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BURT REYNOLDS AND KRIS KRISTOFFERSON ARE 'SEMI-TOUGH'

Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH Year: 1977 Rating: ***

The second mainstream football flick for one-time college star turned cinematic superstar Burt Reynolds isn't as gritty as THE LONGEST YARD, which took place in prison involving prisoners vs guards...

But SEMI-TOUGH centers on a professional team where the most famous and beloved players, odd couple Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson (flanked by muscular loon Brian Dennehy and a stable Roger E. Mosely), hardly compete on the field but, as a romantic comedy, seek a relationship with the team owner's progressive daughter, Jill Clayburgh...

Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH and Mary Jo Catlett

The first of two giant problems is the horrendous miscasting of the ingenue, looking more like a random substitute teacher than a woman two sex symbols would give up their womanizing freedom for... and second's the fact Kristofferson, technically the best suitor and her fiance through most of the picture, becomes a selfish New Age flake, making the turnout of Burt's maverick winning-out too predictable, far too soon...

Although as a chance to enjoy the extremely enjoyable mustached star embracing the comedy chops he garnered the same year as the game-changing SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, it's not a bad little feature to sit through: in particular Burt's bizarre, longshot dare to conquer overweight Mary Jo Catlett, and then a grueling EST seminar where he surreptitiously gets the upper hand, which could've been a story all its own — one that needed way more sport (especially with THE BAD NEWS BEARS director Michael Ritchie at the helm) and a little less... play.

Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH
Jill Clayburgh in SEMI-TOUGH
Roger E. Mosley in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH
Brian Dennehy in SEMI-TOUGH
Burt Reynolds in SEMI-TOUGH


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