Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A man's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another drink.

The Bank Dick was my very first W.C. Fields film.  It was enjoyable, but really not all that memorable.  The Marx Bros. were doing better comedy 19 years earlier.  Even so, I'm glad I watched it and I had a good time.  The film as a whole may not have been all that special, but the car chase sequence had me holding my sides as the belly laughs roared forth.

I fondly remember my hero William Troeller telling me the story of Fields on his deathbed reading a Bible.  His friends, bewildered, asked him what he was doing.

"Looking for a loophole."


I haven't met any other serious film lovers who don't like Cagney.  Everyone loves Cagney.  I can't imagine not loving Cagney.

Tribute to a Bad Man is one of the few Westerns that James Cagney made during his career.  It's partially an exploration of frontier justice and mostly a saucy domestic Soap Western with a few guys vying for a rehabilitated saloon gal.  I almost thought this thing was going to end on a really sour note and was amazed by the audacity of it.  Then, the expected happy resolution occurs and I couldn't even get angry because it felt so good.  I like this movie a lot.

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