Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985)

PG | 88 mins | Western, Comedy, Satire | 10 May 1985

Director:

Hugh Wilson

Writer:

Hugh Wilson

Producer:

David Giler

Cinematographer:

Jose Luis Alcaine

Production Designer:

Gil Parrondo

Production Companies:

Giler-Hill Productions, Impala, Tesauro
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HISTORY

The film begins with the following voice-over narration by “Peter,” the town drunk: “This is how every Rex O’Herlihan movie ever made always started. It was the same every time, and they made fifty-two of them in all, between the years 1938—1947. 1947 was the year the light sorta went out for Rex. Yeah, he never did much after that. Always made me kinda wonder what one of these B-Westerns would look like, ya know, if they still made ‘em today. In the first place, the bad guys probably wouldn’t all be such cowards. Rex probably wouldn’t be so damn perfect all the time.” A few scenes later, the voice-over continues: “This here story is about the time a most wonderful and interesting thing happened to Rex…he met me.” The picture begins in black and white showing “Rex O’Herlihan” and his horse, “Wildfire,” engaged in a gunfight. Over the course of the narration, the scene changes into color.
       The 17 Apr 1984 DV announced Hugh Wilson would direct and write the picture, and the 9 May 1984 DV reported filming would begin in Spain in Sep 1984. According to the 9 Jun 1984 Screen International, Hugh Wilson wrote the screenplay more than five years before, but it was rejected by everyone, until producer David Giler agreed to work on the project, and garnered a deal for Wilson with producer Jose Vicuña, before Paramount Pictures signed on. As Giler had a home in Spain, he encouraged Wilson to use all Spanish locations, and an all-Spanish crew. Production was set to begin 4 ... More Less

