I Saw A Film!

The legendary McQueen plays a well known bounty hunter in this no frills story about catching rednecks and other louts for the cash reward. McQueen chases dynamite throwing weirdos with a combine, he gets into a difficult hand-to-hand with a massive oaf, and is himself pursued, or his wife rather, by a deadly foe, played by the great Tracey Walter who has done so much comic work since then it’s almost difficult to see him in this part without chuckling.

I remember loving the film as a kid, but on this rewatch it’s a bit remarkable how weird the story is. For reasons that are difficult to understand, this particular character who spends his life on the road chasing dangerous criminals is somehow wholly beloved by Kathyrn Harrold who wants desperately to build a family with him. She is, in fact, pregnant and hoping for her bounty hunter husband’s interest in the process of birth. I didn’t even notice this particular plot stress, back when I was a teenager enjoying this film. And it’s even a bit painful how careless he is about this woman and his unborn child. I suppose later in the story he’s won over, and the sweetness flows, but for a while what the moderns would call toxic masculinity rules the show. The old adage of a monster is needed to bring down a monster is sort of the theme of the story, and even the running gag of McQueen, a race car driver in real life, being the worst driver ever, cracking into every nearby vehicle as he parks.

Eli Wallach and Geordie from Next Generation and reading podcasts are in it and fun to recognize. In the end, the film is a refreshing change from the preoccupation with super beings (literally deities some of them) and immensely rich guys saving us from the baddies of the world, to have a regular man (though Steve McQueen) fighting for cash, but also to remove some of the scum from the streets (and legally not like Travis Bickle).

Playing on Hulu.

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