“Oh, no.” – Orville
“He already has enough gas to go to North Denver, and he’s never seen a bean in his life.” – Philo
Number of Times Seen – 1 (2 May 2019)
Brief Synopsis – A trucker tries to get by in California by street fighting competitions along with his pet Orangutan.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing bits and pieces of on cable back in the 80’s (or perhaps it was from the sequel), yet never sat down to watch either of them all the way through until now.
Clint Eastwood is a very talented actor and has played some very iconic characters over his storied career, but doesn’t manage to hold his own in this film playing against an orangutan in a comedy.
This film has its fun moments but it’s a bit too quirky for its own good.
It doesn’t work as well now as it probably did when it came out over 40 years ago.
Eastwood is a strange choice to play in this film because he isn’t much of a comic actor despite the fact that he looks and feels the part of the pugilist trucker.
The story presented here isn’t very deep and they try too hard to make this seem like a comedy which too much silly slapstick and skip over some interesting dramatic opportunities.
For some reason this movie was able to be one of the most profitable ones of Eastwood’s career.
I believe that that has much more to do with the fact that people were more willing to shell out money to watch this tough guy actor in a role opposite an orangutan than having hopes that they would get to see an enjoyable film.
Bottom Line – Fun yet quirky film that doesn’t work as well as it probably did back when it came out. Strange seeing Eastwood in such a role largely due to his connection with the Orangutan Clyde. The story itself isn’t very deep and tries too hard to veer away from drama by adding slapstick which doesn’t work well enough. This film was one of Eastwood’s most lucrative films which might be more for the fact that people were willing to see the tough Cowboy or policeman play against an orangutan than for them expecting an enjoyable film.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to the book “Clint Eastwood: Hollywood’s Loner” (1992) by Michael Munn, Eastwood called Clyde the Orangutan “one of the most natural actors I ever worked with! But you had to get him on the first take because his boredom level was very limited”. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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