Rustlers' Rhapsody

"Rustlers' Rhapsody" is a 1985 tongue-in-cheek spoof of all those Saturday matinees that Republic Pictures used to make. In fact, it starts with black-and-white establishing shots that are soooo familiar they make you smile... the solitary cowpoke strumming his guitar and singing to his palomino, the fleeing stagecoach beset by robbers, the rearing stallion silhouetted against the skyline. ..you know...

A VERY young Tom Berenger ("Platoon" and "Eddie and the Cruisers") is Rex O'Herlihan, the classic lonesome stranger; but in this spoof, he travels with a huge armoire on wheels pulled by a mule. He has to write his mother for traveling money and worries about grass stains on his elaborate cowboy shirts. He is a "Good Guy" through and through.

"The Colonel" is played by Andy Griffith ("Waitress" and "What it Was Was Football"). He's the corrupt Cattle Baron ...you know, big hat, no cattle... He is ably assisted by Sela Ward ("Day After Tomorrow" and "Runaway Bride") as his daughter, and Marilu Henner ("Noises Off" and the TV series "Taxi") is the local "Hostess" with a heart of gold.

The town drunk, who desperately wants to be a sidekick, is played by G. W. Bailey ("Police Academy" and sequels.) This isn't a surprise because the Writer/Director Hugh Wilson ("Blast From the Past" and "Dudley Do-Right") originated the successful "Police Academy" franchise.

Of course, a railroad is slated to be built through this little western backwater, transforming it and the property values as well. The Railroad Colonel is played by Fernando Rey; he and his hired hands all wear Spaghetti Western outfits, much to the envy of the town drunk.

Despite having the movie shot in Spain, the country/western soundtrack is pure Americana, with Rex Allen, Jr. doing some of the honors. Play the DVD all the way through the credits to get as much of the soundtrack as possible.

Two things take this one over the top! Rex O'Herlihan's amazingly well-trained palomino and John Wayne's incredibly handsome son Patrick. Individually or together, they are worth the price of admission...or your Netflix dues...