It's funny with Cowboy films - either they work and are classics or they're lame. And any twist on the genre (e.g. Cowboys & Aliens
), let alone an attempt at humour, is often punished at the box office.
Which is why this film is such a revelation - it's deeply quirky and unusual, yet somehow works both as a Western and a comedy. The vivid and varied colours come straight out of the sixties, yet somehow it retains the grittiness of a cowboy film and the dark humour of the frontier.
The plot is fairly simple, as it follows a dandy con-man played by James Garner, who succeeds in tricking two rival mine-owners into giving him £5000 a piece, which he proceeds to twice blow by betting '23 red' on Roulette.
It may not sound much, but as well as the plot the charactors have that magnetism of all great Westerns, and the film has all the ethos of the very best Spaghetti Westerns.
So, if you haven't come across the Support Your Local Sherriff
series, then this one comes thoroughly recommended. Like the best of the Wild West genre, this movie defies cliche and presents a fully fleshed-out vision of the amazing places that Cowboy films can go, given a little creativity...