The Whole Shootin' Match | Chicago Reader

The Whole Shootin' Match

Texas independent director Eagle Pennell barely made a ripple during his lifetime, but this digital restoration of his 1978 debut feature shows his rare tenderness for the no-name cowboy at the end of the bar. Lou Perryman and Sonny Carl Davis play a pair of Austin losers whose latest get-rich-quick scheme involves a floor sweeper called the Kitchen Wizard; someone gets rich quick, but it's not them, and only their friendship keeps them from going under completely. Like his hero John Ford, Pennell understands how much self-doubt lies beneath the rituals of manhood: after thrashing someone in a barroom brawl, Davis suddenly breaks down in tears, begs the guy's forgiveness, and buys him a beer. 109 min.

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