The Good Guys and the Bad Guys


1h 31m 1969
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys

Brief Synopsis

An aging lawman hears that his old nemesis is back in the area and planning a robbery.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Western
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
Albuquerque, New Mexico, opening: 7 Oct 1969
Production Company
Ronden Productions
Distribution Company
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Learning that his longtime antagonist, John McKay, is in the town of Progress, middle-aged Marshal Jim Flagg warns Mayor Wilker that robbery is imminent. The mayor, however, concerned with the alarm's effect on his political future, retires the marshal, promoting in his stead the incompetent deputy Boyle. Flagg conducts his own investigation; he locates the gang, but discovers that McKay is just a nominal member of the youthful band. Although Flagg is captured, the sentimental McKay refuses to allow him to be killed. Left alone by the gang, the old associates brawl. When the exhausted pair is transported to Progress by the eccentric hermit Grundy, Mayor Wilker refuses to admit McKay to the jail. Undaunted, Flagg installs the outlaw in a boardinghouse run by his lady friend, the widow Mary. Arriving in Progress, the youthful bandits promptly slay Grundy. Realizing that their object is the train, Flagg alerts the mayor. Assisted by McKay and the townspeople, he routs the gunmen. Filled with gratitude, Wilker offers Flagg his old job, but the gunfighter declines.

Videos

Movie Clip

Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) - Running For Governor? Corny ending after the crooks are caught in the train crash staged outside Chama, New Mexico, then-governor David Cargo uses his own name interviewing the fictional mayor (Martin Balsam), then ex-lawman Robert Mitchum, reformed crook George Kennedy, and new marshal Dick Peabody wrap things up, in The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969.
Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) - Opening, Marshal Flagg Opening with the custom-written title song (by William Lava and Ned Washington, sung by Glenn Yarbrough), exploiting the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which was what drew writer-producers Ronald Cohen and Dennis Shryack to Chama, New Mexico, and introducing Robert Mitchum, in The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969.
Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) - The Lord Made Men After some early plotting, late 19th-century New Mexico marshal Flagg (Robert Mitchum) encounters his landlady (Lois Nettleton) and her son (Bobby Riha), then is pursued by deputy Boyle (Dick Peabody, “Littlejohn” from TV’s Combat), in director Burt Kennedy’s The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969.
Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) - Stay Here And Hold His Hand Kicked out of his job as marshal in nearby Progress but determined to stop the gang that includes washed-up bandit McKay (George Kennedy), Flagg (Robert Mitchum) attempts an arrest but is thwarted by Deuce (John Davis Chandler) and his self-assured boss Waco (David Carradine), in The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969.

Trailer

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Western
Release Date
Jan 1969
Premiere Information
Albuquerque, New Mexico, opening: 7 Oct 1969
Production Company
Ronden Productions
Distribution Company
Warner Bros.--Seven Arts, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys


Originally bought by Kirk Douglas as a project for himself and director Martin Ritt, the screenplay The Old Breed -- later re-titled The Good Guys and the Bad Guys -- floated around Hollywood for a few years due to the insistence of its writers, Ronald M. Cohen and Dennis Shryack, to produce the film themselves. No one, it seemed, wanted to take a chance on the first-timers. But they stuck to their guns and finally worked out a deal in 1969 with veteran Robert Goldstein as executive producer, Burt Kennedy as director and Warner Brothers as distributor.

Burt Kennedy was a good choice for a western that mixed comedy and drama; he had much experience in the form. The screenwriting veteran of several brilliant westerns of a decade earlier directed by Budd Boetticher -- Seven Men from Now (1956), The Tall T (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958 -- Kennedy uncredited), Ride Lonesome (1959) and Comanche Station (1960) -- Kennedy had since forged his own directing career with the likes of The Rounders (1965), The War Wagon (1967) and Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), a huge hit. All these films were filled with varying degrees of humor and comedy that meshed well with the suspense, action and dramatics of traditional westerns.

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys is in some ways reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962), a film that owed a huge amount to the Boetticher/Kennedy films that preceded it. But now Kennedy was directing his own story of aging western characters, in this case a marshal (Robert Mitchum), retired against his will, teaming up with an aging outlaw and one-time enemy (George Kennedy) to ward off some young guns intent on robbing a shipment of money.

Along the way, the two men engage in outrageous bits of comedy business, as when Kennedy escapes out of a train bathroom window as the train approaches a bridge, and in plenty of comic dialogue, as when Kennedy exclaims, "In the house?!" when informed of the existence of indoor plumbing.

The picture was shot in and around the tiny town of Chama, New Mexico, at elevations reaching 11,000 feet. New Mexico Gov. David Cargo offered tremendous cooperation and was rewarded with a bit role as a reporter who asks the mayor (Martin Balsam) if he intends to run for governor. The film had a healthy budget of $3.8 million. For a train wreck sequence, a miniature was built at a cost of $40,000, even though a real train could have been obtained and wrecked for $8000. The real one, however, would have been too solid to be demolished spectacularly enough.