The film begins with the following voice-over narration by “Peter,” the town drunk: “This is how every Rex O’Herlihan movie ever made always started. It was the same every time, and they made fifty-two of them in all, between the years 1938—1947. 1947 was the year the light sorta went out for Rex. Yeah, he never did much after that. Always made me kinda wonder what one of these B-Westerns would look like, ya know, if they still made ‘em today. In the first place, the bad guys probably wouldn’t all be such cowards. Rex probably wouldn’t be so damn perfect all the time.” A few scenes later, the voice-over continues: “This here story is about the time a most wonderful and interesting thing happened to Rex…he met me.” The picture begins in black and white showing “Rex O’Herlihan” and his horse, “Wildfire,” engaged in a gunfight. Over the course of the narration, the scene changes into color.
       The 17 Apr 1984 DV announced Hugh Wilson would direct and write the picture, and the 9 May 1984 DV reported filming would begin in Spain in Sep 1984. According to the 9 Jun 1984 Screen International, Hugh Wilson wrote the screenplay more than five years before, but it was rejected by everyone, until producer David Giler agreed to work on the project, and garnered a deal for Wilson with producer Jose Vicuña, before Paramount Pictures signed on. As Giler had a home in Spain, he encouraged Wilson to use all Spanish locations, and an all-Spanish crew. Production was set to begin 4 Sep 1984, in Almeria, Spain, where director Sergio Leone had created a Western town set, complete with railroad tracks. Production would then move to the Samuel Bronston stages in Madrid, Spain, for four weeks, followed by post-production in London, England. A late Mar 1985 release date was announced.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files report that the frontier town in the Almeria desert was built in the 1960s for Sergio Leone’s “Spaghetti Westerns.” By the time Rustlers’ Rhapsody went into production, the set had been unused for ten years. The Spanish cities of Madrid and Guadix were also used for filming.
       According to DV production charts from 24 Aug 1984, principal photography began 3 Sep 1984.
       Critical reception was poor, with the 10 May 1985 HR film review deeming it a “limp satire.” The Jul 1985 Box reported a $2.4 million box-office gross in the film’s first weekend in 1,480 theaters. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Jul 1985.
---
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1984.
---
Daily Variety
9 May 1984.
---
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1984.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 May 1985
p. 3, 32.
Los Angeles Times
10 May 1985
Section H, p. 6.
New York Times
10 May 1985
p. 29.
Screen International
9 Jun 1984
p. 10, 26.
Variety
15 May 1985
p. 15, 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures presents
A David Giler/Walter Hill Production
Produced in Association with Impala, S.A., Tesauro, S.A.
A Hugh Wilson Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
2d asst dir (USA)
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod/Spain
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
3d asst cam
Key grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop man
Prop man
Armourer
Const mgr
COSTUMES
Cost des
Mens' costumer supv
Womens' costumer supv
Asst to costumer des
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus comp
Mus ed
Mus rec engineer
Mus rec mixer
Mus rec at
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd transfers by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Main title des
Titles and opticals
Titles and opticals, National Screen
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Asst makeup
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Prod supv
Prod controller
Scr supv
Unit pub
Horse trainer
Gun coach/Tech adv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Carriage and livestock coord
Wrangler
Prod coord
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lasso The Moon," written by Steve Dorff and Milton Brown, produced by Jim Ed Norman and Steve Dorff, performed by Gary Morris
"I Ride Alone," written by Steve Dorff and Milton Brown
"Last Of The Silver Screen Cowboys," written by Steve Dorff, Milton Brown and Snuff Garrett, produced by Snuff Garrett, performed by Rex Allen, Jr., courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"Lasso The Moon," written by Steve Dorff and Milton Brown, produced by Jim Ed Norman and Steve Dorff, performed by Gary Morris
"I Ride Alone," written by Steve Dorff and Milton Brown
"Last Of The Silver Screen Cowboys," written by Steve Dorff, Milton Brown and Snuff Garrett, produced by Snuff Garrett, performed by Rex Allen, Jr., courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"I Break Horses, Not Hearts (Instrumental), written by Steve Dorff, Milton Brown, and Nancy Masters, produced by Steve Dorff, performed by Charlie McCoy.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Rustler's Rhapsody
Release Date:
10 May 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 10 May 1985
Production Date:
began 3 September 1984
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
17 September 1985
Copyright Number:
PA262380
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Metrocolor®
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27551
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Rex O’Herlihan, the “Singing Cowboy,” and his “Wonder Horse,” Wildfire, engage in a gunfight with a gang of thieves who attempt to rob a stagecoach. Rex suffers an injury, and nurses his wounds by campfire, singing a cowboy tune. Sometime later, he rides into the town of Oakwood Estates, enters a saloon, and meets Peter, the self-described “town drunk,” who gives Rex the lay of the land. A group of “bad guys” arrive, led by Blackie, and shoot up the place. Peter tells Rex they work for wealthy landowner Colonel Ticonderoga. When Blackie insults saloon girl Miss Tracy, Rex jumps to her defense, and shoots Blackie’s gun from his hand. Blackie’s clumsy sidekicks, Jim and Jud, accidentally shoot him from behind, killing Blackie. They blame Rex for his death, and vow revenge. Rex tells Peter that all Western towns are exactly the same, and returns to his campsite outside of town. Jim and Jud bring Blackie’s body back to “Rancho Ticonderoga,” and wrongfully blame Rex for his death. Colonel Ticonderoga orders Rex’s murder. The Colonel’s daughter arrives, and mourns the loss of her lover, Blackie. Under the cover of darkness, Jim, Jud, and their gang approach Rex at his campsite. Rex shoots the five inept men in their hands, and the gang returns to the Colonel, asking him to recruit “the railroad men” to beat Rex. The Colonel reluctantly agrees, and meets with the “Railroad Colonel” on a moving train, seeking his assistance. The Railroad Colonel agrees. However, Rex makes a surprise attack on the train, and none of the men can shoot ... +


