'Bronco Billy' - Movie Review

Clint Eastwood directed 1980's "Bronco Billy," in which he also played the title character. Bronco Billy is a sharp-shooting cowboy, the leader of an Old West show that goes from town to town putting on a big top show. They're not doing terribly well financially and it doesn't sound like they ever have. Billy's assistants keep quitting (he shoots at them as part of the act) until - rather against her will - they're joined by a snotty heiress (Sondra Locke - Clint's significant other at the time).

The movie is mostly about Bronco Billy - as one might guess from the title. Initially, he seems like just an obnoxious narrow-minded cowboy wannabe with a hell of a temper. But through various badly acted scenes (Eastwood's manly squinting to show his pain has rarely seemed more ill used) we learn that he's a good-hearted man who'll do almost anything for the people he cares about. Locke's acting is only slightly better as her character has her own transformation through the course of the movie. The clich├ęs, styles, and subtle (and not-so-subtle) sexism of the Seventies are very much on display.

A weird slice of Americana with an unsubtle "be what you want to be" message. Despite its flaws I found it kind of fascinating because of the lifestyle and window in time it represented.