Melissa W. from MERRITT IS, FL Reviewed on 11/19/2010...
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Clint and his monkey...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 01/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, okay, before I start getting e-mails up the waz detailing the differences between monkeys and apes, I know Clyde (the main character in the film owns an orange, male ape) wasn't a monkey, but `Clint and his orangutan' just didn't have the same zing...Every Which Way But Loose (1978), directed by James Fargo, who, back in the mid to late 70's seemed to have a promising career, working with Eastwood earlier in 1976's The Enforcer, but after the predictable and hokey 1982 Chuck Norris martial arts actioneer Forced Vengeance, he soon found himself relegated to the domain of the small screen, directing episodes of such 80's television shows as The A-Team, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Hunter. Starring in the film is Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven), one time Eastwood co-habitator (that means they shacked up together, but never got hitched) Sondra Locke (The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet), Geoffrey Lewis (Salem's Lot, Bronco Billy), and one of the more curmudgeonly actresses I've ever seen in Ruth Gordon (Rosemary's Baby, Harold and Maude). Also appearing is Beverly D'Angelo (National Lampoon's Vacation), Bill McKinney (The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet), and John Quade (Bad Company, High Plains Drifter) as Cholla, leader of the Black Widows, what has to be the most inept biker gang ever committed to celluloid...
Eastwood is Philo Beddoe, a truck driver who earns a little extra income as a bare-knuckled fighter in what appear to be unsanctioned street fights, with his friend Orville Boggs (Lewis), a tow truck driver as his sort of manager (well, not really manager, but Orville researches the opponents and makes the bets). Philo, along with his pet orangutan Clyde, and Orville live with Ma Boggs, a cantankerous old biddy who's constantly complaining about how Clyde defecates all over the place, and constantly steals her Oreos. Anyway, life seems to be going alright, that is until Philo falls for a country singer named Lynn Halsey-Taylor (Locke). After making the bumpity bump between the sheets and accepting a good deal of money from Philo (there is a name for women like that, but she did give Philo a rather convincing sob story), Lynn mysteriously up and leaves without so much as a how do you do, headed back to Denver...which prompts Philo to pick up and take after her, with Orville and Clyde in tow. Along the way they make a few enemies in a couple of cops who carry a grudge way to far (just let it go boys, you'll live longer) and also in a particularly lame biker group calling themselves the Black Widows, led by their portly leader Cholla (John Quade), both groups in pursuit of Philo for what we in the business like to call payback (which also happens to be the name of a really good Mel Gibson film based on a Donald Westlake book). Philo does finally find Lynn, the cops and the bikers find Philo, and Philo finds himself with the opportunity to face off against the legendary street fighter Tank Murdock, supposedly the best there is...
The production notes state that when this script was originally presented to Eastwood, it was done so in the hopes that he would pass it along to Burt Reynolds...but Eastwood, who was looking for way to break from the western genre that launched him into stardom, liked it so much he decided he wanted the role himself. Also, many around him at the time, especially the studio executives at Warner Brothers, tried to dissuade him from making the film as they didn't think it would fly, but, after the film's release it ended up being the top grossing film of Eastwood's career, so successful it spawned a popular sequel...I often wonder how many wonderful films got quashed by know nothing studio execs because the script didn't have the juice of someone like Eastwood behind them...anyway, this film is just a good time, and doesn't tend to take itself too seriously. Eastwood carries the movie, with his laid back machismo, but he did have a bit of competition in the ape and Ruth Gordon who tend to steal most of the scenes they're in (probably my favorite scene is when Ma's home alone, confronted by the biker gang searching for Philo, and is forced to use her shotgun which I think is similar to what someone might use to hunt elephants). Also, I know many people would probably like to credit individuals from `da hood' with starting the whole wearing your baseball cap crooked fad, but I contend it was actually Geoffrey Lewis' character Orville that made it popular. Locke did well, but I always felt she exuded an inherently creepy quality (check out the confrontation scene between her character and Philo near the end), no matter what film I saw her in (she appeared in like seven of Eastwood's films, that is until the relationship took the last train to splitsville), and here is no different. Maybe it's her excessively large eyeballs, or her borderline albino condition...and I really can't review this film without mentioning the soundtrack. Normally, I don't listen to country and western music, but I really did enjoy its' usage in here, featuring performers like Eddie Rabbitt, Mel Tillis, and Charlie Rich...also Locke performs one or two number surprisingly well...and the memorable theme used for the Black Widow gang...I found myself humming along every time they made their appearance in the film.
