Thursday 21 July 2011

The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (1976)

This is one of those films that you think probably came about because someone came up with a wacky title and decided to construct a film around it.  There were loads of these double-barrelled buddy-buddy movies in the wake of BONNIE & CLYDE and BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID.  Off the top of my head, I can think of LITTLE FAUSS & BIG HALSEY, DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY, FREEBIE & THE BEAN, HICKEY & BOGGS, THUNDERBOLT & LIGHTFOOT and of course this one.  Some were good and some, like this one, were dreadful.  The problem with it is that it thinks it's hilarious whereas in reality there isn't an ounce of wit in it.  The level of humour can be summed up by saying I've never seen a film where quite so many people get kicked in the nuts or the arse or fall face down in the dirt, while a banjo plays some inane music in the background to remind you that you're supposed to be laughing.  Lee Marvin (as the Great Scout), Oliver Reed, Strother Martin and Kay Lenz (as Cathouse Thursday) are good actors but they're not really comedians; the one guy in the cast who could do light comedy well is Robert Culp but he's barely in it.

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