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The Over-the-Hill Gang

USA 1969
produced by
Shelley Hull, Aaron Spelling (executive), Danny Thomas (executive) for Thomas/Spelling Productions/ABC
directed by Jean Yarbrough
starring Pat O'Brien, Walter Brennan, Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan, Edward Andrews, Andy Devine, Jack Elam, Gypsy Rose Lee, Kris Nelson (= Kristin Harmon), Ricky Nelson, Dennis Cross, Rex Holman, Lillian Bronson, Myron Healey, Bruce Glover, Don Wilbanks, Robert F. Hoy, Bob Herron, Allen Pinson, Almira Sessions, Burt Mustin, Maggie Peterson, Harry Swoger, William 'Billy' Benedict, Robert Karnes, Guy Wilkerson, Larry Michaels, Harlen Carraher, William Smith
story by Leonard Goldberg, screenplay by Jameson Brewster, music by Hugo Friedhofer

Over-the-Hilll Gang

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When retired Texas Ranger Oren Hayes (Pat O'Brien) witnesses his son-in-law being heavily bullied at his campaign for the election for mayor by the corrupt present mayor Nard Lundy (Edward Andrews) and his cronies, the trigger-happy Sheriff (Jack Elam) and the drunk judge (Andy Devine), he figures it's high time to call in his old fighting pals (Walter Brennan, Chil Wills, Edgar Buchanan) from the Texas Ranger days and clear up town. But Hayes' old pals are one thing before everything else, old, and in their first confrontation with the Sheriff and his men, they only become the center of public ridicule. However, these old-timers are not the ones to give up too easily, and with the help of a local showgirl (Gypsy Rose Lee), they make up various schemes to have the Sheriff shoot his deputies or drive the deputies out of town so that ultimately, the town becomes too hot for both the Sheriff and the judge and the two make their getaway.

With the Sheriff and the judge gone, Hayes and his men ride into town as if they own the place - but now, mayor Lundy has hired a gang of real outlaws and cut-throats whom the oldtimers once again are no match for - but for the shootout with the mayor's new man they have built a system of elaborate traps so the odds are more than only evened ... and ultimately the mayor skips town - and since Hayes has no legal right to hold the outlaws Lundy has hired, he lets them go - go after Lundy who has neglected to pay them ... ouch!


Not a masterpiece in any sense of the word, but considering it's a film about a bunch of old folks riosing to a challenge one last time, this film is surprisingly free of sentimental stretches, adds humour to the proceedings that is at times really funny, and is basically built along the lines of a B-Western from the 1930's and 40's - meaning the story keeps flowing at a steady pace, there's plenty of action to keep one entertained, and the focus is almost never shifted from its main narrative.

As I said, not a masterpiece in any sense of the word, but good (if harmless) entertainment.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD