Saturday, May 7, 2016

Country Blue (1973)

The lovers-0n-the-run saga Country Blue has abundant local flavor, immersing viewers in the sweaty everyday reality of life among poor folks in rural Georgia, but that’s the only kind thing one can say about the picture. Amateurish and boring, Country Blue tracks the exploits of a young man who is unwilling to work for a living and angry that the world demands he must do so. Further aggrieved by having served time in prison after committing a crime, the young man rails against the constraints of small-town life even though a crusty old mechanic provides employment and the mechanic’s pretty daughter provides companionship. In sum, Country Blue is the character study of an asshole. Had a dangerously charming actor been cast in the starring role, the desired illusion of a romantic rebel might have been put across, but leading man Jack Conrad—who also cowrote, produced, directed, and edited this film, earning his only credits in many of these craft areas—is a hopelessly generic screen presence. With his lackadaisical manner and his quiet drawl, he seems like some random dude who wandered in front of the camera, not a professional actor. Viewers are likely to be just as disappointed by Conrad’s costar, Rita George; she adds nothing to her generic girlfriend role, essaying a character so passive that watching her drift indecisively through scenes quickly becomes irritating. The film’s top-billed actor is reliable big-screen coot Dub Taylor, playing the aforementioned mechanic. Watching Taylor chortle and scowl his way through scenes, wearing an undersized ballcap and sweat-stained T-shirts while casually spewing epithets about blacks and gays, one can only marvel at the effortlessness of Taylor’s acting, even if a little of his cantankerous shtick goes a long way.

Country Blue: LAME

No comments: