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 175: Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978)
Many of Burt Kennedy’s comedic Westerns feel like they could have been made for the Disney channel, less humorous cousins of The Apple Dumpling Gang. Kate Bliss, perhaps the most obscure work in Kennedy’s filmography, is worth watching only for its cast.
In my biased opinion, Suzanne Pleshette is infinitely watchable in anything. I find her so easy on the eyes that I’d probably sit through the stupidest film just to see more of the late beauty. Tony Randall is an unusual and inspired choice for the genre. His villain (who really isn’t much of one) is the film’s best performance, one that produces its only laughs. The ensemble is also packed with some great supporting players from Don Collier to Buck Taylor and Kennedy regular Harry Morgan. Sadly, some of these characters actors don’t get enough screen time, which is mostly soaked up by Don Meredith, an uncharismatic and boring leading man.
If this TV Western had a better male protagonist, it might have stronger legs to stand on. As is, it remains a curiosity for Western fans and Kennedy completists only.
Watched on Archive.org