Clint Carries on the Classic Tradition of the West
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 02/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bronco Billy is a character in the tradition of classic westerns of the 20th century. Billy is fair and honest, and he watches out for children. Except for some of the things he does, Bronco Billy bears some resemblance to Roy Rogers. However, when Billy does not get his way, which seems to happen a lot, he can be manipulative.
One of Bronco Billy's biggest problems is getting a young woman to be an assistant. Being an assistant for Billy involves being a target for knives, holding up plates so Billy can shoot them, and jumping on the back of a horse ridden by Billy. Billy's latest assistant just quit at the same time that obnoxious Antoinette Lilly's husband abandons her in the same town Bronco Billy's wild west show is playing. Antoinette needs help, since all her husband left her was a nightgown, and
Billy needs an assistant.
Antoinette turns out to be a huge pain in the behind. She is smart-mouthed, cynical, obnoxious and arrogant (I may have missed a few adjectives, but you can fill those in yourself). On the other hand, Antoinette can shoot and other than being a snob, she can handle the assistant part.
Even though I am not a big fan of Sondra Locke, part of what makes this movie work is how Antoinette's observations of Billy slowly change her attitude toward the world. She sees that Billy is honest and caring. She also sees how selfless Billy and his team are. Between the jokes, the changes in Antoinette as the movie progresses are important to the end of the movie.
Whenever I look at my DVD collection for a movie to watch, I somehow seem to always pass over this movie. Yet, when I finely get around to watching it, I am always glad I did. I am unable to explain exactly why that is the case. Regardless, this movie is a charmer and one of my favorite Clint Eastwood comedies. If you have enjoyed Clint Eastwood's other comedies, I believe you will like this one.
MINOR EASTWOOD BUT MAJOR PLEASURE
wdanthemanw | Geneva, Switzerland | 02/03/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Between two Harry Callahan movies, Warner Brothers used to let Clint Eastwood direct more personal movies. Everybody knew that these films wouldn't be hits, they were little presents offered to the successful actor. Thanks to these minor movies, Clint Eastwood is now considered, at least in Europe, as one of the major american film directors. BRONCO BILLY, shot in 1980, is a good surprise for the Eastwood fan. Starring Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis Scatman Crothers, Sam Bottoms and Clint, the movie has all the ingredients of a good comedy. Witty and heartful. The show presented by Clint and his friends is hilarious and the relations between Bronco and the children very well developed. In Bronco Billy's world, everybody can become what he wants to be ; a shoemaker can become a cowboy, a desertor a master in throwing lassoes and so on. Come join this pathetic world described with tenderness by Clint Eastwood. The director. Widescreen and standard copies, english and french subtitles and an incomplete filmography of Clint Eastwood as bonus features. Rather meager. A DVD zone curious ones."
Clint gives another superb performance.
Lonnie E. Holder | 05/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Enjoyable yarn about a ageing rodeo star.Clint dosen't let down.If you like this you will enjoy Junior Bonner."
Lots of heart
J. C Sallows | Madison, WI USA | 08/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The best part of this movie is without a doubt Clint Eastwood. He brings style and power to the role of an ex-con roving the countryside with his merry band of misfit rodeo clowns. I'll tell you right now that I can't stand Sandra Loche, but she does play an excellent .... I think this film owes a lot to George Romero's Knighriders. The real life toils of traveling carnivals is at the core of this film. Bronco Billy beleives in bringing joy to his "liddle pardners" that come out to see the show. His affection for the children is very contageous and is the reason his friends stay with him despite being completely broke. Heart is the key to this film and nobody plays tough guys with heart better than Clint. The only reason I'm only giving this film 4 stars is because Loch's character is the only one that changes at all throughout the film. It would have been nice to see Billy look at life a little differently because of this trail, but he is exactly the same man at the end that he is in the beginning. Maybe that's the message, but I would have liked to see some growth."