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Dirty Dingus Magee

Dirty Dingus Magee

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Dirty Dingus Magee , Ass-breaker Dingus Magee is looking for a gold train when he comes upon old acquaintance Hoke Birdsill on stage to San Francisco, California, and robs him of his money. Hoke goes to the nearby town of Yerkey’s Hole, where Belle Knops is both Mayor and bordello-madam. She appoints Hoke town Sheriff and tries to get him to stir up the Indians so the soldiers at the nearby fort (the main customers) won’t go to Little Big Horn. Dingus tries to stir up more trouble, and gets involved with the pale, baby-talking Indian, Anna. The film is a send-up of the oft-repeated phrase “the Code of the West” and exaggerates it and for what it stands into the ridiculousness that it is.

Looking for a guilty pleasure?

Dirty Dingus Magee , I consider myself well educated, articulate, literate. So loving this movie is a bit embarrassing. It is silly, adolescent, a little creepy (How old all the “leading men” are! And how young and voluptuous and willing the women!) But I loved this movie. I laughed all through it.

Frank Sinatra is somehow simultaneously wide-eyed and leering as Dingus Magee. He never once gives any indication that he isn’t taking this seriously. He plays it like a professional actor! And he does it well.

George Kennedy is as professional. He knows that when you play a clown, you must never, ever be clownish. He gives a good, solid, straight performance of a ridiculous character. And when he is sworn in as the sheriff, the oath he takes made me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe for a while! Anne Jackson is always worth watching. Her turn as the mayor(madam) of Yerkey’s Hole is delightful. She comes as close as anyone to winking at the camera, but she manages to maintain professionalism, and gives the movie her inestimable good work.

Then there’s the stunning Michelle Carey as (I am not making this up) Anna Hot Water. You now have her name. Need I say more? I have sometimes wondered if it was a law in Hollywood that you couldn’t make a western comedy without Henry Jones and John Dehner. Throw Jack Elam in and you have a winner.

Suggestive? Throughout? Profane? Never. No blatant sex, no nudity, no gore, the only violence is comic.

Silly, stupid, a plot a 13-year-old boy would love.

Yep. I really enjoyed this movie!

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