If you fondly remember the Westerns of old, circa the original Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke TV series, you won’t want to miss the hilarious 1985 spoof, Rustlers’ Rhapsody (PG, 4.5/5 stars). It’s finally available in digital format.
An amusing spoof of the good ‘ole westerns back in the halcyon days when all the cliches were held up as icons, this parody by Hugh Wilson works best for savvy audiences. Rex O’Herlihan (Tom Berenger) is a singing cowboy with a wardrobe straight out of the Hollywood westerns of the ’40s – he worships his horse, and has a trusty sidekick too.
Every town he wanders into has a sheriff on the dole, a shady cattle rancher, a prostitute with a heart of gold, an innocent young damsel, a town drunk, and the standard bad guys in black hats and long coats (Spaghetti-western style) who brutalize the poor sheep ranchers. After setting things straight in each identical town as he goes, Rex is beginning to feel like a re-run junky when he saunters into a town that is slightly different – and the parodies continue.