Hearts of the West
|Hearts of the West|
|Directed by||Howard Zieff|
|Produced by||Tony Bill|
|Written by||Rob Thompson|
|Music by||Ken Lauber|
|Edited by||Edward Warschilka|
Hearts of the West, released in Europe as Hollywood Cowboy, is a 1975 comedy film directed by Howard Zieff, and starring Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Blythe Danner, and Alan Arkin. The story revolves around a wannabe 1930s writer who finds himself cast as a leading man in several B-movie westerns.
Despite good reviews, the film was not a hit upon release in 1975 but in years since, it has developed a significant cult following among midnight showings and college campuses.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2010)|
Lewis Tater (Jeff Bridges), a 1930s-era aspiring novelist who harbors dreams of becoming the next Zane Grey, decides to leave his family home in Iowa to go to the University of Titan in Nevada so he can soak up the western atmosphere. He arrives to find that there is no university, only a mail order correspondence course scam run by two crooks out of the local hotel. He tries to spend the night at the hotel, and is attacked by one of the men. He escapes his attacker and steals their car, pulling over when it runs out of gas.
He wanders through the desert and happens upon a threadbare film-unit grinding out "B" westerns called Tumbleweed Productions. He catches a lift with the cowboy actors to Los Angeles. After applying at Tumbleweed, he is referred by crusty old extra Howard Pike (Andy Griffith) to the Rio, a western-themed restaurant. While washing dishes at the Rio, he is called by Tumbleweed, where Howard mentors him to be an actor. After proving himself as a stuntman, unit manager Kessler (Alan Arkin) offers him a speaking role. Tater then falls in love with spunky script girl Miss Trout (Blythe Danner). Meanwhile, the crooks trace him to Los Angeles to retrieve the safe-box containing their money that was in the car stolen by Lewis.
- Jeff Bridges as Lewis Tater aka Neddy Wales
- Andy Griffith as Howard Pike aka Billy Pueblo
- Donald Pleasence as A.J. Neitz
- Blythe Danner as Miss Trout
- Alan Arkin as Bert Kessler
- Richard B. Shull as Stout Crook
- Herb Edelman as Polo (as Herbert Edelman)
- Alex Rocco as Earl
- Frank Cady as Pa Tater
- Anthony James as Lean Crook
- Burton Gilliam as Lester
- Matt Clark as Jackson
- Candice Azzara as Waitress (as Candy Azzara)
- Thayer David as Bank Manager
- Marie Windsor as Hotel Manager
- Anthony Holland as Guest at Beach Party
- Dub Taylor as Ticket Agent
- William Christopher as Bank Teller
- Stuart Nisbet as Lucky
- Tucker Smith as Noodle in Pith Helmet
- Richard Stahl as Barber
- Granville Van Dusen as WWI Pilot
It was named one of the National Board of Review's Top Ten Films for 1975. Arkin won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor.
- Hearts of the West at the Internet Movie Database
- Hearts of the West at AllMovie
- Hearts of the West at the TCM Movie Database
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