So, you say you are looking for a film that doesn't require any deep thought, has no hidden messages and reflects the emptiness of the period known as the American 1970s? Look no further, this is the one.
Clint Eastwood, known mostly for his man with no name Westerns and the Dirty Harry films, made a number of strange and comic films in the 1970s, the best of the bunch being Every Which Way But Loose.
Here you have all the makings for a excellent film to watch on a Sunday afternoon while you are brain dead as a result of Saturday night partying. You have Clint Eastwood punching people in dirt parking lots. You have Sondra Locke wandering around looking confused and odd, and she is named after a drinking fountain in this film. You have Ruth Gordon as Clint's mother, a sharp-tongued old lady who had the bit down long before Estelle Getty turned it into a schtick in The Golden Girls. You have an orangutan who is Clint's best friend. You have a collection of disfunctional bikers trying to take Clint down because he annoyed them. You have a sharpshooting Beverly D'Angelo. You have the annoying screw-up brother hanging with Clint, feeding off the Billy Carter vibe. Hunker down to two hours of ridiculous, yet highly entertaining nonsense.
This film, one of the highest grossing movies of 1978, does not hum along. It gets clunky at times, which is why it is one of those movies that is actually better to watch on network television with commercials. It tends to come off as episodes from a typical 1970s tough guy television show. Clint plays Philo Beddoe, a remarkable name for a character, especially when combined with Sondra Locke's Lynn Halsey-Taylor. He has a beat-up old pick-up truck and drives around with his orangutan looking to get into fist fights for money. If you like watching guys punch each other bare fisted, you get plenty of that, and plenty of jarring camera work whenever someone gets hit hard in the face.
Hair of the dog and a meatball submarine sandwich are recommended to accompany viewing of this film.
Apparently something bad happened to the orangutan, who was also featured in the movie's sequel, Any Which Way You Can, which is essentially exactly the same movie. If you wish to help solve the mystery of the death of Clyde the orangutan, contact Halspal here at this website.