The wide screen (1.85:1) picture looks very good on this DVD, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 sound comes through reasonably clear. Special features include a theatrical trailer for the film, production notes, and a filmography for Eastwood. I would've liked to seen a cast commentary included, as I think everyone had a great time making the film, and probably could have shared some wonderful anecdotes, but whatever...this film was followed by the equally popular sequel Any Which Way You Can (1980).
Old School Living.
Bernard Chapin | CHICAGO! USA | 09/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, do you mean to say that Hollywood actually made a movie that was not condescending towards working class America? Oh, that's right, this one came out 27 years ago. Watching it for the first time since boyhood made me painfully aware of just how much our culture has changed for the worse. Nowadays, presenting a character like Philo Beddoe would necessitate the inclusion of some sort of Jerry Springer incest plot just to make it believable. Yet Eastwood's Philo is anything but the kind of immoral dullard we are so used to seeing shout onstage at his half-sister paramour; in fact, his morality is exceptional given the circumstances. His honor is can be easily juxtaposed with Sandra Locke's "hustler" mentality. Their romance is an incredible beating, but Philo takes the pain with the same grace that he does in the unofficial underground ring. My favorite part of the film is when Eastwood approaches a college girl in a country bar to say hello. She is nasty in return and looks down her irritable nose at him. The only reason she's even at the tavern is to study primitives like Philo, and then report her findings back to the civilized world. His response is in keeping with what all of us would like to say after being friendly to someone who's above that sort of thing, "What are you mad about?" I'm sure she could not even tell him even if she wanted to.
On the whole, Every Which Way But Loose, is a campy timecapsule harkening back to days when we could still laugh at what was funny, and love for reasons that aren't reasons at all. If you ask me, this one has all the intangibles of a successful movie: strong men, feminine women, motorcycle gangs, old ladies packing curses and shotguns along with an amorous orangutan who is a better mate than Sandra Locke. Yes, this one is worth every Olympia beer and pick-up truck you see onscreen."
"Well it appears that there can't be too many guys driving a
Ghenghis | Monvolia | 01/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By now its unlikely that you haven't already seen this movie. This is one of those flicks like Animal House or Walking Tall that when you're flipping channels at 3:00AM its impossible to walk away from. Work be damned. But if you've been watching one of the butchered versions of this classic comedy on TBS/TNT or even AMC, then you haven't seen this movie in its full glory.
This movie is hilarious. There are so many lines in this full presentation DVD I'd never heard before including one from my Junior High days when Cholla, the leader of the wrongway biker gang refers to his boys as "GD morphodites" as they are being pummeled by a shorthanded trio of truckers. Not even the droll and ultra boring Sondra Locke (Clint, what were you thinking?) can kill the vibe of this nonstop actioner as Philo Beddoe wades through one bare knuckles contest after another. Geoffrey Lewis makes a great sidekick and very matter of factly picks up Beverly DeAngelo along the way. Ruth Gordon makes me laugh, I wish she was my grandmother. Funny funny funnneeeeeee!
The all new digital transfer and 5.1 remastering has to be seen to be believed. Most of Clint Eastwood's better films have gotten this treatment including Any Which Way You Can, Kelly's Heroes, and The Outlaw Josey Wales, among others, and they are all magnificent! 5 Towtrucks"
One of Clint Eastwood's most successful films!!!!
Michael Pettinato | U.S.A. | 09/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like "Smokey & the Bandit" before it, this movie had the same kind of charm, & despite being set in Los Angeles, it had a down home southern feel to it, offered to Clint to give to his pal Burt Reynolds, Clint liked it so much he asked Burt why he should do it, Reynolds told him to do one, & like "Bandit" did for Reynolds, this one did for Eastwood, who stars as Filo Beddoe, a truck driver who falls for a local singer in a nearby bar only to discover that she has a questionable past, this is pretty much the plot that has a series of running gags where Filo pals around with an ape known as Clyde who basically steals the movie as does Ruth Gordon as Filo's mother who constantly curses Clyde, Filo's run-in with a local motorcycle gang is funny to watch as the leader has a look on his face as to how he ended up with such misfits, as Filo searches for love he encounters all kinds of misfits, in addition to the gang, he runs afoul two idiot cops, & bar room brawlers, a fun movie that was a change of pace for Eastwood, & featured his then-girlfriend Sondra Locke who has a secret all her own, if you liked "Smokey & the Bandit", you will love this one!!!"