Good Guys and the Bad Guys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Good Guys and the Bad Guys Reviews

Page 1 of 1
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2010
Marshall Flagg is one of the last great marshalls around untill he is forced to retire by the town mayor that is until he hears his old enemy is in town a outlaw named McKaye lookin to rob the next incoming train once he captures McKaye he comes to see he isnt the big shot outlaw he once was and now there is a new generation of gunslingers that must be stopped and its gonna take McKayes help to do it. Very well done western funny at times will keep any fans of westerns interested until the very end. Stars Robert Mitchum George Kennedy and David Carradine as the young outlaw
½ August 27, 2013
It's clear that everybody involved with the production had a great time making it, but that simply doesn't disguise the film's inherently superfluous nature.
December 24, 2008
Maybe it's a contractual obligation. As stars known for their Westerns age, they have to do at least one movie about the fading days of the Old West. Hell, John Wayne did easily a half-dozen of them. It could be argued that the Mel Gibson [i]Maverick[/i] is just a dying-West Western for James Garner. And, of course, there's [i]Unforgiven[/i], one of the most famous of the genre. This is a slightly more obscure version of the story, and it incorporates a twist or two that isn't necessarily in the others of the type, but there are certain aspects that anyone who's seen more than one or two of these can pick out. If nothing else, it gives a framework on which to hang one's judgement of the movie, though I will attempt to refrain from direct comparisons.

Marshall James Flagg (Robert Mitchum) has been serving the town of Progress for many year. He's getting old, and "old" is not the image Progress wants to project. So, without consulting Flagg, Mayor Randy Wilker (Martin Balsam) retires him. They convince him that there's crime for him to fight, and off he goes--into a retirement party. He is given the position of Marshall Emeritus. Now, that implies, one would think, that his expertise would be repsected and used. However, he's basically brushed under the rug, even when he brings news that Big John McKay (George Kennedy) is in the area and likely to rob the new bank. He's told that McKay is too old to be a threat. So, of course, Flagg goes after him on his own. And McKay is planning to rob the bank, though with the help of a group of younger men, led by Waco (David Carradine).

Waco is one of the things that's supposed to represent the New West. He's a different kind of villain. McKay is ruled by a code of honour--he says he's never broken his word to a friend or an enemy, and we mostly believe him. However, we also believe that Waco's word isn't worth a thing, even were he to give it. Waco kills people without much worrying about the consequences. He's as much a symbol of the changing times as the cars that are all over Progress, as much as the indoor bathroom. Times are changing, and Flagg and McKay are having a hard time changing with them.

It's been a while since I've seen other movies of this stripe, but I've liked a lot of them better. This movie seems unsure if it's zany or serious. I have not labled it as a comedy, because I don't think it's really supposed to be one, but I think we are supposed to see more humour in the situation than there actually is. Mostly, the John Wayne movies are aware of this. It's possible to inject humour into it, but the situation itself just isn't funny. The times really did change, and it really was hard for the people who couldn't adjust. It's hard for me to laugh at George Kennedy's surprise at the indoor plumbing.

