From The Heritage Newspaper, May 11, 1988
BY RICK JACKSON
Anyone who loves a western will love Sunset. Written and directed by Blake Edwards, it's a nostalgic trip back in time when heroes wore the white hats and villains wore black.
Although the western has fallen on hard times, Edwards has affectionately turned back the clock to 1929 when the real QWyatt Earp was alive and Tom Mix was the favourite cowboy star.
Based on a story by Rod Amateau, Edwards' screenplay evokes warmth humour in what is a fictional story between one of Hollywood's western stars and a town sheriff who became a living legend. The plot revolves around a movie based on the life of Earp. Mix is set to play the title role; the real Earp has been asked to oversee the production as techinical adviser. The result is a funny and entertaining flick. According to the press kit, it may be true, give or take a lie or two.
Cast as Mix is Bruce Willis. He plays his part with the usual bravado expected by the hero, and his portrayal is convincing and very good.
James Garner is equally convincing as Earp. He first played him in Hour Of The Gun in 1967 opposite Jason Robards. The veteran star's wit and charm pervades the screen in equal measure and he makes the film shine.
The supporting cast features Kathleen Quinlan as studio publicity chief Nancy Shoemaker, Jennifer Edwards as the nasty Victoria Alperin and Malcolm McDowell as Alfie, her movie mogul mother.
Production designer Rodger Maus recreates the era of the 1920s in vivid detail. You get to see the actual locations where the first Academy Awards took place and the Bell Movie Ranch where the majority of movie and TV westerns were made.
Edwards directs the film in a comedic style already familiar to audiences in such films as Victor/Victoria (1982) and Blind Date (1987). The former remains the finest film to date.
Henry Mancini has composed a wonderful music score that enhances the entire motion picture. The opening and closing sequences ,and the big chase where Mix and Earp travel by plane and horse to nab the the bad guys are invigorating to watch.
Sunset is a movie to treasure. It is rated AA/Adult Accompaniment, with the warning: mature theme.
May 11, 1988
Copyright Rick Jackson 1988