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Mackintosh and T.J.

USA 1975
produced by
Tim Penland for Penland Productions
directed by Marvin J. Chomsky
starring Roy Rogers, Clay O'Brien, Joan Hackett, Billy Green Bush, Andrew Robinson, James Hampton, Luke Askew, Dennis Fimple, Walter Barnes, Edith Atwater, Ted Gehring, Larry Mahan, Dean Smith, 'Ron Hay, James N. Harrell
story by Dick Dragonette, Marchal Riggan, Paul Savage, screenplay by Paul Savage, music by Waylon Jennings

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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14 year old T.J. (Clay O'Brien) has just been released from juvenile detention, and he's pretty much caught shoplifting by drifter Mackintosh (Roy Rogers) right away - but Mackintosh figures the boy deserves a chance, so he provides him with an alibi and offers him a ride. Soon the two part ways again, but when Mackintosh has to save T.J. from a bunch of fists of a couple of bulles, he figures it best to take the boy under his wing for the time being ...

Soon enough, Mackintosh finds a job at Webster's (Walter Barnes) ranch, and because he seemingly is able to do anything thrown at him, Webster likes him and even lets him and the boy have a cabin on his premises. Of course, soon enough, Webster's other employees get a little jealous of the young (well, retirement age, actually) upstart Mackintosh, especially Jenkins (Billy Green Bush), who doesn't like it that Mackintosh gets a bit friendly (in the true and only sense of the word) with his wife (Joan Hackett), so soon enough the two duke it out in public, and once separated threaten each other's lives - nothing to be taken too seriously in the heat of the fight, actually ... until Jenkins winds up dead, killed in a fight. Webster's men, mostly friends of Jenkins now set out to lynch Mackintosh, who actually had nothing to do with it, it was a ranchhand named Phipps (Andrew Robinson) who lusted after Jenkins' wife ... but Mackintosh's hide is only saved in the very last second when it's learned that Phipps has hanged himself but confessed to everything in his farewell letter...

 

The very last feature film starring vintage cowboy hero Roy Rogers (he did a few TV-appearances after that though), and in a way his role seems to be tailor-made for him: He's the infallible do-gooder in the beginning who turns out the infallible do-gooder in the end, and still, against all odds, he has done good during the progress of the movie. Now this concept worked in the 1940's and 50's respectively, when Rogers was a big B-Western hero and later TV cowboy, but the concept as such was already a little antiquated in 1975 ... and yet, this is not the main problem of Mackintosh and T.J., the main problem quite simply is that for the longest time, the film simply refuses to tell a story, any kind of narrative conflict seems to be totally absent from the script that seems to be focused solely on presenting Mackintosh as a simply great and infallible man you would simply love to look after a teenage runaway ... or your teenage kids in fact, runaways or not. Anyways, this character of a virtual saint really stands in the way of any kind of narrative development, and when in the last 15 (!) minutes of the movie the whole murder story is finally launched under great narrative stress, it seems as far-fetched as it probably was when writing this, and is definitely one of these too-little-too-late moments.

Now Roy Rogers and his die-hard fans might probably have liked this as a swan-song entirely in his favour in a time when the world of the Western genre has long moved on (and I won't judge if it was for better or worse here), but for everyone else, this simply wasn't a good movie ...

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD