Waterhole #3 (1967)

Waterhole #3 (1967), directed by William A. Graham.

My favorite comedy western. It was on TV around 1970 but I don't know if it is broadcast anymore; certainly not without some editing due to changing sensitivity on sexual issues.

It's all about four bars of stolen army gold. Obviously the thieves want it, as does gambler James Coburn and crooked sheriff Carroll O'Connor.

Margaret Blye looks like a scandanavian demi-goddess here. With James Whitmore, Claude Akins, Joan Blondell, Timothy Carey (just plain strange, as always), and Bruce Dern (only one scene, but he adds a lot to any movie).

Epic shootout at the bordello, mass destruction with shotguns. It's still funny!

The sensitive issue is Coburn's seduction technique, which in old novels was called "ravishment", or as Billee says to her distracted father: "I think he raped me." Coburn later says it was "Just a hasty love affair" or perhaps "Assault with a friendly weapon".

It becomes continuing joke. It's funny because Billee has to work out whether she loves him or hates him, but one thing is for sure: she's not going to be ignored and she chases him while he chases the gold. I can see from IMDB comments that (presumably) younger people find this outrageous.

I don't suppose it would be made that way today. What can I say? I have pre-post-modern sensibilities and comedy isn't pretty. I love this film.

Rather good soundtrack, with an unusually entertaining balladeering narration by Roger Miller. Some nice desert settings.

Produced by a Blake Edwards company, although his name is not in the credits.