Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Over the Hill Gang

THE OVER-THE-HILL GANG was probably a pilot. It aired as a TV movie in 1969 and teamed veteran western actors--but not stars--Walter Brennan, Chill Wills and Edgar Buchanan as aged Texas Rangers re-called into action by their former commanding officer, Pat O'Brien. With Andy Devine and Jack Elam amongst the bad guys, and the vivacious Gypsy Rose Lee along for the ride with Rick and Kris Nelson, this was so  much fun! It didn't sell as a series, possibly due to the age of its stars, but it was too good not to do more.

THE OVER-THE-HILL GANG RIDES AGAIN presented the core group back again along with a reformed Andy Devine, this time to sober up a former colleague played by--of all people--Fred Astaire! His only western!

In turns funny, poignant, and action-filled, both movies are enjoyable and one wishes there had been more. Somehow, they apparently drifted into the public domain so they're readily available everywhere.

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