The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)

M/PG   |    |  Comedy, Western

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969) Poster

An aging lawman and an aging outlaw join forces when their respective positions in society are usurped by a younger, but incompetent, Marshal, and a younger, but vicious, gang leader.


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6 February 2014 | SimonJack
| Not many old time railroads left
Robert Mitchum and George Kennedy must have had fun making this movie. They have a good supporting cast. "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" is an enjoyable film, a mix of comedy and Western that doesn't quite fit solidly into either genre. The time was the turn of the 20th Century, when Western towns were "growing" up. Some held onto their frontier image, while others couldn't shake the past fast enough and become modern. That's the setting for the film and much of its comedy, and the two lead characters are smack dab in the middle of the changing times.

Others have described the plot and background. What stand out to me are the train scenes and the scenery itself. This isn't a dust and sagebrush Western as were so many set in Monument Valley, AZ. This was shot in mountain and forest country. That means the Rocky Mountains. The DVD with the film I watched also had a short, "The Good Guy from Chama." It showed us the town of Chama, NM, where much of the movie was shot.

The train scenes were on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, a 64- mile long narrow gage line that runs between Chama, NM and Antonito, CO. The line was built by the Denver and Rio Grande RR in 1880-81, and is the highest operating railway today – reaching 10,015 feet at Cumbres Pass. It's a national historical landmark, and tourists can ride it from late May to mid-October. I recommend the half-day full length trip. You'll see the same scenery that's in the movie, and more, including tunnels, bridges and trestles. Some other movies that were made with scenes from the C&T Scenic Railroad were "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989) and "Wyatt Earp" (1994).

Few old-time railroad lines still exist in the U.S. So, when I get a chance in my travels, I like to ride the historic railways of the past. Some other scenic rails you might enjoy are the Durango to Silverton line in Colorado, the St. George's short line in Colorado, and the White Pass and Yukon RR from Skagway, AK, to Carcross, Yukon Territory. One can do the latter as a day-trip that many Alaskan cruises offer.

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