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BURT REYNOLDS STARS IN 'THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING'

Title: THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING Year: 1973 Rating: **

VANISHING POINT director Richard C. Sarafian and budding superstar Burt Reynolds teamed for THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING, based on a then-popular Gothic Western novel and almost the kind of horsepower road movie that Sarafian already had down pat... 

But more a deliberate adventure in reverse, beginning with a train robbery introduction to a bank robbing gang led by a quiet-silent Renyolds; a tough-as-nails Jack Warden; a passive Indian and Bo Hopkins, again playing an unpredictable, hopped-up hillbilly ala Sam Peckinpah cinema...

Bo Hopkins in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING with Burt Reynolds

And someone more unhinged like Sam would've been a much better fit since, lovely landscapes aside, the pace mirrors a Spaghetti Western that desperately needed a tighter revenge plot: herein a predictable romance with rich girl Sarah Miles having left her husband, and, taken in by the grimy bandits, it's obvious she'll hook up with the protective Burt (who makes a last-minute rescue straight out of DELIVERANCE)...

Yet by the time the extremely overlong last half happens, the side-characters... who made an intriguing, potentially explosive ensemble... had already fallen by the wayside, turning an otherwise romantic Western into a limited adventure: dragging out a tired  HUNTING PARTY-style beauty/beast love story, with no real bite.

Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING with Bo Hopkins
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING with Bo Hopkins
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING with Bo Hopkins
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING
Sarah Miles in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING
Jack Warden in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING with Bo Hopkins
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING
Burt Reynolds in THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING

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