Monday, March 2, 2009

Movie Review: Country Blue (1973)

Country Blue
COUNTRY BLUE - 1973 crime film from Jack Conrad

Written by Jack Conrad & William F. Conrad
Directed by Jack Conrad

Bobby Lee Dixon...Jack Conrad
J.J. “Jumpy” Belk...Dub Taylor
J.W. Workman...Wayne Stewart
Arneda Johnson...Mildred Brown
Ruthie Chalmers...Rita George
Officer Suggs...Doug Graham

This mostly-dull and overlong exercise in Good Ol’ Boys Gone Bad has Bobby Lee Dixon fresh out of prison after having served a year for the armed robbery of a grocery store. He returns to his job as an auto mechanic for the kind-hearted (but ignorant) J.J. “Jumpy” Belk, and reunites with his girlfriend, Jumpy’s daughter, Ruth Anne. The straight life simply isn’t supplying Bobby Lee with the money he needs, nor would returning to the “nickel and dime shit” he used to pull for bootlegger Arneda and her all-black, all-female gang of outlaws. So he instead talks the impressionable Ruth Anne into helping him rob a bank. They miraculously make a clean getaway, but things go sour when Bobby learns that the bank manager was holding out on him, and his pride forces them to hit the same bank again. Then their luck runs out, and Bobby has to call in a little help to provide Ruth Anne with the life he always promised her.

Bor-ring!

To be perfectly fair, the final half-hour of the film is pretty damned good! It’s just a shame that we had to wade through so much rubbish to get to it. The rest of the time is padded with woulda-coulda-shoulda-shown-some-action scenes and pointlessly drawn out shots of the couple sitting in silence. And with the character, locations and soundtrack, one can’t help but feel as if you were being forced to sit through an extended episode of The Dukes of Hazzard, with Bo (Bobby) and Daisy (Ruth Anne) engaged in an incestuous relationship. Hell, even Jumpy can easily be seen as an Uncle Jesse. Never mind the fact that the real Uncle Jesse wouldn’t be caught dead in that Ex-Lax tee-shirt.

ALSO KNOWN AS: On The Run; One For The Money, Two For The Show (working title)

1973
Rated R
110 minutes
Color
USA
English

--J/Metro

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