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 171: Concrete Cowboys (1979)


Calling this TV movie a “Western” is a stretch but considering that it’s often categorized as one (at least by Wikipedia) and was directed by Burt Kennedy, one of the filmmaker subjects of my book, I felt it was worth a look.

In many ways, this is a good companion piece to the film of Kennedy’s I watched last week, The Rounders. Both are buddy comedies featuring cowboys in a modern setting. Both films focus on male camaraderie, albeit on a surface level. Both movies lean on the director’s comedic instincts. This one would be a forgettable television exercise but Jerry Reed is a fun performer to watch and Tom Selleck isn’t half bad either in an early role that showcases his charm more than his grit. They play well off each other and the mild success of this piece can be attributed to their dynamic.

The mystery plot is pretty silly and wastes veteran Western actor Claude Akins. It’s also unfortunate that this doesn’t play with more Western elements: horses, rodeo, shoot outs. I think the writers and Kennedy could have done more with the concept of cowboys in the big city. As is, they just walk around with cowboy hats on and occassionaly spout cowboy sayings.

Watched on Tubi