HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bruce Lee & I
Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Dinosaur
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Coogan's Bluff Give Us Another Chorus Of The Pigeon Toed Orange PeelBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Susan Clark, Tisha Sterling, Don Stroud, Betty Field, Tom Tully, Melodie Johnson, James Edwards, Rudy Diaz, David Doyle, Louis Zorich, Meg Myles, Marjorie Bennett, Seymour Cassel, John Coe, Skip Battyn, Conrad Bain
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Arizona lawman Walt Coogan (Clint Eastwood) is tracking a man who has killed his wife on the local Native American reservation, and has ended up in the desert, not realising that his quarry is watching him and aiming a rifle at him. Coogan knows he's on the right trail when he finds the boots and clothes of the now stripped to a loincloth fugitive, and he manages to confuse him enough to capture him with no blood spilled. Later, he chains up his prisoner outside a girlfriend's home and pops inside for a bath and some lovin', much to the annoyance of his superiors. That's why Coogan is sent off the next day to New York to escort a prisoner back to Arizona...

Director Don Siegel had already made a tougher, grittier form of the traditional cop thriller with the same year's Madigan, but it was Coogan's Bluff, produced by star Eastwood's Malpaso company, that really set the template for decades of the things to come. Dirty Harry might have been the one they wanted to emulate (especially in its box office takings), but this film got there first with its rogue policeman and the unlovely villain he is on the trail of presented here as if it were unthinkable that there could be any other way of doing it in the crime genre.

But as well as that, Coogan's Bluff is a culture clash although not one which regards the hippies of the era with disdain so much as cynical amusement. As an outsider in New York, where he is barely tolerated even by the law, Coogan is the ideal observer for those who were not part of the underground scene of the late sixties, which would have been most of the audience even then. You can regard this as the equivalent of the Star Trek episode where the Enterprise is overrun with hippies, it's the same dynamic only instead of a sequence where the conservative Mr Spock jams with them, we have a bit where our comparitively straightlaced hero beds a hippie chick (Tisha Sterling, a sixties starlet who never quite made the big time).

That girl (who according to the probation report we glimpse is seventeen years old!) is the partner in crime and love of Ringerman (Don Stroud), a motorcycle riding crook who caused a ruckus in Coogan's home state and is currently residing in a New York Bellevue after a bad L.S.D. trip. When he meets with the Lieutenant in charge of the case (Lee J. Cobb) Coogan is told that he might have to wait anywhere from a week to a month for Ringerman to be released into his custody. That's not good enough for him and he proceeds to use his initiative and spring the criminal, but it backfires on him when he is beaten up and the bad guys make a swift getaway.

It's not really acknowledged in the film, but if Coogan hadn't been so eager and had stuck to the rules, then he might have saved himself a lot of trouble and had a nice New York holiday into the bargain. As it is, he is ordered home but refuses, turning vigilante to use his tracking skills in the big city for a change. Here he gets to meet some real lowlifes, including Ringerman's mother (Betty Field) who nearly throws a plant pot at his head, and a whole nightclub full of psychedelic groovers leading to a worlds in collision scene where Coogan picks his way through them, getting the information he needs from a naked lady. There's more convention from probation officer Susan Clark, but even she confounds the visitor by not jumping into bed with him and getting annoyed when he keeps chasing away her obnoxious clients. The film may be of its time in some regards, amusingly so, but this still a quality thriller from a director and star who were revolutionising the Hollywood mainstream. Music by Lalo Schifrin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4706 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Don Siegel  (1912 - 1991)

Respected American director, a former editor, whose action thrillers were second to none. He started out in lower budget movies like The Big Steal, Riot in Cell Bock 11 and The Lineup but come the sixties he started making higher profile work such as the remake of The Killers and Madigan. His fruitful partnership with Clint Eastwood gave us Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz, among others. Another of his finest 1970s films was Charley Varrick.

Siegel had small acting roles in Play Misty for Me and Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers - he had directed the classic original in the 1950s.

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

 

Last Updated: