Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Support Your Local Sheriff review

Support Your Local Sheriff (1969)
Dir. Burt Kennedy
Starring: James Garner, Joan Hackett, Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Bruce Dern, Walter Brennan

While on his way to Austrailia, Jason McCullough (Garner) arrives in the town of Calendar, where gold was recently which caused the town to devolve into lawlessness. In order to make ends meet while he is in town, McCullough takes the job of sheriff, arrests the son (Dern) of a local landowner and gangleader (Brennan) and causes more violence to come to the town.

This movie is a great parody of classic westerns. It doesn’t do any type of deconstruction of the genre, it most stays by the rules that had been established and tells a fairly typical story in a very fun way. In terms of characters, the movie is full of great archetypes, in fact most of the actors are playing roles that are somewhat similar to roles that they had played earlier, most notable Walter Brennan playing a role that is a more comedic version of his character from My Darling Clementine. The movie is full of great one liners, and it is realty well-acted by the cast, who are perfect in their roles. Joan Hackett is great as Purdy, the tomboy daughter of the mayor, and her scenes with Garner are fun to watch. Jack Elam is also great in the film, playing the reluctant deputy that gets enlisted to assist McCullough against the Danbys.

James Garner is great in the movie. While he had made some serious westerns like Hour of the Gun or Duel at Diablo, he was really better when he was able to show a more lighter side, like in this film, it’s sequel that isn’t a sequel, or in the Maverick series. He carries the movie, and without someone with similar talents and screen presence, this film would not work. 

This movie is really fun. It is a great parody of the western genre, while at the same time it stands enough as its own picture.  It is also interesting when viewed alongside it's follow-up Support Your Local Gunfighter, which is good but not as great as this film. I would definitely recommend this film to anyone wanting a good western comedy.  

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