New 2K restoration from its 35mm interpositive
Rancho Deluxe (Blu-ray) Fun City Ltd
Before he was the Dude, Jeff Bridges portrayed another affable stoner: Jack McKee in director Frank Perry’s laid-back comedy Rancho Deluxe, which happily takes aim at the mythology of the Wild West. Bridges (Starman and The Big Lebowski) and Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields and TV’s Law & Order) are a pair of hippie cattle rustlers who draw the ire of a wealthy Montana ranch owner (Clifton James, Live and Let Die and Superman II) in this wild and unpredictable acid western penned by acclaimed novelist Tom McGuane (92 in the Shade and The Missouri Breaks). The main ensemble is rounded out by Elizabeth Ashley (Vampire’s Kiss) as the rancher’s bored wife, Harry Dean Stanton (Alien and Repo Man) and Richard Bright (the Godfather series) as their bumbling employees, and Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove and Blazing Saddles) as an ancient livestock detective tended to by his beautiful niece (Charlene Dallas, Cops and Robbers). In the supporting cast are cult icons Joe Spinell (Maniac) and Patti D’Arbanville (Bilitis).
For Perry, this motley collection fits comfortably alongside the many oddballs and misfits who populate his diverse oeuvre, which includes films like The Swimmer, Last Summer, Play It as It Lays and Diary of a Mad Housewife. Legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett provides the film’s rollicking song score and performs on camera in a nightclub sequence. The breathtaking Big Sky Country scenery, shot by cinematographer William A. Fraker (Bullitt and Rosemary’s Baby), looks more stunning than it has in decades in this world-premiere Blu-ray restoration of Rancho Deluxe.
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