14 April 2007 | brefane
Overlooked and under-appreciated.
If you liked A Big Hand for the Little Lady(1966), then this small, under-appreciated gem is for you, and the less you know about it, the better. It is a vehicle for Ireland who has never been better, and it's the best film that she and her husband Charles Bronson made together. Their relationship which suggests the Taming of the Shrew is one of the most convincingly romantic pairings I've ever seen. Ireland, a widow, is a western version of Norma Desmond or Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, and virtually everything she says is a lie. The title refers to the 3 hours Bronson spends with her in her isolated Victorian mansion. The film is a comedy, a western, a romance,and a satire on myth-making and celebrity, and it succeeds on all levels. Overlooked when released, writer/director, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright, Frank Gilroy deserves praise for this fine western comedy. It's smarter, more romantic, and more sophisticated than Cat Ballou, True Grit, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Skin Game, The Ballad of Cable Hogue etc.... It all works beautifully and the ending is satisfying and surprising. Bronson in a change of pace is very good indeed. Don't miss this film. Definitely deserves a DVD release.