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Semi-Tough (1977)

Director:
Michael Ritchie
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Comedy/Sports
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Halvtøff
RUNNING TIME
108 minutes
Producer:
David Merrick
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Dan Jenkins):
Walter Bernstein


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Billy Clyde Puckett Burt Reynolds
Shake Tiller Kris Kristofferson
Barbara Jane Bookman Jill Clayburgh ½
Big Ed Bookman Robert Preston
Friedrich Bismarck Bert Convy ½
Clara Pelf Lotte Lenya
Phillip Hooper Richard Masur
Dreamer Tatum Carl Weathers
T. J. Lambert Brian Dennehy ½
Vlada Ron Silver

 

Review

This at times fuzzy and unfocused comedy struggles with trivialities until it settles in on a series of spoofs on the contemporary phenomena of different conscious-raising, quasi-philosophical existencial movements that found its way to the celebrity scene in the 1970s. The Kristofferson character is the tool (which eventually makes his role quite ungrateful) and his roomie, teammate and long-time buddy Burt Reynolds, is his unpretentious opposite. The love triangle is lightweight and not even very charming, but the tone of the film is brilliant, and the dialogue is at times hilarious. Director Ritchie hasn't got the best of command of his work, but he provides a delightfully baffling quality to his storytelling that emphazises the film's clever satire. In the end though, it is all down to Burt's charm and buoyancy. He walks through this film portraying both jealousy and dispair without even being close to exposing himself. It would be disrespectful to actually call it acting, but he is darn brilliant.

Copyright © 7.1.2005 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang [HAVE YOUR SAY]