It's an interesting addition to a very specific genre, but I'm not sure it's really worth seeking out. If you are very bored, or it's there, sure. And Robert Mitchum is a good actor and often worth seeking out on his own merits. (He received one Oscar nomination in 1945 for a movie I've never heard of--[i]GI Joe[/i], and not the upcoming one!--and never even got an honorary after that.) He's one of the icons of the classic era of the Western, and this is his sunset movie. I guess that means that, if you really like Robert Mitchum, this is a must-see. But for the average person, I really wouldn't bother.
April 27, 2008
Great older movie, with the trill of train robbers and funny too. Robert Mitchum and George Kennedy make a great duo in this wonderful flick.
June 14, 2014
Spoof Western with magnificent duo starring and lots of good old fun--For Those Who Like To Have Fun!!
September 22, 2013
Aging Marshall Robert Mitchum goes after aging outlaw and longtime foe George Kennedy in this silly western/comedy from director Burt Kennedy. I always like westerns about old timers having to deal with the changing west, but this film is hardly "The Wild Bunch" or "Ride the High Country." Still, it's entertaining enough for Mitchum fans and has a decent cast that includes Martin Balsam, David Carradine, Tina Louise, John Carradine, Marie Windsor, Buddy Hackett and Christopher Mitchum.
½ September 17, 2013
was expecting more of this western especially with robert mitchum in it but kind of just there really :/ the comedy was decent but ultimately just falls flat.
August 31, 2013
Average western for the period. Sold as partial comedy slap stick. I have always been a fan of George Kennedy.
½ August 27, 2013
It's clear that everybody involved with the production had a great time making it, but that simply doesn't disguise the film's inherently superfluous nature.
½ September 27, 2012
26.09.2012. Decent Comedic Western but i could do without the horrid singing voice in the opening, mid and end credits.
July 2, 2012
I thought this was a fast paced and fun western about an outcast marshal who teams up with an outlaw to fight a cutthroat train robber in the changing west. I enjoy watching Robert Mitchum in these kinds of movies. I think he is at his best when he is in movies like this. I am glad I watched this movie and when it was over I was not disapointed.
½ December 2, 2011
Not a big fan of comedy mixed w/ my genres but thanks to a fun cast in Robert Mitchum, George Kennedy, David Carradine & Martin Balsam The Good Guys & the Bad Guys is watchable. Actually to be fair it's pretty good meaning it's really as good as it can be considering I mostly like my westerns badass or in the very least cool. This actually could have played it that way w/ marshal Mitchum being forced into retire only to hunt down a gunslinger that escaped him over the years & plotting to twart a train robbery. It's the little things that hinder my enjoyment like the theme ballad & the fact that it sorta dissolves into 'It's a Mad Mad Western' for the last 25 minutes. It sorta reminds me of the chaos of the climax of Blazing Saddles in a way. Saturday matinee fare @ the most that if you're looking for a disposable western this is it. Especially since David Carradine isn't used to his full potential
Super Reviewer
June 26, 2010
Marshall Flagg is one of the last great marshalls around untill he is forced to retire by the town mayor that is until he hears his old enemy is in town a outlaw named McKaye lookin to rob the next incoming train once he captures McKaye he comes to see he isnt the big shot outlaw he once was and now there is a new generation of gunslingers that must be stopped and its gonna take McKayes help to do it. Very well done western funny at times will keep any fans of westerns interested until the very end. Stars Robert Mitchum George Kennedy and David Carradine as the young outlaw
½ March 13, 2010
2.5: Solid western with a solid cast. It shares a few aspects with The Shootist, mainly the focus on gunmen past their prime in a modernizing/ized West. Mitchum and Kennedy work well together. I never really bought Kennedy's character as an outlaw, so it makes sense when he turns out to be one of the good guys. Carradine makes a solid villain as well. The gunshots in the tunnel scene is superb, even if it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I'd say the train chase scene was played a bit too much over the top. The whole clash between the new and old west seemed a bit forced. There's a bit too much broad comedy for my tastes. Wayne did it effectively in McLintock, but this falls a bit short. I still love Westerns though.
½ January 3, 2009
Director Burt Kennedy's "The Good Guys & the Bad Guys" lacks the inspired hilarity of his early out with James Garner "Support Your Local Sheriff." Mind you, this glossy, well-produced twentieth century spoof of horse operas has its share of moments, but the storyline does an inferior job of blending comedy with drama. The theme of this outdoors yarn is age versus youth.

