Friday, October 12, 2012

Rustler's Rhapsody (1985)

Rustler's Rhapsody (1985) - (Tom Berenger)

Sela Ward with her horse "Wildfire"

Rustler's Rhapsody is a hypothetical movie about a silver screen cowboy. It is a movie the narrator (also Rex O'Herlihan's sidekick) imagines as a 1985 update of the old 1940s cowboy matinee films. The narrator believes if those films were still being made they would be more realistic. He tells us that in a modern film the bad guys wouldn't be such cowards, and Rex wouldn't be so damned perfect all the time! Of course the film is in color, not black and white, and in this more realistic scenario, the hero Rex knows he is playing out a script. Because of that, he knows what will happen! None of the other characters knows, because they're just people in a movie and they don't travel all over the West the way Rex does. When Rex travels from town to town, he rides his wonder horse Wildfire, and he also has a mule with him for hauling his wardrobe wagon. This wagon has a finely crafted cabinet inside with places for four guitars, about 10 different shirts, a stack of spare hats and a drawer for his knives, which he uses to cut pieces from some kind of intoxicating root he always takes along. When Rex arrives in Oakwood Estates, as always when he arrives in a western town he immediately gets into a conflict with the local bad guys. However, the evil power-mad cattle baron (Andy Griffith as colonel Ticonderoga) realizes he is operating under a set of silver screen cowboy rules, one of which is that the bad guys can never win. To solve this problem, he decides to find another good guy (who also rides around in the desert with a wardrobe wagon) to fight Rex. That is where the jaded and confident Rex encounters a first: Something that has never happened before! What will happen when he has to fight another good guy?

As Rustler's Rhapsody begins, Rex sings his theme song "I Ride Alone" to his horse Wildfire and mule as they stand listening beside his wardrobe wagon.

Patrick Wayne and Tom Berenger face off as the two good guys in Rustler's Rhapsody. They know the good guy always wins in B westerns, but which one? They agree that the "most-good good guy" will win. Then Patrick Wayne (as Bob Barber) explains to Berenger (as Rex O'Herlihan the singing cowboy) that one of the requirements for being a good guy is that he has to be a confident heterosexual. From Rex's expression Bob realizes Rex is a virgin and says "well don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you, I'm just gonna shoot the guns out of your hands." Rex says "I'd rather you shoot me in the heart!" Bob replies "You know I can't do that!" Rex then says "I can't fight you today," leaves and is met immediately in the street by a disgusted crowd throwing things at him and calling him a coward and a pervert.

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