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Support Your Local Sheriff
Time Out says
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.