Support Your Local Sheriff

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Kennedy's best film, an irresistibly irreverent Western parody which starts with a streak of yellow (actual, not metaphorical) spotted in the late sheriff's newly-dug grave and starting a wild gold rush. Soon after, stranger Garner rides into the badass town, proves himself the fastest draw by shooting a hole through a rubber washer ('The bullet went through the centre'), and gets himself the sheriff's job. Beautifully played by Garner with deadpan wit, he tames the town less by his gunfighting than by his Lewis Carroll logic. A sequence in which, not at all put out by the fact that the brand-new jail has no bars yet, he brain-teases the villainous Dern into mesmerised captivity - with some chalk, a little red paint, and the limitless power of suggestion - is high comedy of the first order. One by one, all the Western clichés are turned upside down and reinvented, with William Bowers' fine script proliferating enough invention and wonderful gags to make one forgive the occasional sag.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Burt Kennedy
Screenwriter: William Bowers
Cast: James Garner
Joan Hackett
Walter Brennan
Harry Morgan
Jack Elam
Bruce Dern
Henry Jones
Walter Burke
Gene Evans

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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This is my all time favourite Western-Comedy . Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles doesn't come close to the laughs in "Sheriff". From the opening scene it is clear that this movie is going to be a lot of fun. .......and Boy, does it deliver. I have seen this movie many, many times over the years, and shared it with dozens of people. Everyone, of all ages, really enjoyed this classic film. Love this cast. They do a great job. The sequel unfortunately doesn't measure up. 4 and 1/2 stars for Sheriff.