Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews. I have now launched a podcast about the making of Westerns and the overall filmmaking process. Click here to listen.
Week 162: Where the Hell’s That Gold? (1988)
This TV Western is a surprisingly fun adventure. Director Burt Kennedy succeeds by leaning hard into his own writing which features clever banter for the two leading men, Willie Nelson and Jack Elam, to play with. The film’s story which includes a number of antagonists and subplots seems insignificant, just an excuse to tie together the humorous interplay between the outlaw heroes. Nelson and Elam play the scenes mostly straight without hamming it up too much and their relationship is believable. When they’re together, poking at each other and getting into all kinds of trouble, the film works.
It doesn’t when Kennedy tries to inject romance into the plot. Though the prostitute characters are a fun addition, they should have just been another step in the heroes’ journey. The love story between Nelson and Delta Burke just didn’t work at all for me. No, this would have worked better if it remained a lightweight, Western romp without any attempts at gravity.
Still, it’s superior than Kennedy’s Once Upon a Texas Train, also starring Willie and Jack. Both released in 1988, I suspect the films were shot back to back.
Watched on YouTube