Support Your Local Sheriff

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Brenda Fellman

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Jason McCullough – James Garner
Prudy Parkins – Joan Hackett
Pa Danby – Walter Brennan
Olly Perkins – Harry Morgan
Jake – Jack Elam
Joe Danby – Bruce Dern
Henry Jackson -Henry Jones
Fred Johnson –  Walter Burke
Luke Danby – Dick Peabody
Tom Danby –  Gene Evans
Thomas Devery – Willis Bouchey

Plot

Support your local sheriff (1969), is a western. The basic plot is that a small town suddenly goes gold crazy, and due to every one being to busy looking for gold the town also becomes a hot spot for bad guys. When Jason McCullough (James Garner), a smart yet lazy skilled gun slinger rolls into town, he takes up the position of sheriff just so he can make some money while he looks for gold to fund his trip to Australia. Like all Western films he has to deal with things such as unfinished jail cells, a gang of bullying ranchers lead by Pa Danby (Walter Brennan), and the plain craziness of the Mayor’s daughter Prudy (Joan Hackett). In the end he cleans up the town in an explosive man we, gets the girl ane never does get to Australia.

While the plot line seems like it could be any basic Western film, this one is more like a parody of the genre rather than an actual Western. The cast is comprised of old character actors, each delivering their lines to perfection and hilarity. This film would not be any good without James Garner at the lead as he seems to be playing a role he was born for. The role called for an actor who could pull off a quick-witted, sarcastic, astute, overly accommodating, and not especially tough character and James Garner stepped into the role so well that another casting would seem laughable. If you are a fan of My Darling Clementine (1946), then you will enjoy Walter Brennan’s rule as Pa Danby as he play’s the character like a spoof of his previous character Old Man Clanton. While the rest of the cast pulls together to make the film one of the funniest Western spoofs out there.

It plays along with every genre rules that old Westerns followed but  slightly exaggerated  them. The film also does a good job of playing around with the unlikely events that are often shown in classic Westerns. Though you may find you will enjoy it to the fullest if you already have a love of the original Westerns films as all the jokes will feel familiar. You will also understand some of the things they refere nice through out the film. In all honesty this film, while less remembered then Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974), has much better writing & jokes and the actors’ amazing timing and delivery of their lines make this a much more flawless film when compared to the hit & miss and gag heavy Blazing Saddles.

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