Monday, May 25, 2009

Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976)

Directed by Mark L. Lester. In this movie, which was clearly supposed to offer a contemporary "Bonnie and Clyde," Bobbie Jo's motivation is not clear. Faye Dunaway's Bonnie Parker was taken with the charisma and sheer sex appeal of Warren Beatty's Clyde Barrow, and had a bit of a wild streak in her herself. In this movie, Lynda Carter's Bobbie Jo Baker does not seem to have much of a natural wild side, unless coming off like a dumb hillbilly counts as a wild side.

Though perhaps "the Outlaw," Lyle Wheeler (a career defining role as played by Marjoe Gortner), knew this because he brings Bobbie Jo into their crime partnership gradually, sharing information on a "need to know" basis. She begins to suspect he may not be who he initially claims to be when they are driving away from a hail of gunfire at 90 m.p.h., dragging the bloody stump of a deputy's leg from the back of the car. "Hey...are you really an upholstery salesman?"

Much of the plot just retreads "Bonnie and Clyde." Lyle is a desperado traveling through town, he falls for Bobbie Jo on first sight and convinces her to run away with him. Lyle's motivation is easier to pinpoint. This is a 1976 Lynda Carter.

Like Bonnie and Clyde they team up with friends and relatives, kill a lot, steal a lot, argue a lot. Throughout we see much of the ruthlessness Gortner would go on to emote in 1989's "American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt." And Lynda Carter spends a lot of time in this little denim halter top that is not to be missed.

Speaking of which, yes, this film contains her one nude scene, which the editor was so clearly taken with he used it in two entirely different parts of the movie. So anyone who tells you she has two nude scenes in this movie is not looking closely enough which says something about me.

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