Rex O’Herlihan, the “Singing Cowboy,” and his “Wonder Horse,” Wildfire, engage in a gunfight with a gang of thieves who attempt to rob a stagecoach. Rex suffers an injury, and nurses his wounds by campfire, singing a cowboy tune. Sometime later, he rides into the town of Oakwood Estates, enters a saloon, and meets Peter, the self-described “town drunk,” who gives Rex the lay of the land. A group of “bad guys” arrive, led by Blackie, and shoot up the place. Peter tells Rex they work for wealthy landowner Colonel Ticonderoga. When Blackie insults saloon girl Miss Tracy, Rex jumps to her defense, and shoots Blackie’s gun from his hand. Blackie’s clumsy sidekicks, Jim and Jud, accidentally shoot him from behind, killing Blackie. They blame Rex for his death, and vow revenge. Rex tells Peter that all Western towns are exactly the same, and returns to his campsite outside of town. Jim and Jud bring Blackie’s body back to “Rancho Ticonderoga,” and wrongfully blame Rex for his death. Colonel Ticonderoga orders Rex’s murder. The Colonel’s daughter arrives, and mourns the loss of her lover, Blackie. Under the cover of darkness, Jim, Jud, and their gang approach Rex at his campsite. Rex shoots the five inept men in their hands, and the gang returns to the Colonel, asking him to recruit “the railroad men” to beat Rex. The Colonel reluctantly agrees, and meets with the “Railroad Colonel” on a moving train, seeking his assistance. The Railroad Colonel agrees. However, Rex makes a surprise attack on the train, and none of the men can shoot Rex even though he stands still before them. Rex retaliates by shooting each of them in the hand. Sometime later, Miss Tracy asks Peter where to find Rex, expressing her desire for the singing cowboy. Meanwhile, Colonel Ticonderoga’s daughter is dragged behind her runaway horse, Wildfire, and Rex comes to her rescue. He marvels at the coincidence that both of their horses have the same name. Rex tells the young woman to hide as someone approaches. Miss Tracy arrives to seduce Rex, but he rejects her, claiming to be a “good guy.” As someone else approaches, he tells Tracy to hide. Rex juggles the two women, hiding them from each other, as Peter, the town drunk, appears at his campsite, asking to be Rex’s sidekick. Rex turns Peter down, but after sheepherders arrive and ask Rex to avenge their son’s murder by Colonel Ticonderoga’s gang, Rex relents and allows Peter to be his sidekick. Sometime later, Rex and Peter meet Ticonderoga and the Railroad Colonel’s combined gang for a shootout, and Rex admits they are outnumbered. He distracts his rivals by performing a dance with his horse, Wildfire. After the trick riding, Rex and Peter flee. Rex continues to outsmart his enemies, and the two Colonels plot their next move, hiring a gunman named Bob Barber. In time, Rex becomes inexplicably melancholy, and tells Peter he prefers to be alone. Rex worries, as he watches Barber’s approach from the cliffs above. The next day, the men face-off at the saloon, and Bob Barber introduces himself as “Wrangler” Bob Barber. The men compare wardrobes, and realize they are both “good guys.” After discussing the qualities of a “good guy,” Rex’s confidence is shaken, and he postpones the fight. The townsfolk run him out of town, calling him a coward. Rex later confesses to Peter that he has never slept with a woman, which is the source of his insecurity. He throws away his guns and gives up being a cowboy. Colonel Ticonderoga incites Rex to fight by sending Jim and Jud to shoot Peter. Rex again dons his cowboy gear, and recruits the sheepherders as backup. They ride into the center of town to face Bob Barber and Ticonderoga’s gang. Peter appears, revealing a bulletproof vest given to him by Rex. Bob Barber protests the dirty fighting, but Colonel Ticonderoga fires the first shot, and the gunfight begins. Rex, Bob, and Peter remain unharmed, despite standing in the middle of the battle without firing a shot. The Colonels’ men shoot each other and are all killed. Rex challenges Barber to a duel, and when he is actually shot, he asserts that Bob is, in fact, not a good guy. Before collapsing, Rex shoots Barber in the head, killing him. Colonel Ticonderoga apologizes to Rex, and invites the townsfolk to his ranch for a party. Rex arrives with his arm in a sling, and tells Peter he is leaving town. Peter pleads to go with him, but Rex prefers to travel solo. Before riding off into the sunset, Rex kisses Miss Tracy goodbye, and hints to Peter that he has been intimate with her. Peter ignores Rex’s protest, and follows after him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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