Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 7
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 4
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 346
Peter Bogdanovich's early career as a film writer stood him in good stead for this comedy drama about the early days of the motion-picture industry, based in part on his interviews with pioneering directors Raoul Walsh and Allan Dwan. Leo Harrigan (Ryan O'Neal) is a lawyer and Buck Greenway (Burt Reynolds) is a cowboy and gunman. Both are sent to California to shut down a renegade group of silent-movie makers -- financed by blustery H.H. Cobb (Brian Keith) -- who are in violation of the Motion
Dec 21, 1976 Wide
Apr 21, 2009
Sony Pictures Entertainment
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Peter Bogdanovich's film is an okay comedy-drama about the early days of motion pictures.
Bogdanovich is trying to do an interesting and commendable thing in dramatizing aesthetic passion; his failure is as noble as it is conspicuous.
The direction is agonisingly pedantic for a comedy, and leaves O'Neal and Reynolds totally exposed, mugging away in charmless and clumsy fashion.
Peter Bogdanovich knows a great deal about movies, including how they are made. Perhaps he doesn't know why they are made. In any case, knowing how something is made isn't the same as making it.
We're reminded that Orson Welles described a movie studio as the biggest electric train a kid could ever get. Bogdanovich doesn't let us play with his train. Instead, he keeps us on the outside of a curiously flat movie.
As an homage to the start of the film industry, this extravaganza is quite a tribute, but as a motion picture it's sadly lacking.
A clunker of a comedy from Bogdanovich that aims high and misses by a mile.
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