Support Your Local Sheriff
As soon as the dandy sharp-shooter called Jason McCullough (James Garner) first strolled on into town, immediately, Mayor Perkins (Harry Morgan) and his cronies said to themselves, 'He's the one. He's just the type of man we could use to run that dastardly Danby family the hell away from here'.
Yeah. I'm not kidding you, folks. For a start, they hire him to be their new sheriff, just so he could look after their bar-less and empty prison. Then they allow him to arrest Joe Danby (Bruce Dern), the youngest of their clan, because he killed a man, earlier on in the day. Before finally they give Jason their permission to hire the one-time sh*t shov... errr... stable-hand, Jake (Jack Elam), to be his trusted yet somewhat smelly deputy.
But hey! Don't get ahead of yourselves, pal. These manipulative townsfolk don't always know what the hell they're playing at! I mean, I bet you anything they never foresaw how the Mayor's crazy yet rich daughter, Prudy (Joan Hackett), took an instant liking to Jason when she first saw him. Or that the rest of the Danby's would want to pay their locked-up kin a visit in his makeshift jail-cell.
Still. I suppose that's most probably why what next transpires all hits the skids when a gaggle of gunmen set their sights on our brand new sheriff. As outlaws fall to the floor - a town becomes a right bloody boar - the Danby crew all shoot like bums - and look out Australia, for here we comes.
THUNK! Or maybe not.
Now to be completely honest with you, folks, I thought that 'Support Your Local Sheriff' was a pretty nifty film to watch. It wasn't anything outstanding mind you. I'll have to give you that. But yet again, it was one of those nice comedy-westerns, which was well-written, well-acted, and had a well-polished sheen to it. Especially compared to some of the other comedy-westerns I've seen made during this era.
Just try to think of it as a dubbed down version of 'Evil Roy Slade' starring Maverick. And you'll get the basic gist of what I mean by this.
Furthermore, something else about this picture I kind of dug, were those scenes between James and Jack, because they had a rather warm air about them. Almost personal in tone. And I did enjoy the whole conceit behind a bar-less jail, particularly how James' character tricked Bruce's character to say in it.
However, on the reverse side of my praise, there were certain things about this film I wasn't too keen on either. Like how most of the sets came across very-very clean and vivid, for a town that was supposed to be very-very dark and dirty. Also, on occasion, the overall production exhumed a strange yet apparent cartoon-like quality in both its character plus conceptual plot-line.
Again. Try to think of it as a cross between the 1966 Batman television series set in the Wild West. And you'll get the basic gist of what I mean by this.
Overall 'Support Your Local Sheriff' was a pretty nice film to watch. The jokes in it were funny. Yet not laugh out loud funny. The story told an actual story. Yet nothing too grand to scream about. And all in all -- yeah -- not a bad movie if you're in the mood for Evil Roy Slade meets the 1966 version of Batman.
THE RATING: B-