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 174: Dirty Dingus Magee (1970)
I wish Burt Kennedy’s comedic Westerns were not so cartoonish. Most of them, including this one, have a decent story. But in the casting and execution of the film, whatever potential the narrative had is spoiled.
Sinatra was a good actor, as proven by his performances in Suddenly and From Here to Eternity but he is wrong for Dingus Magee. He doesn’t have a Shaggy Dog quality and has to play into the humor. It doesn’t come naturally to him. But like Kennedy’s other comedic riffs on the Western genre, nothing in the film is natural. It’s all forced, all ham-handed and the results are often close to embarrassing.
There isn’t much to like here except for a performance by Jack Elam as John Wesley Harding. The character actor may have worked with Kennedy more than any other director. It’s also interesting to see the Mescal movie set back in its early days.
Watched on Amazon