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Pink Cadillac

Pink Cadillac(1989)

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In 1989, Clint Eastwood had just directed a labor of love, Bird, and was about to begin shooting White Hunter, Black Heart. But first he took a few months to change his pace and act in another film which he did not direct - though it was produced by his company, Malpaso. Pink Cadillac is hardly a high point of Eastwood's career, but newly released on DVD by Warner Home Video, it does reveal itself to be a diverting little comedy.

Clint plays Tommy Nowak, a "skip tracer" whose job it is to bring in fugitives who have jumped bail. Bernadette Peters is Lou Ann McGuinn, a Nevada mother falsely accused of counterfeiting. (Her deadbeat husband and his white supremacist gang are the real guilty ones.) When Lou Ann jumps her bail and steals her husband's '59 pink Cadillac convertible - not knowing there is $250,000 behind the back seat - Tommy is sent to go get her.

Tommy never fails in his job, largely because he dons various disguises to trick his prey. We see him as a radio DJ, a rodeo clown, a casino doorman, and a redneck. When he finally catches up to Lou Ann, he agrees to let her visit her baby, which she has dropped off at her sister's. But her husband gets to the baby first and takes it to the lair of his white supremacist group - and now the mission becomes rescuing the baby and having it out with the supremacists, who are portrayed as cardboard idiots.

It's pretty silly stuff, but Eastwood delivers one of his more relaxed performances. His bit as a racist redneck is arguably among his funniest screen moments in his career. Some of the smaller roles, too, are especially well cast. Character actor Geoffrey Lewis (a veteran of several Eastwood movies) is very funny as a hippie and manufacturer of fake ID's. Look also for James Cromwell (Babe, L.A. Confidential) as a motel manager, rock star Bryan Adams as a gas station attendant, and (very briefly) Jim Carrey as an Elvis impersonator in a Reno lounge. Clint's reaction to Carrey's "performance" is priceless.

The director was longtime stunt coordinator Buddy Van Horn. It was his third - and to date final - directing gig, having previously helmed Any Which Way You Can and The Dead Pool, both featuring Eastwood. Lots of Clint's other usual collaborators were also behind the scenes on this one, notably editor Joel Cox and cameraman Jack Green.

Like most of Warner's new "Clint Eastwood Collection" DVDs, the disc boasts a clean 1.85:1 transfer and Dolby 5.1 Digital soundtrack, but few extras - just a trailer, a list of Eastwood's career highlights, and the usual language options and chapter stops.

For more information about Pink Cadillac, visit Warner Video. To order Pink Cadillac, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jeremy Arnold