Screenplay: Burt Kennedy
Release: Warner Archive
The Rounders is a lightweight, comedic, and heart-wrenching, western. That is a strange but accurate sentence that will probably be best used to sift out the real audience for the film. I am not that audience.
What do you call a cowboy with his brains kicked out? A bronc rider. Ben Jones and Howdy Lewis, heaven help them, are bronc riders. Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda portray the pair who are cowboy enough to do just about any job, except for the one at hand. That job: Saddle a clever, ornery, blaze-faced roan named Old Fooler and make him as gentle as a milk-pen calf. Can’t be done – and that gets the cowpokes to thinking. Maybe they can make a dollar or two by wagering that no one at the rodeo can stay atop him either. Place your bets as filmmaker Burt Kennedy matches the warmth of his two stars with an unadorned ease that makes this modern Western as welcome as a get-together with old friends at a Sunday social.
The Rounders is a fine film and it was great to see Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda, but it never hooked me. The film is a mixture of things I do not like, westerns, rodeos, and emotional animal movies. I cannot really go too deeply into the film because I do not want to ruin the film if you are interested.
If you like films featured in my first sentence, then you should definitely check out the movie. But it is a little too much of a shoehorned-film for me. There is an audience. If that is you then you can order the gorgeous blu-ray here.
Film fans should also consider signing up for the new WarnerArchieve.com streaming service where you can watch The Rounders here!
Director: 5 – Cinematography: 9 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 7 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 5 – Sound: 5 – Story: 5 – Script: 6 – Effects: 6 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 0 – Lasting: 0