Critics were quite mixed on the film. The Hollywood Reporter deemed it "surprisingly funny and refreshingly entertaining... backs up its promises and exceeds expectations. Mitchum delivers one of his liveliest and best performances in a long time." Variety said the film couldn't decide if it was comedy or drama, but veered more toward comedy.

The New York Times criticized the "uncertain tone of the picture...which only toward the end asserts itself, clearly and lamely, as a good-natured spoof... Anemic, fumbling and altogether aimless."

This was the second western collaboration in a row for Mitchum and Burt Kennedy, after Young Billy Young (1969). Mitchum biographer Lee Server (Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care), described Mitchum's performance here as rather lifeless, and reported that Mitchum himself didn't care for the movie. Server quotes Mitchum as wondering, "How in hell did I get into this picture, anyway? I kept reading in the papers that I was going to do it, but when they sent me the script I just tossed it on the heap with the rest of them. But somehow, one Monday morning, here I was. How in hell do these things happen to a man?"

Father and son actors John and David Carradine act together here for the first time in their careers. They'd do so twice again in feature films, in The McMasters (1970) and Boxcar Bertha (1972).

By Jeremy Arnold
The Good Guys And The Bad Guys

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys

Originally bought by Kirk Douglas as a project for himself and director Martin Ritt, the screenplay The Old Breed -- later re-titled The Good Guys and the Bad Guys -- floated around Hollywood for a few years due to the insistence of its writers, Ronald M. Cohen and Dennis Shryack, to produce the film themselves. No one, it seemed, wanted to take a chance on the first-timers. But they stuck to their guns and finally worked out a deal in 1969 with veteran Robert Goldstein as executive producer, Burt Kennedy as director and Warner Brothers as distributor. Burt Kennedy was a good choice for a western that mixed comedy and drama; he had much experience in the form. The screenwriting veteran of several brilliant westerns of a decade earlier directed by Budd Boetticher -- Seven Men from Now (1956), The Tall T (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958 -- Kennedy uncredited), Ride Lonesome (1959) and Comanche Station (1960) -- Kennedy had since forged his own directing career with the likes of The Rounders (1965), The War Wagon (1967) and Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), a huge hit. All these films were filled with varying degrees of humor and comedy that meshed well with the suspense, action and dramatics of traditional westerns. The Good Guys and the Bad Guys is in some ways reminiscent of Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962), a film that owed a huge amount to the Boetticher/Kennedy films that preceded it. But now Kennedy was directing his own story of aging western characters, in this case a marshal (Robert Mitchum), retired against his will, teaming up with an aging outlaw and one-time enemy (George Kennedy) to ward off some young guns intent on robbing a shipment of money. Along the way, the two men engage in outrageous bits of comedy business, as when Kennedy escapes out of a train bathroom window as the train approaches a bridge, and in plenty of comic dialogue, as when Kennedy exclaims, "In the house?!" when informed of the existence of indoor plumbing. The picture was shot in and around the tiny town of Chama, New Mexico, at elevations reaching 11,000 feet. New Mexico Gov. David Cargo offered tremendous cooperation and was rewarded with a bit role as a reporter who asks the mayor (Martin Balsam) if he intends to run for governor. The film had a healthy budget of $3.8 million. For a train wreck sequence, a miniature was built at a cost of $40,000, even though a real train could have been obtained and wrecked for $8000. The real one, however, would have been too solid to be demolished spectacularly enough. Critics were quite mixed on the film. The Hollywood Reporter deemed it "surprisingly funny and refreshingly entertaining... backs up its promises and exceeds expectations. Mitchum delivers one of his liveliest and best performances in a long time." Variety said the film couldn't decide if it was comedy or drama, but veered more toward comedy. The New York Times criticized the "uncertain tone of the picture...which only toward the end asserts itself, clearly and lamely, as a good-natured spoof... Anemic, fumbling and altogether aimless." This was the second western collaboration in a row for Mitchum and Burt Kennedy, after Young Billy Young (1969). Mitchum biographer Lee Server (Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care), described Mitchum's performance here as rather lifeless, and reported that Mitchum himself didn't care for the movie. Server quotes Mitchum as wondering, "How in hell did I get into this picture, anyway? I kept reading in the papers that I was going to do it, but when they sent me the script I just tossed it on the heap with the rest of them. But somehow, one Monday morning, here I was. How in hell do these things happen to a man?" Father and son actors John and David Carradine act together here for the first time in their careers. They'd do so twice again in feature films, in The McMasters (1970) and Boxcar Bertha (1972). By Jeremy Arnold

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location shooting in Chama, New Mexico.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 1969

Released in United States on Video May 18, 1994

Released in United States Fall November 1969

Released in United States on Video May 18, 1994