Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 1988. Cecchi Gori Group Tiger Cinematografica, Hudson Hawk Films Ltd., ML Delphi Premier Productions, The Blake Edwards Company, TriStar Pictures. Story by Rod Amateau, Screenplay by Blake Edwards. Cinematography by Anthony B. Richmond. Produced by Tony Adams. Music by Henry Mancini. Production Design by Rodger Maus. Costume Design by Patricia Norris. Film Editing by Robert Pergament. Academy Awards 1988.
Blake Edwards does nothing to improve upon the disaster of Blind Date with this equally tepid film about Hollywood in the silent era. Bruce Willis is terrible as real-life western star Tom Mix, who learns while making a film about Wyatt Earp that the real-life Earp (James Garner) has arrived on the set to work as a consultant. The two have an instant rapport that comes in handy when a murder at a local brothel gives them the opportunity to become crime-solving sleuths. Finding the culprit isn’t going to be easy considering that one of their suspects is their psychotic, abusive boss (Malcolm McDowell), whose wife is in love with Earp. It’s got a lovely feel for the look of 1920s Hollywood, particularly in Patricia Norris’ beautiful Oscar-nominated costume designs, but Edwards’ direction is surprisingly weak. It takes place in the seamy underbelly of Hollywood Babylon but features uncomfortable elements of comedy and cartoonish violence, plus the performances range from bad to dull. In real life Mix and Earp actually were friends, though Earp was much older and the rest of the story is completely fictionalized.