Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (1979 TV Movie)
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"Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders," though, is a vehicle for two, and those two are Jane Seymour and the Dallas Cowboys organization. The film posits that the Dallas Cowboys represent everything that is good and wholesome about America. (Why else would these gals swathe their breasts in the Red, White and Blue?) Why, despite their success and fame, the Cowboys are so down-home and authentic that their cheerleaders' choreographer is a woman named Texie! And if they need a dour, brittle woman like Laraine Stephens to safeguard the sanctity of the Cheerleaders, so be it. (The lovely Miss Stephens seems to have researched this character by watching every episode of "Another World" ever broadcast -- behold her stern-browed, soapy malevolence as she dismisses an overly ambitious young woman from the squad. Careful, girls, you don't want to think you're better than you are.) But it's the beautiful Jane who carries this film into the end zone. At this point in her career, she was absolutely radiant and utterly shameless, so she could play nasty characters who would have roasted Dr. Quinn over a campfire, and here she warms up for her scenery-pulverizing turn as Cathy in the "East of Eden" mini-series two years later. Watch her toss that silky hair and dish about her fellow squad members. Watch her assemble those flawless features into a mask of phony empathy and suck the seedy truth out of Lauren like a vampire. At her sordid best, Jane combined the blunt intensity of Joan Crawford with the eye-searing beauty of Gene Tierney. She could have ruled the 80s, or any other decade, really. But she surrendered to her nicest impulses, and we're left with mere glimpses of the colossal diva that might she have become. Sigh.