It’s that time of year where entertainment is Santa, Christmas, and snow, non-stop. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you, like me, need a break from all that, perhaps 1980s cult classic comedy Rustler’s Rhapsody will do the trick!
Rex O’Herlihan (Tom Berenger, Platoon, Gettysburg) is a singing cowboy, one of the good guys. You can tell because he has a fancy wardrobe and follows a code of honor that involves only shooting the bad guy in the hand. This plays well in the singing cowboy movies he was designed for but is substantially less useful when he’s dropped into the real world. . . .
Rustler’s Rhapsody is definitely a product of the 1980s, but it has a clever self-awareness and meta sense of humor that makes it seem a lot more contemporary. The result is sometimes silly and sometimes witty but always funny. It is, for all of its send-ups of classic Westerns, also a surprisingly affectionate and even, at times, sweet skewering of the genre.
The best part of the movie is the cast, though. Berenger has great comic timing as the world-weary Rex, who cannot figure out why there is no variety in the places he visits but is confident in his assertion that every Old West town is the same and that the same thing just keeps happening to him wherever he goes. G.W. Bailey as Rex’s eager but unwanted sidekick, Andy Griffith as the town bad guy, and Patrick Wayne (son of the Duke himself) as a crafty hired gun round out a solid cast. Griffith as the prim but bloodthirsty and perpetually irked town villain might be my favorite performance in his long career.
So . . .I say Rustler’s Rhapsody is worth a watch, even if you aren’t tired of holiday cheer just yet. 🙂 Check out this link to our online library catalog to learn more and place a hold.
What are you watching to ring in some holiday cheer this season? What’s your favorite Western comedy? What’s your favorite Andy Griffith role? Tell us in the comments!