A disarming movie, standing somewhere between a comic, contemporary version of The Outlaw Josey Wales (bunch of no-hopers finding fulfilment together) and Frank Capra (good 'little people', runaway heiress, scheming Eastern bureaucrats). Basically, it's the charming tale of a New Jersey shoe-salesman who fantasises about being a cowboy, and takes a group of assorted weirdos on the road with a travelling show. Not a lot to it in terms of plot, but Eastwood manages to both undermine and celebrate his character's fantasy life, while offering a few gentle swipes at contemporary America (the Stars and Stripes tent sewn together by mental hospital inmates). Fragile, fresh, and miles away from his hard-nosed cop thrillers, it's the sort of film only he would, and could, make.
Cast and crew