Peter Bogdanovich directs Ryan O’Neal, Burt Reynolds and Tatum O’Neal in this comedy about the pre-studio days of silent movie making, following the fortunes of a lawyer turned director and a cowboy turned stuntman.
Ryan O’Neal ain’t no Harold Lloyd and he certainly isn’t Buster Keaton. Bogdanovich’s attempt to imbue his blank with a personality here is to get him to recreate some of the legends’ smaller pratfalls in the first reel. Otherwise this is a movie that hinges on the tenet that the director should always be sleeping with a leading lady. A cold mess. A tribute to the cowboy days of the silent movie business that has all the slap of a slumbering over confident white man on the dance floor. Hard to think what anyone thought they were giving audiences here. Tatum O’Neal is the best thing in it as a deadpan child in dustbowl drag. But we’ve seen even that trick before.
Perfect Double Bill: Chaplin (1992)
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