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Overwhelming popular demand has held over that paragon of western movies, Howard Hughes' "The Ontlaw," at the RKO Boston for a third record breaking week. But even three years of forced exile from the Boston area has not dimmed the lasting qualities of this momentous film. It is still the funniest and most pathetic western ever made. It must be seen to be depreciated.
Of course, the ever watchful censors have cut some material out of the great stork. Purists will be interested to know that two immortal lines have been exorcised. Jack Beutel once said at one point. "Don't move or I'll rip your blouse," and Jane Russell mumbles later on, "I'll keep him warm." Also missing are four lusty wallops on the kettledrum and two choruses of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony.
Nevertheless, what's left is a laugh riot whether humor is intended to not. Simple dialogue:
First Voice--"I reckon we better say something' over pore ol' Doc."
Second Voice--"So long Doc."
Sample incident: Billy the Kid, the Hero, is swaggering down the main drag when he sees a callow youth having his troubles whittling out the inside of a wooden whistly. Billy tells him to hold out the whistle and then blasts a hole in it with his .45. Says the urchin, "Gosh, Billy, when did you aim?"
"I aim before I draw," simled the Great Desperado.
As for acting, Jane Russell inspired in me the desire to lob pennies in her direction.
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