Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw (1976)

Fleeting glimpses of a popular starlet in the altogether are the only quasi-redeeming values of Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw, a lovers-on-the-run picture so unremarkable that calling it pedestrian would disparage the myriad lovers-on-the-run pictures that are uninspired but at least tolerable. Directed by hack extraordinaire Mark L. Lester, who never let the quest for quality impede his brisk shooting schedules, the picture concerns a young drive-in waitress with dreams of becoming a country singer. For no discernible reason, Bobbie Jo abruptly quits her job and runs off with a customer who imagines himself a modern-day outlaw in the Billy the Kid mode (because, apparently, Bobbie Jo figures a crime spree will land her on the Opry stage). Playing the outlaw of the title is the charmless Marjoe Gortner, a minor ’70s figure who appeared in a series of awful movies before eventually drifting out of public view; nothing he does here defines his absence from the screen as a cinematic tragedy. With such a major vacuum at the center of the film and with Lester’s filmmaking characteristically shoddy, all eyes fall on the film’s leading lady, Lynda Carter. As always, the actress best known as TV’s Wonder Woman is an amiable presence, and as always, she’s an absolute knockout. So if ogling Carter for 88 minutes sounds like fun, dive in, and you’ll be rewarded with a few brisk peeks at her celebrated torso. If you actually want an interesting movie to accompany your eye candy, then, sadly, you’re out of luck. (Available as part of the MGM Limited Collection on

Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw: SQUARE

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