It’s a Mud Mud Mud Mud World.
Walking in mud. Running in mud. Mining in mud. Falling in mud. Dancing in mud. Singing about mud. Whoops! That's 6 muds, not 4. Oh well, you get the idea. It’s a muddy movie.
The name of the muddy mining town is “NO NAME CITY. THE HELL-THEIST SPOT IN THE WEST”. The humor really picks up when a preacher shows-up to sing and preach in order to bring these FORNICATING HEATHENS and SHAMELESS HARLOTS to repentance. It’s the funniest song in the musical, and the preacher scenes are the funniest in the movie (“What’s a fornicator? I don’t know, I’m not a religious man.”)
Top notch acting all around and some good singing. Lee Marvin does an OK job on a few songs. Most of them are enjoyable and some are downright funny. I enjoy his deep bass voice. Clint Eastwood’s not quite as good, although if his songs were a little more upbeat and humorous, I’d like them better. But he’s supposed to be the main love interest, so he sings love songs and love-sick songs. His love interest, Jean Seberg, also sings a couple of ballads which are passable. A few other characters are musically vocal. Some songs are poor, some good, and some very funny. A lot of the songs are typically sung in an unreal fashion, bursting forth in a manner never seen in real life, but it’s one of the few musicals where that doesn’t annoy me because of the large amount of humor.
Yes it’s a musical, but it’s the humor that keeps me coming back and enjoying it more every time. My kind of humor. The only place it loses it is in the ending. After such a funny and enjoyable 157 minutes, the more serious and melancholy 7 minute ending is a bit of a downer for me, and the 7 minute slapstick pre-ending is not as funny as the rest. Slapstick has never been my thing.
A big part of the movie is an unusual, funny, (as well as serious) three-way-love-story. I was a believer when I first saw this movie, and the auctioned-off Mormon woman wanting two husbands, both of which she loved, made me think why not?
The movie’s a bit quirky, but doesn’t strike me as overly so, probably because it’s in a gold-rush boom town where most everything goes. It reminds me a little of the movie Popeye, but it’s more realistic than Popeye. They both even have the same actor as one of the main characters. Ray Walston plays Mad Jack Duncan in this movie and Poopdeck Pappy in Popeye.
OK, the movie doesn’t have quite as much mud as I indicated at first, but there is humor about mud. Also humor about race, society, drinking, marriage, French Tarts, religion, hell & damnation preachers, and “peckerheads”. Some is not very Politically Correct, but that’s part of why I like it.