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 173: Sidekicks (1974)
Yet another buddy comedy from director Burt Kennedy, Sidekicks is just as good (and just as bad) as the other similar works from his filmography. I haven’t seen Skin Game, to which this is a sequel, so I can make no comparison but in relation to Kennedy’s other lightweight Western farces, I like Sidekicks a little better than the Support films, his present day Concrete Cowboys, and his misfire The Rounders.
That edge can be attributed to the two leads, Larry Hagman and Louis Gossett Jr., who have good chemistry and liven up what would otherwise be tired scenes. But the true shining star of this TV Western is Blythe Danner, an odd choice for the genre but clearly she should have made more of them. Between this and Hearts of the West, she demonstrates a sharp, wise-cracking approach that steals every scene she’s in. The others, including Jack Elam, are on auto pilot. They’re good enough but their performances feel plucked from any other movie. There’s truly nothing new here but it’s enjoyable enough for a one-time watch and a necessary viewing for my study of Kennedy’s work.
Watched on YouTube