17 July 2017 | Blueghost
More Disney memories
Saw this years ago when I tended to spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. The Oregon forest in which this was shot looks like all of the parts of the Sierras and Rockies I ever spent time in. So when I first saw this film there was a kind of tangibleness to it that I was familiar with on a very intimate "dyed-in-the-wool" kind of way.
But even as a child I can't really say I was too amused by the antics of the characters. Oh sure, I saw and understood what they were all about, and accepted them for what they were, but I can't recall myself ever really laughing. "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" was made during a time when Disney higher-ups said that they had to re- examine their approach to film making because the kids in their focus group said that their films were corny.
Well, "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" isn't exactly "Citizen Kane" nor was it ever meant to be. And as fascinating as it was in a detached sort of almost clinical kind of way, it was still shot in that period when Disney was thinking of and needing to upgrade their feature film production. As such this 1970s film has a kind of retro-feel as if a 1950s Disney crew travelled to the 1970s and made a western. Because that's kind of how this movie feels, and in essence I'm pretty sure that's close to home.
The basic story of two brother from different sides of the tracks succumbing and overcoming the plot of a schemer is well enough, and the actors do their best to bring the script alive. Overall it's not a bad film, and unlike a lot of other live action Disney offerings at the time, this one doesn't have any split screen nor rear projection shots. It's all shot on location or on a fully dressed set, even though, again, it has that retro-feel so apparent with Disney films of that time.
It's not a bad film, but as boy for whom this film was meant, and having seen other comedies and westerns, I think this film is about average. Having seen it again after all these years, I think it's okay, but not really anything spectacular. Then again I've shot rapids, ridden horses, and been on steam trains as well as hiking and camping throughout North America, it's familiar territory to me.
I'm not sure I'd recommend it for today's school age audience, but maybe see it with your kids and see what they think.
Give it a shot.