Warner Home Video presents
Every Which Way But Loose (1978)
"How many times have I told you, I don't want him drinking 'cept on Saturday nights."- Philo Beddoe (Clint Eastwood)
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, Beverly D'Angelo, Ruth Gordon
Other Stars: Mel Tillis, Charlie Rich
Director: James Fargo
MPAA Rating: PG for (language, violence, sexual themes)
Run Time: 01h:54m:30s
Release Date: 2002-05-07
Genre: action comedy
DVD ReviewWhen Clint Eastwood decides to do something different, he doesn't kid around. They don't come any more different than Every Which Way But Loose, which ended up being one of the biggest hits of Eastwood's career. Combining bareknuckle fighting, an orangutan, a foul-mouthed old lady and a heapin' helpin' of country music, it was a huge success despite the expected critical lambasting.
Philo Beddoe is a truck driver who makes extra money doing bareknuckle fights. Living with an orangutan named Clyde, his friend Orville Boggs (Geoffrey Lewis) and Orville's foul-tempered mother (Ruth Gordon), Philo falls hard for country singer Lynn Halsey-Taylor (creepy anorexic Sondra Locke). When she leaves town suddenly with her possessive boyfriend, Philo, Orville and Clyde go on the road to find her, pursued by the Black Widow motorcycle gang and a pair of police who have it in for Philo.
Eastwood is clearly having a great time making this picture, and he displays a good sense of comic timing. Geoffrey Lewis as the goofy sidekick is letter-perfect. The motorcycle gang is a bit over the hill to really be a threat (paunchy and balding, the Black Widows don't exactly measure up to the Hell's Angels). Ruth Gordon was a big hit as the cantankerous Ma Boggs, apparently on the dubious theory that foul-mouthed old ladies are hilarious. She does what she can with the part, but it's pretty much just there for broad comic effect. The ape is fairly skilled himself, and comes up with some amusing gestures and expressions. Some of the best moments, though, are stolen by Hank Worden as the addled trailer court manager.
Fans of 1970s twangy country music will definitely want to check this out, since it features, among others, performances by Mel Tillis and Charlie Rich. They tend to go on a bit long, but they're playing for their fans, if they still have any at this distance of time.
There are actually a few things that make this not just a garden variety action comedy, including some plot twists that are fairly unexpected. It's a cute little novelty that still manages to hold up decently well. Of course, a movie that makes $100 million in 1978 was taking in some serious coin, ensuring the inevitable sequel, but that will be discussed in its own review.
Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B
|Aspect Ratio||1.85:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture looks fabulous. There's tons of detail, colors are spot on and black levels are good. I didn't notice any edge enhancement. This looks like it was shot yesterday, not 25 years ago.
Image Transfer Grade: A
Audio Transfer Review: The English DD 5.1 track sounds extremely good as well. There's a very enveloping soundfield, with lots of barking dogs and the likes in the surrounds. The ambient sound is uniformly excellent. The club sequences all have serious bass coming from the guitars, and the fistfights pack a serious punch. Ma's shotgun has a bass kick like a mule as well for an impressive audio experience.
Audio Transfer Grade: A
Disc ExtrasStatic menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 9 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French with remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
Layers Switch: 00h:34m:33s
Extras Review: There's an anamorphic trailer that features a weird conversational voiceover; it's clear that Warner was very nervous about how exactly to market this picture. There is a three-screen set of production notes and a brief filmography for Eastwood, but that's it. Pretty minimal.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsA cute picture with plenty of brawling and romance to cover the demographics nicely. The language keeps it from being appropriate for younger kids, but those who can handle some rough language from grandmotherly types will enjoy it too. It's also given a great transfer, though no extras worth talking about.
Mark Zimmer 2002-05-06