Time Machine 1960s: Heller in Pink Tights (1960) Film Review

Nineteenth century Wyoming: the wild West. Mild-mannered Tom Healy has a two-wagon theater troupe hounded by creditors because Angela, his leading lady and the object of his affection, constantly buys clothes. In Cheyenne, they meet with applause, so they hope to stay awhile: the theater owner likes Angela, and she keeps him on a string. She’s also the object of the attentions of Mabry, a gunslinger who’s owed money by the richest man in Bonanza. Complications arise and the troupe heads for Bonanza, through hostile Indian territory. Is the troupe doomed to a peripatetic life, is Mabry in danger, and does Tom stand a chance with Angela, a hellion in pink tights? – From IMDB

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If there is one genre I struggle to get behind, enjoy or even remotely stomach, it’s a Western. I find them to all be over dramatic, boring and repetitive. Not to mention offensive to indigenous peoples and women. And this film ticked all those boxes! I struggled to get through it, the plot was pretty flimsy, relying mostly on the idea that the troupe had to keep running out on debtors because Angela kept buying too many clothes she couldn’t pay for. Yes really! That plotline is basically forgotten though about half way through when Mabry joins the group, and they have to keep him from being killed by some unscrupulous character. The whole thing was a bit ridiculous.

The sets and the costumes however seemed far too good for a film that was this bad. Lots of corsets and bustles and fabulous hats and hairstyles, visually this was a great success! Lets face it though you could put Loren in a potato sack and she could make it look good.

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The will they, won’t they love story that permeates the whole film was also kind of unnecessary. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the characters, and after all the stunts she pulled, if Tom was stupid enough to keep forgiving her, then he really was a fool. She took advantage every opportunity she got, and the only character development she seemed to have by the end is that she made terrible financial choices in her married name (which she didn’t have yet, so was still technically fraud) rather than in Tom’s name. I can’t tell if her performance was meant to be some kind of comedic relief, but either way, she was the most frustrating thing about this film.

The ending ended up both anticlimactic and predictable, as she got with the guy you expect, and we never really see her final encounter with the other. So overall, quite a let down.

Final Rating: 2 Stars

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