The Villain (1979 film)

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The Villain
Directed by Hal Needham
Produced by Mort Engelberg
Paul Maslansky
Written by Robert G. Kane
Starring Kirk Douglas
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Paul Lynde
Foster Brooks
Strother Martin
Ruth Buzzi
Jack Elam
Mel Tillis
Music by Bill Justis
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 27, 1979 (1979-07-27)
Running time
89 minutes
Language English
Box office $9.8 million[1]

The Villain is a 1979 American film. A parody blend of western films and Warner Bros.' Wile E. Coyote cartoon situations, it was directed by Hal Needham and starred Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ann-Margret, Paul Lynde, Foster Brooks, Strother Martin, Ruth Buzzi, Jack Elam, and Mel Tillis.

Its title when released in the UK and in Australia was Cactus Jack.


A beautiful woman, "Charming Jones" (Ann-Margret) is being escorted across the west by a naive, slow-witted cowboy, "Handsome Stranger" (Schwarzenegger) after claiming a large sum of money given to her by her father, Parody Jones (Martin). However, bad guy Avery Simpson (Elam), who delivered Charming the money, decides he wants it for himself. He hires an old outlaw, "Cactus Jack" (Douglas), to rob them when they leave town.

Throughout the trip, Charming makes advances toward Handsome, all of which are met with indifference. Meanwhile, Cactus Jack proceeds to lay trap after trap for the two, all of which backfire. Jack's attempt to enlist the assistance of Nervous Elk (Paul Lynde), the chief of a local American Indian tribe also fails.

Finally, Jack confronts the couple openly, at which point Charming gives up on romancing Handsome and instead kisses Jack, who proceeds to bounce around in red-hot elation.



Parts of the film were shot at Monument Valley in Utah.[2]


  1. ^ Grosses Gloss: Breaking Away at the Box-Office Beaupre, Lee. Film Comment; New York Vol. 16, Iss. 2, (Mar/Apr 1980): 69-73,80.
  2. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874. 

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