Rancho Deluxe (1975) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

A brainless, easy-goin' and completely enjoyable film from the Tom McGuane novel about a couple of goofy cattle rustlers who are just out to have some fun in life. You will probably understand the tone of the movie when I tell you that Jimmy Buffett wrote the score. (Livingston Saturday Night is from this film). If a movie can be called laid-back, this one can.
The rustlers start out as small timers knocking off a cow here and there, and selling the meat to pay the rent and get laid. Then they concoct a big score which is essentially dense, and seems to be known by everybody in the county except the even denser rancher they plan to rip off.

The rancher hires a genius stock detective (Slim Pickens) to figure out what's going on but, despite his reputation, Pickens appears to be barely ambulatory, and seems to do nothing but take naps and watch TV while his simple-minded niece tends to him.


Patti D'Arbanville's right breast was seen in her sex scene with Bridges. Both Bridges and D'Arbanville were also seen completely naked, but far from the camera, and in speedy motion through the forest.
Let's just say everything isn't what it appears to be, because you do want to see this movie someday, and you don't want me to spoil it for you.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1 and a 4:3 fullscreen version

  • the DVD is the worst quality I have ever seen on a major studio film

  • no important trailers

It's a great cast with no lead players - nothing but character actors all the way in this enjoyable character-driven film. Pickens, Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston, Harry Dean Stanton, Elizabeth Ashley, and others keep the tone light and oftentimes bordering on surrealistic as it moseys toward its inevitable conclusion with just barely enough plot to sustain it.

I would recommend the film without reservation except that the quality of the print is so poor. There are two versions on the DVD, both are poor, spidered, faded, and too dark. The picture looks like it has been blown up from smaller images - many scenes are fuzzy.

This is a great shame because the film was shot on location in breathtakingly scenic Montana, and it's a movie that's a lot of fun to watch.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 3.5 stars.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.7
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B.

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