Bronco Billy is one of the first Clint Eastwood movies I ever saw. There was something about the opening knife toss that caught my juvenile attention. Honestly, I think it’s why I have my Eastwood views now. When you approach the Man with No Name first in his orangutan and failed circus act movies, it’s hard to take him as a super serious actor. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hell, this movie felt like something Warren Oates or a Jeff Bridges type would have made instead of Eastwood.
Watching a film about failure and odd characters works out of Eastwood’s wheelhouse. Especially because the only upside to the whole film is Sondra Locke and the promise of her money. Between the Army desertion angle, Bronco Billy shooting his wife and the crazy inmates making a new tent, it feels closer to 1970 rather than 1980. Man, I wish Eastwood made more of this and less of The Mule.
Footlight Parade is one of those films that I just enjoy. Pre-code musicals aren’t for everyone, however I enjoy seeing the most bizarre of time capsule films. Most younger fans will recognize the song By A Waterfall due to it being a recurring joke in Looney Tunes shorts. Still, it’s a lovely filthy musical for the early 30s. You have jokes about bras, kept men and cougar style women getting their kicks. Our great-grandparents used to roll hard, people.
Warner Archive continues to kill it this summer. Bronco Billy boasts a nearly perfect 1.78:1 1080p transfer. Realistic night shots and just the right amount of grain. It’s so perfect that it makes me wish that we got a commentary. Footlight Parade is stacked with classic featurettes and vintage cartoons that would’ve screened with the film. Plus, you land a trailer. The A/V Quality is spotless with a crisp 1.33:1 1080p transfer and a truly representative 2.0 Mono track. Classic films should receive more love from the bigger outlets.