Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two Mules For Sister Sara

 Well after coming home from seeing Fair Game and Love Birds the DVD player got a workout!! I didn't watch this film first, and as anyone who may actually read this blog will see my reviews aren't in chronlogical order. I just liked this film and wanted to review it.
 This is probably the most forgotten film Clint Eastwood has made. I hadn't even heard of it until I saw it in the video store! It is similar to the Bond films which are comedy/adventure. This film can be described as a comedy/western. This makes it unique within the western genre.
 It isn't slapstick type humour but of the bantering type. Eastwood here goes against type and plays a more easy going killer than in previous roles. Shirley Maclean for me was a revelation. Here she plays a prostitute posing as a nun. I never knew she had played a role like it as she has an image of more clean dramatic chraracter roles.
 Eastwood and Maclean  are wonderful together. The bantering is superb, and at times it is quite obvious Eastwood is trying to control his laughter during the delivery of this lines. It is this light heartedness that makes this western stand out within the genre. Sure it had dynamite and gunfights, but it really is the banter between the two main protagonists that makes this western so different.
 Eastwood is so against type in this role. He always played the loner who did not need the 'company' of woman. But here he can't keep his attraction to sister Sara quiet and slowly and humourosly lets her know.
This is of course because 'sister' Sara is not who she seems. This becomes apparent as the nun sneakily smokes a cigar and swills whiskey. She can't hide her sexuality and this is what drives Eastwood to his comments.
 It is somewhat of a shame this film has slid into obscurity. Its approach is a refreshing change from within the western genre. Sure it isn't a great western, but it isn't a love story either, with neither character being paticularly pleasant as a person. The dry banter between them is what makes this film worth seeing.
 It was filmed in Mexico in 1970 ( my birth year!!) and  the scenery is another attraction.
All in all I really enjoyed this film. As stated it isn't a great western or even as a stand alone film. But the humour and banter really hit the spot for me. It is subtle and dry and a type of humour I particularly like. This is what you will remember about this film. It is worth watching to see how a film, even from two great names of American cinema, can slip of the radar.
 Very enjoyable, but not remarkable.
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