HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
Greener Grass
Scobie Malone
Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The
Brightburn
Satanic Panic
Claudine
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
   
 
Newest Articles
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
   
 
  Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The How the West was dumbBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Don Taylor
Stars: Lee Marvin, Oliver Reed, Robert Culp, Kay Lenz, Elizabeth Ashley, Sylvia Miles, Strother Martin
Genre: Western, Comedy
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Grizzled frontiersman Sam Longwood (Lee Marvin) and his rowdy half-Indian friend Joe Knox (Oliver Reed?!!) are out for revenge on Jack Colby (Robert Culp), the former partner who stole their gold mine and set himself up as a wealthy and influential businessman. Their plans are complicated by a chance encounter with Thursday (Kay Lenz), a teenage prostitute looking to escape the brothel run by a ruthless madam (Sylvia Miles). Thursday's propensity for fast-talk and tall tales proves both hindrance and help as Sam's gang, including the cantankerous Billy (Strother Martin), bumble their way through one mess after another. Eventually they enact their scheme to abduct Colby's wife, Nancy Sue (Elizabeth Ashley), once Sam's great love, for ransom. Naturally nothing goes according to plan. Not least when Sam and Thursday develop feelings for each other.

The mere fact British hellraiser Oliver Reed appears here in brown-face playing a Native American should clue you in that this bawdy comic western is a work of unrepentant bad taste. Quite which bright spark thought it was a grand idea pairing two raging alcoholics in the same movie remains a mystery for the ages. Yet for better or worse (mostly worse), The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday gave us a bleary-eyed and blotto Lee Marvin and Oliver Reed, carousing together on-screen as only these two legendary booze-hounds could. Released by American International Pictures, at a time when the former drive-in kings were moving into A pictures (sort of), the film strives for the ribald hilarity that served Marvin so well in his Oscar-winning Cat Ballou (1965), not to mention Mel Brooks with his hit western spoof Blazing Saddles (1973). It also shares certain thematic concerns in common with other Seventies films that lament the passing of the old West like Sam Peckinpah's elegiac The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970) and William Fraker's underrated Monte Walsh (1970) featuring a far superior turn from Lee Marvin.

Released the year America celebrated its bicentennial, the film for all its faults does at least seem to be attempting to make some kind of scathing social statement. Rogues like Sam and Joe helped tame the West only to be screwed over and erased from history by the kind of corporate tycoons embodied by Jack Colby. Viewed in that context there is a case to be made that the film's rampant vulgarity, misogyny and racism stands as a middle fingered riposte to the mere concept of civilization. Of course none of that makes the near-constant parade of rape jokes any easier to stomach. From the opening scene where a bellowing Reed (doing a surprisingly decent accent) terrifies captive whores with his plan to infect them with venereal disease and spread it as revenge to the white men, to Thursday's dismay that nobody wants to rape her, to the wince-inducing use of terms like "bang tails" and "mattress backs", The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday is a queasy reminder that the Seventies were a very, very long time ago.

Just when it looks like the film cannot get anymore offensive Nancy Sue coerces a tearful Thursday to go out and bang as many men as she can to raise the money necessary to enact their revenge scheme. At least in this instance events take a pleasing twist underlining Thursday's guile. Likable Kay Lenz essays a spirited anti-heroine that emerges the smartest character with the biggest heart even though the film views her as little more than a nuisance. Although Sam and Thursday's May-December romance can't help but come across as icky, Lenz brings a certain sweetness to an otherwise grotesque farce. The plot meanders from one slapstick mishap to another including a lot of would-be uproarious chase sequences as director Don Taylor (who was probably prouder of Echoes of Summer, the Jodie Foster weepie he released the same year) bludgeons every gag. To its mild credit the film creates a believably gritty western milieu with content not dissimilar from the acclaimed HBO series Deadwood, albeit wildly different in tone. It is consistently ramshackle. Right to the finale that, for a comedy, ends on an oddly dejected and uncertain note.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 168 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: