Western Watchins Week 46
It’s usually better to get kicked in the balls with no warning. If you see it coming you fret and tense up and all that worry turns into extra pain so it’s better to just not see it coming at all. In that sense McCabe and Miss Miller does you a favor. I won’t tell you how it ends but I’ll bet it does so in a way you probably weren’t expecting, or rather, hoping for. This movie is weird for a Western. To start off with Warren Beatty is a Wookie hunter.
Not really I suppose but this is set in the Northwestern portion of the lower forty eight so in reality that’s probably a dead sasquatch he’s wearing. Some might say the mighty sasquatch is a fictitious being. Those people are squatch doubting cocksuckers and that…that is no lie. The flesh and blood John McCabe stands right in front of you, hat cocked assuredly to one side paralelling his cocksure grin while he deftly deals cards and cooch to the lonely locals and yet he might be even more make believe than Bigfoot.
But he’s right there. Or is he? McCabe isn’t all he appears to be and while being a town running tycoon on the top of your game has it’s merits doing so while keeping the lid on some past and never truly verified shadiness proves difficult. Even with the lovely Miss Constance Miller by your side.
That’s Julie Christie and she gives money to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign supporting a ban on Israeli made goods. Despite her best efforts over the years Snake Eyes has still had all the Uzis he’s ever needed while she’s barely survived without fine Hasidic hair products. And she’s a whore. Not because of the antisemitism but because Miss Miller is a madam and charges five bucks a poke. Which is a lot by today’s standards and even more-so considering that goddamn updo. It’d be like a Chia pet was blowing you with it’s unforgiving adobe like lips. But considering the only other pros in town consisted of an underage girl who tries to stab her customers, a fat chick and Shelly Duvall you might just be lining up around the block for that sandy suck-off.
So McCabe under his coat and Miss Miller under that coiffure have a nice cottage empire a growin’ out there in the woods with saloons and bath houses (all built real time, along with the rest of the town, as the filming progressed!) But then, that most often used of plot devices comes into play. That being the “someone or something fucks with you” plot device. Like Jaws (shark fucks with you), Hook (pirates fuck with you) or Schindler’s List (showers fuck with you!) What? I’m not the one giving money to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign! Chillax.
If only our half-hearted hero and Jew-hating Jezebel could chill and/or relax. Just about the time everything’s running rather smoothly with McCabe and Miss Miller making money handjobs over fist along comes another Wookie hunter to stir the pot.
That’s incredibly goddamn cool Hugh Millais who immediately became one of my favorite characters from any Western I’ve ever seen. You can tell he’s got more skills than McCabe because his coat is grey and presumably from a wiser, elder member of Chewbacca’s family. You can also tell they cloned this guy at some point in his life and made Ian McShane (proven by the fact that “Hugh Millais” is a direct anagram of “Ian McShane” if you swap almost all the letters!)
Hugh and his entourage are the stuff that great Westerns are made from but they feel wasted in this ploddingly anti-climactic film. However, half the fun of McCabe and Miss Miller lies in the fact that this normally aggravating pace does allow you to sit back and take in all the wonderfully varied townies (and cool as fuck Swearengen-esque visitors!) that reside against the snowy backdrop like ghosts in a graveyard huddling close to one another to try keeping warm and pretend to be alive.
People like Rene Auberjonois. Who’s that guy you ask? You know him…he’s this guy.
Or maybe this guy.
Or old school obscure as hell this guy!
Haggard! HAGGARD…is not in this movie but someone almost as gaunt is and it’s his first film appearance as well.
That goofy looking youngin’ is none other that Keith Carradine. He has a big hat, a big heart and both make big targets.
It’s not like he hung himself while jerking off so chllax, again. And maybe give McCabe and Miss MIller a go once you’ve poured a nice glass of whiskey for yourself. Another tough call this week but I’ll load 4 rounds for this one without too much chagrin. It didn’t always head in the direction I would have wanted and my balls still ache from denouement but those are my issues to deal with. In addition the sound quality on my copy was horrible. I don’t know if that’s the case with all versions (mine was an AMC classics four pack along with Jeremiah “The Fucking Man” Johnson, The Train “I haven’t seen it yet” Robbers and The Wild “Fuck this with the deepest darkest dicks of Hell” Bunch). All this means I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have but the never ending cast of characters, multitudinous and otherwise meaningless side conversations that nonetheless proved delightful and Hugh Millais saved this one for me. Drunk Warren Beatty too, he was charming in that “I’ve been there” kind of way. So middlin mixed with moments of near perfection. Sort of like life at times so I know why I sort of liked it.
Now get out there and find your own near perfect moments. They’re waitin’ out on that trail. Get to ridin’ and as always, ride true.