Traditionally, westerns espouse conservative values, and one value is respect for your elders. When should somebody be put out to pasture because they are past their prime and no longer useful to society? In Don Siegel's superlative western "Death of a Gunfighter," Richard Widmark played a town taming lawman that refused to quit his job long after the dust had settled and the townspeople took it upon themselves to finish him off. In "The Good Guys & the Bad Guys," Robert Mitchum plays Marshal James Flagg of Progress. When our hero discovers a plot afoot to rob the town bank of a bundle of money, he alerts smarmy Mayor Randolph Wilkins (Martin Balsam of "The Anderson Tapes") that a notorious outlaw, 'Big' John McKay (George Kennedy of "Bandolero!"), is in the territory to rob the Progress Bank.

Initially, Mayor Wilkins doesn't know who McKay is until Flagg loses credibility in the mayor's eyes and reveals that McKay was an infamous bank robber back in the days of Jesse James. Indeed, everybody thought that McKay had been dead for years. Moreover, the fact that Flagg found out about McKay from an old hermit in the hills, Grundy (Douglas Fowley of "Bandido"), weakens his case. Flagg demands that the mayor assemble a posse immediately, but the mayor dismisses Flagg's paranoia. Nevertheless, Flagg wants to assemble a posse and ride these varmints down. Wilkins is thinking about his next election and doesn't want anything to jeopardize his chances, especially hysteria about a bank robber who is reportedly dead. If Flagg's outcry turned out to be a false alarm, Wilker is afraid that he will lose face and the next election. Consequently, Wilkins stages a retirement party for Flagg, takes his badge, and commemorates his many years of duty with a gold watch.

Despite the advice of his pretty landlord (Lois Nettleton), Flagg sets out to catch McKay. He sneaks up on McKay's camp, scatters their horses, and gets the drop on McKay long enough to collapse under the weight of a gun barrel slammed into his noggin. When he awakens, Flagg learns that McKay isn't the head of his old gang anymore. Instead, Waco (David Carradine of "Kung Fu") has taken over control of the gang. Waco and the boys recover their horses, and he leaves McKay with Flagg. McKay still wants to accompany his old gang, but Waco tells him to kill Flagg. The gang ride off and McKay considers killing Flagg long enough for Grundy‚??who Flagg had tried to dissuade from following him‚??sneaks up and disarms McKay. When Flagg brings in McKay, he catches the ambitious but horny Wilker humping a beautiful married woman, Mrs. Carmel Flannagan (Tina Louise of "Gilligan's Island") because her husband neglects her. Of course, Wilker is taken completely by surprise at Flagg's sudden appearance. Eventually, Flagg convinces the mayor about the predicament that they are in, but not before one of Waco's ruffians, Deuce (John Davis Chandler of "The Outlaw Josey Wales") shoots Grundy in the back in the street. Waco defuses the crisis by helping the idiot who replace Flagg, Deputy Marshal Howard Boyle (Dick Peabody of "Combat!" where he played 'Little John'), escort Deuce to jail. They lock Boyle up and wait for the train to arrive.

Now that Mayor Wilker believes that Flagg hasn't cried 'wolf,' he tries to figure out a way to keep Waco and his hellions from robbing the bank and destroying his opportunity for re-election. At first, he wants to accompany Flagg and McKay who plan to board the train and force it to bypass Progress. The running gag at this point is that Wilker took away Flagg's badge and he has a difficult time proving that he is the local custodian of justice. It happened the first time that he met McKay and got captured by Waco's men and the lack of a badge comes back to haunt him when McKay and he board the train, only to find to conductor with guns aimed at them. Desperately, Flagg explains the situation but the conductors, one of whom is John Carradine of "The Grapes of Wrath," imprison them in the privy. Naturally, our heroes escape, take over the train, and run it through Progress without stopping at the depot. Waco and his bunch light out after the train while Mayor Wilker finally does assemble a posse.

"The Good Guys & the Bad Guys" is one of those modern-day, turn-of-the-century westerns with automobile, motorcycles, and indoor toilets. Unfortunately, the script is neither agile nor funny enough, and none of the characters is memorable. Martin Balsam is good as the Mayor, but he plays him as an object of scorn. Robert Mitchum acts as if he were in a comedy while George Kennedy just acts. Moments of sentimentality‚??the scenes with Lois Nettleton‚??fall flat because there is no chemistry between her and Flagg.

