Every Which Way But Loose

release year: 1978
genre: comedy
viewing setting: home DVD, 6/7/03

synopsis: This is the story of a brawler, his pet orangutan, his mechanic buddy, their shotgun-toting grandmother, an elusive girl, an inept biker gang, and the legendary best brawler in Denver.

impressions: This was the first of two related comedies that Clint Eastwood did more than twenty years ago. There's definitely a cowboy/redneck element here, but what surprised me was how much I laughed during the movie. It was the little things, the subtle things (like Clyde the ape's antics or the behavior of Ma) rather than the obvious things (the stereotypical southern cops or the biker gang.) Of note: 6 real fistfights, several of them mass fistfights.

things to watch for: Any of the barfights.

something this movie has that no other movie has: An ape at the bar, banging his fist to get the bartender to refill his beer.

acting: Clint Eastwood did okay in this role, though true tough guys were really his forte. Geoffrey Lewis was a good sidekick. Sondra Locke...ugh. She's annoying in real life, and her character here was even worse...a total tramp. Clyde the orangutan did a great job too. The members of the biker gang were perhaps the biggest intentional joke ever to appear in a movie.

final word: Entertaining, but you have to be in the right mood (I watched it while eating pizza and drinking beer.)

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