BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Every Which Way But Loose (1978)


I’m still on my Clint Eastwood kick, 3.5 readers.

This time I rented his iconic comedy.  I’d been meaning to see it.  I heard good things and there have been so many references to it in pop culture, especially to Clint’s sassy pet orangutan, Clyde.

Gotta say, I was not impressed.  Seems like blasphemy as I like all the other Clint movies I’ve seen so far, but I didn’t really get the point of this movie, or if it even had one.

Clint stars as Philo Beddoe, a hard living truck driver by day who fights in underground fist fights at night.  One night while at a club with his best buddy Orville (Geoffrey Lewis), Philo meets up and coming country western star Lynn Halsey-Taylor.

The tough guy falls instantly in love and upon learning she’s leaving town, he follows in the hopes of catching up with her again.

The rest is a road trip film gone awry.  While in pursuit of the babe, Philo offends the lamest biker gang ever as well as a pair of bumbling cops.  Both pursue Philo in the hopes of getting revenge and Philo stymies them at every corner.  Meanwhile, Orville’s foul mouthed mother, Ma. fends off more bikers with her profanity and her shotgun.

Clyde is utilized as an ongoing gag, making all kinds of fart jokes, sticking up his middle finger and so on.

I think had I been an adult in 1978 I might have laughed at this, though I’ve seen other films from this time and earlier that will billed as comedies that have made me laugh.  I think this one just falls flat.  The jokes are kind of cheap and though I hate to give the ending away, there isn’t really any kind of conclusion that makes you glad you watched the damn thing.

One thing that gets me is the 1970s were Clint’s prime years and he was in his 40s then.  So much lush hair.  I guess it really pays to work out and eat right and take care of yourself.

A young Beverly D’Angelo joins the gang as Orville’s love interest, Echo.  Think about it.

I get a lot of people like this movie but me, I don’t see it.  And to be honest, I can’t make this accusation for sure, but the whole vibe seems like it was a little too inspired by Smokey and the Bandit – just two hayseeds out trying to have a good time and stick to the squares.

Clint’s longtime girlfriend Sondra Locke was in a lot of Clint movies and she plays his love interest here.  I guess she was considered a hottie in her day and I’m sure she was a nice enough lady but I’m not sure I get her.  I’ve seen her in three Clint movies and she’s always cast as a character who is always pissed off at Clint, yelling at him and cussing him out.  Then again, their relationship did end with 10 years of litigation so maybe this foreshadowed that.  I don’t know.

STATUS – Hate to say it, but not shelf-worthy.

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5 thoughts on “BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Every Which Way But Loose (1978)

  1. Thank you for the heads up. It is odd to hear of a Clint Eastwood movie that doesn’t make the cut. Haha.

    • I think he and Burt Reynolds vied for all the tough guy 1970s parts so this was basically him trying to copy Smokey and the Bandit and it didn’t work. This is the only Clint film I’ve found that wasn’t good so far, although there are probably a few more as he got older. Space Cowboys I recall was not that good.

  2. I admit I liked the movie, somewhat. The problem is the movie as a whole isn’t so good, it’s more a few moments here and there that could fill a “best of” 5 minute video clip… and the running gag with the dumb bikers.

    I think the thing that doesn’t pull it together very well is you don’t really get a good idea of who these characters are. It felt like we were just dropped into the middle of their lives and there’s no rhyme or reason.

    Hell, even though you had no real background in “smokey and the bandit,” you had the characters pretty well figured out over the course of the flick (except for Sally’s character, because she told her whole story, but that’s it).

    • I hate to dump on Sondra Locke because she passed away recently but she always played such mean characters. She was doing what she was hired to do and do a good job at it but none of them seemed like the type of woman a ladies man like Clint would realistically chase after.

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