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(tinted)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Czechoslovakia's official submission to 37th Academy Award's Foreign Language in 1965. See more »

Quotes

Musician: [reading a note attached to Joe's back] Lemonade Joe! Do you know how silly you are?
Lemonade Joe: No, that I do not.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vsechnopárty: Episode dated 5 September 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Muj Bóze, muj Bóze
Music by Vlastimil Hála
Lyrics by Jirí Brdecka
Performed by Karel Gott
See more »

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User Reviews

Bizarre, but interesting, communist-era satire of traditional American Westerns
14 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

The concept of this film (an affectionate send-up of old-fashioned American cowboy films) is one that seems to have been kicked around in the movie business, both here and abroad, for quite a few years. The first realization of it that I'm familiar with is the 1949 stop-motion puppet animation short "Arie Prerie," or "Song of the Prairie," by the Czech animator Jiri Trnka. With no more dialog than some snickers and shouts, along with an operatic-style song performed by the singing cowboy hero and his heroine, it does a nice job of satirizing the old conventions of the singing cowboy movie. It's a charming film, well worth seeing.

"Lemonade Joe," done in 1964 by yet another Czech filmmaker, Oldrich Lipsky, seems to be expanding greatly on the subject in order to extend it to feature length, and aside from the basic concept the plot bears no relation to "Song of the Prairie." Yet, anyone who's seen "Song of the Prairie" will immediately see the connection. In fact the soaring, operatic song belted out by a tenor over the opening title turns out to be the very same song that the puppet protagonists of "Song of the Prairie" sang. To an English-speaking person like myself, the lyrics sound tantalizingly like English, even finishing up with the repeated phrase "goodbye, goodbye." Yet, if you look at the lyrics spelled out (as they are in the Czech DVD that I watched), you can see that they mean nothing at all in English. Are they in fact Czech, or some gibberish concocted to sound like English? Not understanding Czech, I can't really say.

Laurie Edwards' sourpuss review (see "External Reviews" and "CultureDose.net") demonstrates that not everyone will appreciate this film's style, which is certainly foreign in comparison to typical Hollywood fare. While the film's basic concept appeals to me greatly and I enjoyed its bizarre, surreal, and anarchic qualities, I can see how it might rub people the wrong way, particularly those with more conventional tastes. One user comment suggests that its humor is quintessentially Czech and cannot be fully appreciated by outsiders, and as one of those outsiders I'm not in a position to dispute that. I wouldn't argue that it's a paragon of good taste, perfect form, and artistic refinement, but I did get a kick out of it and wasn't bored or irritated, as Ms. Edwards was. Besides being a satire of the American singing cowboy genre, there seems to be some jabs at American commercialism, and perhaps even racism. This film was made in a communist country during the height of the cold war, after all. On the other hand, far harsher criticisms were made by American filmmakers in American films during the same era, so I wouldn't dream of taking any offense at it at this point in time.

The most recent attempt to satirize the singing cowboy genre that I'm aware of is Hugh Wilson's 1985 film "Rustlers' Rhapsody," starring Tom Berenger as the western hero. It seems to me more subtle and complex than "Lemonade Joe," but not nearly as stylish or entertaining.

I enjoy seeing all three of the above films, but I think perhaps the cartoon format is the best for this concept after all. "Song of the Prairie" is my favorite, being an actual animated film, followed by "Lemonade Joe" which is a live-action film that is decidedly cartoon-like, followed by "Rustlers' Rhapsody," which to my taste seems a bit tame and conventional in execution.


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