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Awesome: 14.29%
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Total Crap85.71%

1 review, 1 rating

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Concrete Cowboys, The
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by Chris Parry

"A late 70's TV movie country and western redneck comedy. Intrigued?"
1 stars

Ugh. In the 70's, the Hollywood studios were trying really hard to find a segment of the population that still had an interest in seeing movies. After cranking out Doris Day fare through the hippy years, and with European filmmakers creating the sort of films that LA execs just couldn't comprehend let alone recreate, they ran to the safety of niche markets - the drive-ins got no-budget sex films, the intellectuals got those weird little auteur films that the young urban directors like Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, Friedkin, Lucas and the like were bringing to the table, the youth market got sex romps at summer camp, horror films and Dino De Laurentis revenge flicks. And the south? They got redneck comedies with trucks and cars and monkeys and country music and Jerry Reed. Welcome to Concrete Cowboys territory.

What do you get when you mix a rushed script, a tiny budget, Jerry Reed, a young Tom Selleck, Morgan Fairchild, some car crashes, and a host of country and western names that agreed to do a day's work just as long as it would get them on network TV? You get a really shittty film that has zero legs today and should be put in a museum as an example of just how much garbage was being churned out in the 'good ole days'.

Will (Tom Selleck) and J.D. (Reed) are a couple of wanderers from Montana that climbed aboard a freight train heading for what they thought was the coast, but because J.D. is a moron they instead ended up in Nashville Tennessee. Stranded, J.D. calls up an old buddy who offers his home and car to them, just as long as they deliver a package for him. Does that sound like a set up for a murder mystery to you? You betcha.

So while kicking back in their buddy's hot tub ("Yeehaw, you could fit the entire Dallas Cowboys team in that thar bathtub!"), a woman lets herself in and gives them a sob story about how she's searching for her missing sister (Morgan Fairchild) and could they please help her out, since they're private detectives and all... Concept set, let the wacky hijinks commence.

There really is nothing at all to this film beyond giving the ladies someone to lust after (Selleck) and the men someone to chortle with (Reed). The film follows a fairly basic plan - Reed does something boneheaded, Selleck calls him an idiot, Reed gets them in trouble, Selleck gets angry, three second shot of Morgan Fairchild or a country singer, Reed makes jokes, Selleck calsl him an idiot - repeat.

Occasionally, there's a car crash, though usually one of those slow-paced car crashes that are sure not to actually damage the car, just in case the stunt needs to be done a second time. Don't want to blow the budget buying two stunt cars now, do you?

But perhaps the most cunning stunt in the entire film is that which see Morgan Fairchild lip synching toa country and western song. And when I say lip-synching, I mean the kind of lip-synching that you get from a 1970's ninja film. I don't know what song she was singing, but it sure as heck doesn't seem like the song that we hear in the film. What's even more bizarre is that, even when she's talking and not singing... she's STILL lip synching, and her lips still don't match the words! Perhaps her southern accent was just too awful to put to screen, but for whatever reason, Fairchild provides the unwitting highlight of this film, even though she's actually only on screen for a total of about 82 seconds in the entire film.

Greenscreen abounds, as do three dollar sets that look like they're about to fall over, and the humor is generally about as strong as those plywood walls. I'm fairly certain that movies like this gave people on the big city coasts the crazy idea that all southerners are about three IQ points from retarded, just as modern day urban black films give southerners the idea that all black folks are gangsters and morons and rappers. It's a pity that those who make films of both genres couldn't take a little more time and effort to show something of their respective cultures that goes beyond the most basic generalizations, but then, when their target audiences don't require anything more, who is really to blame?

Honestly woeful, and of no more interest than historical value, Concrete Cowboys (which was later re-released as Ramblin' Man, and even spawned a Selleck-free sequel and a brief-running sitcom series) is utter crap.

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originally posted: 11/07/04 06:42:42
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User Comments

5/11/07 adam romaro Tom the bomb selleck rules 5 stars
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  17-Oct-1979 (NR)
  DVD: 13-Nov-2001



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