The period recreation is admirable and the production values, especially Harry Stradling's widescreen cinematography are up to snuff. The miniatures in the train crash are none-too-convincing, but the scenery is fabulous. There is no equivalent of the finger in the gun barrel from Kennedy's earlier and more successful "Support Your Local Sheriff." Ultimately, "The Good Guys & the Bad Guys" is just fair to middling, though the title ballad of Marshal Flagg sung by Glen Yarbrough is terrific.
December 24, 2008
Maybe it's a contractual obligation. As stars known for their Westerns age, they have to do at least one movie about the fading days of the Old West. Hell, John Wayne did easily a half-dozen of them. It could be argued that the Mel Gibson [i]Maverick[/i] is just a dying-West Western for James Garner. And, of course, there's [i]Unforgiven[/i], one of the most famous of the genre. This is a slightly more obscure version of the story, and it incorporates a twist or two that isn't necessarily in the others of the type, but there are certain aspects that anyone who's seen more than one or two of these can pick out. If nothing else, it gives a framework on which to hang one's judgement of the movie, though I will attempt to refrain from direct comparisons.

Marshall James Flagg (Robert Mitchum) has been serving the town of Progress for many year. He's getting old, and "old" is not the image Progress wants to project. So, without consulting Flagg, Mayor Randy Wilker (Martin Balsam) retires him. They convince him that there's crime for him to fight, and off he goes--into a retirement party. He is given the position of Marshall Emeritus. Now, that implies, one would think, that his expertise would be repsected and used. However, he's basically brushed under the rug, even when he brings news that Big John McKay (George Kennedy) is in the area and likely to rob the new bank. He's told that McKay is too old to be a threat. So, of course, Flagg goes after him on his own. And McKay is planning to rob the bank, though with the help of a group of younger men, led by Waco (David Carradine).

Waco is one of the things that's supposed to represent the New West. He's a different kind of villain. McKay is ruled by a code of honour--he says he's never broken his word to a friend or an enemy, and we mostly believe him. However, we also believe that Waco's word isn't worth a thing, even were he to give it. Waco kills people without much worrying about the consequences. He's as much a symbol of the changing times as the cars that are all over Progress, as much as the indoor bathroom. Times are changing, and Flagg and McKay are having a hard time changing with them.

It's been a while since I've seen other movies of this stripe, but I've liked a lot of them better. This movie seems unsure if it's zany or serious. I have not labled it as a comedy, because I don't think it's really supposed to be one, but I think we are supposed to see more humour in the situation than there actually is. Mostly, the John Wayne movies are aware of this. It's possible to inject humour into it, but the situation itself just isn't funny. The times really did change, and it really was hard for the people who couldn't adjust. It's hard for me to laugh at George Kennedy's surprise at the indoor plumbing.

It's an interesting addition to a very specific genre, but I'm not sure it's really worth seeking out. If you are very bored, or it's there, sure. And Robert Mitchum is a good actor and often worth seeking out on his own merits. (He received one Oscar nomination in 1945 for a movie I've never heard of--[i]GI Joe[/i], and not the upcoming one!--and never even got an honorary after that.) He's one of the icons of the classic era of the Western, and this is his sunset movie. I guess that means that, if you really like Robert Mitchum, this is a must-see. But for the average person, I really wouldn't bother.
½ June 12, 2008
Given it is about the rise of post-westerns, it'd have been much more effective if the discourteously violent young turks had the weight of gore to their violence. Give this to a Peckinpah and you'd have had a brilliant film. Instead, it's the family friendly comedy equivalent to "The Wild Bunch."
April 27, 2008
Great older movie, with the trill of train robbers and funny too. Robert Mitchum and George Kennedy make a great duo in this wonderful flick.
½ December 25, 2007
a lite and fluffy western that isn't good but isn't bad either
Page 1 of 1