Clint Eastwood's BRONCO BILLY is a funny and poignant depiction of one man's quixotic devotion to the code of the Old West and traditional American values. Billy (Eastwood) leads his ragtag crew of performers as they travel the countryside, putting on their bare bones Wild West show for sparse crowds. Billy's not an easy man to work for, and he and his bunch barely make a living, but they are pursuing their dreams. When Antoinette Lily (Sondra Locke, in a somewhat shrill performance), a snooty heiress abandoned by her husband, joins the group, their luck seems to run out, and Billy has to find a way to keep them together. As in THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES, Eastwood plays the patriarch of an ethnically diverse makeshift family. It would be easy to dismiss Billy, to laugh at his corny devotion to outmoded values and old-fashioned entertainment. Like Eastwood himself, Billy's not even a real cowboy. But, gradually, the audience comes to admire him for his fierce devotion to his crew and his insistence on showing the "li'l pards" in his audience not just a good time but also a dream of striving to live life as who they want to be.
Clint Eastwood - American actor/director, THE GOOD, THE BAD.../UNFORGIVEN
Neal Dobrofsky - Producer
Sondra Locke - American actress, director
Sam Bottoms - American Actor
Scatman Crothers - American character actor
Benjamin "Scatman" Crothers - American character actor
Geoffrey Lewis - American Character Actor
A Wild West show entrepreneur leads his ragtag troupe on one misadventure to another in hopes of gaining fame and fortune.
Shot on location in Idaho. Merle Haggard is the singer in the bar where the fight breaks out. Allison Eastwood, Clint's daughter, is one of the children in the orphanage. Walter Barnes, who plays the nasty Sheriff Dix, also played the sheriff in Eastwood's HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER. A guard at the asylum whistles the theme from EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE while John Arlington (Geoffrey Lewis, who also starred in that film with Eastwood) hangs from the rain gutter.
"...Genuinely funny....Eastwood gets good performances even from the briefest of bit characters..." - 06/11/1980 Variety
"...The best and funniest Clint Eastwood movie in quite a while..." - 06/11/1980 New York Times, p.C24