Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Sexy bounty hunter Thomasine (Vonetta McGee) uses her wiles to trap a white criminal. Delivering the crook to odious U.S. Marshal Bogardie (George Murdock), Thomasine announces her plan to capture the notorious black outlaw J.P. Bushrod (Max Julien). Thomasine and Bushrod are actually a couple reuniting after a long separation. Together, they embark on a crime spree in the American south between 1911 and 1915, acting as Robin Hood type heroes who steal from rich, white capitalists, then give to Mexicans, Native Americans and poor whites. The spree is so brazen that Bogardie makes capturing them his personal mission...
"Thomasine and Bushrod" was intended as the African American counterpart to Bonnie and Clyde, the difference being that the story in this case is utterly fictional. Max Julien who plays Bushrod also wrote and co-produced the film. It has been sorted under the blaxploitation genre because of its racial themes and predominately African-American cast, but in a way it´s a western and love story about doomed souls on the wrong side of the law trying to get by in a society that keeps pushing them down. It´s also a saga about will powered and strong minded African-Americans breaking free from their oppressers and living the life they want and in the process object to the white capitalist society by stealing from them and giving to people that are less fortunate. Yes, it is slightly campy both in dialogue and storyline at times, and the acting from particularly Max Julien is maybe not top notch. While Vonetta McGee is pure magic to watch. Beautiful and talented. You can clearly see inspiration not only from Arthur Penn´s "Bonnie and Clyde", but as well from George Roy Hill´s "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". "Thomasine & Bushrod" has a sort of uniqueness to it, but at the same time the biggest treat in the film is clearly Vonetta McGee as the storyline is somewhat weak and not fully engaging.
A virtually lost film, it's gotten some play on Encore Westerns and TCM. A wonderful film with the once real life couple, you deeply care about the leads and their fate. Well worth seeing for fans of westerns and 70s actions films, Max Julien and the late, great Vonette McGee are tremendous in this. Don't miss it.