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Zachariah
Zachariah
Actors: John Rubinstein, Patricia Quinn, Don Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Elvin Jones
Director: George Englund
Genres: Westerns, Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
PG     2004     1hr 33min

Firepower meets flower power in this "outrageous western" (Motion Picture Herald) about two thrill-seeking cowboys who rock the range! Starring John Rubinstein, Don Johnson and Dick Van Patten, and featuring legendary musi...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: John Rubinstein, Patricia Quinn, Don Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Elvin Jones
Director: George Englund
Creators: George Englund, David Ossman, Hermann Hesse, Joe Massot, Peter Bergman, Phil Proctor, Philip Austin
Genres: Westerns, Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Comedy, Musicals
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/24/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

A movie that was perfect for its time
Daniel J. Lape | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 01/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Zachariah" has remained one of the most vivid memories of my teenage cinematic years. And I only saw it once. As a 14-year-old in 1970, it was perfectly timed to take advantage of the growing fusion of rock, drugs, rebellion, free love and good times that were evolving through the culture. And it packaged them up in a funny, satirical fashion that was uniquely themed as a Western. I still remember one of the gunfight songs "Zachariah, Zachariah don't go to Apache Wells; 19's tried and 19's died, and you'll make only one." If you're a hippie product of the 70s era, "Zachariah" is a must see, as much for the fun, gags and drug references, as for the actors who went on to further stardom whether in movies or television."
A campy rock opera set in the wild west...
Marc Minsker | Washington, DC | 01/10/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The "western rock opera" is not a genre that has been explored by many directors (probably for good reasons). In ZACHARIAH, director George Englund takes a multitude of long-haired actors into the mountains and desert of California and attempts to create a hip, compelling drama. Don't expect a cathartic experience here. Instead, you'll find yourself laughing at the campy characters, dialogue, and situations which come up as the protagonist, Zachariah (played by John Rubinstein), learns how to shoot a mysterious pistol discovered buried in the sand. Soon he cultivates an intense desire to become a gunslinger, and with the help of his best friend Matthew (played by a very young Don Johnson, later of Miami Vice), he creates somewhat of a reputation for himself. The resident outlaws, known as the Crackers, begin to feel threatened by Zachariah's skills as a gunslinger.

Based on the god-awful dialogue, Zachariah and Matthew's relationship is ambigously gay (though director Englund probably did not intend this to be so) and this seems to produce the most laughs.

So what makes this film a must see? The inclusion of drummer Elvin Jones -- who spent much of his illustrious career as John Coltrane's percussionist -- is its greatest asset. Jones plays the role of Job Cain, a true outlaw with mad drumming skills (as he demonstrates in the film). His influence on Don Johnson's character is so powerful that he is able to separate the ambigously gay duo temporarily and turn them into rivals.

The other cool aspect of this film (which makes it worth purchasing) has to be all of the scenes with County Joe MacDonald and his psychedlic group, The Fish. Here, Country Joe and the Fish play a group of no-good outlaws, who happen to be rock musicians and go by the name of The Crackers.

The opening scene --with The James Gang playing an intense rock tune in the middle of the desert -- is also quite memorable and is slightly reminiscent of Pink Floyd at Pompeii or one of Can's obscure music films.

Patricia Quinn (a.k.a. Alice from Alice's Restaurant) works well as the character Belle Star, a strumpet who runs the local brothel. Her band, The New York Rock Ensemble, also has one memorable scene.

Watch this movie for the wonderful music and have a few laughs along the way.


"
You missed the point
mickiq@earthlink.net | 02/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The plot is a parody of Hermann Hesse' Siddartha. It is the life story of Gautama Buddah. This novel was very popular in colleges in the late 60's and early 70's"
Zacharaiah, Zacharaiah, you don't need a gun to die...
j michael rowland | Watertown, Tennessee, USA | 08/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Just a couple of points to add that seem unmentioned by previous reviewers:

One of the eeriest high points of the film is a cameo appearance by the legendary Ragin' Cajun, Doug Kershaw, who plays an itinerant prophet known only as The Fiddler -- part insane oracle and part Orpheus.

The other important point to mention is that the story is a loose retelling of the Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha. But then... so many things are....

jmr"