Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free (1976)

TV Movie   |  Not Rated   |    |  Western

Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free (1976) Poster

A traveling horse trader and his young nephew travel the west in search of the boy's prize Arabian horse, who has been stolen by a bounty hunter.


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1 June 2019 | boblipton
Not Buddy Or Joanna
In this TV movie, Don Meredith is a western horse trader who picks up a nephew and rambles through a large, sloppy west where e has ha lot of friendly ladies who take an interest in the child: Ann Francis, Gloria De Haven and Jennifer Warren are just three of them. After Meredith sells the boy's thoroughbred mare, he comes across a man who is wiling to pay $10,000 for her. The competition between Meredith and bad guy Chuck Conners makes up half the plot; Meredith's coming to terms with his avuncular feelings is the other half.

Looking at this, I am struck by its similarities to the John Wayne vehicle MCLINTOCK. That's hardly surprising, since Andrew Maclagen directed both of them, comedy westerns, with similar bursts of fun-filled action involving an underlying bawdiness, a quick-moving camera and fast cutting, music, and even a couple of similar gags -- here it's Miss Francis who tosses Meredith's hat onto a target. Meredith is engaging in the role, and there are lots of old, familiar faces like Slim Pickens, Jeff Corey and Dan O'Herlihy.

Andrew Mclaglen was the lookalike son of Victor Mclaglen. After a hyper-short carer as an actor, he moved behind the camera, working as an Assistant Director for John Wayne's Batjac productions. He began to direct, first for TV westerns, then the big screen, then back for TV movies, usually westerns. He helmed his last production in 1986 and died in 2014, a month after his 94th birthday.

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