By Steve Vivona
Jack McKee and Cecil Colson (Jeff Bridges and Sam Waterston) are the most mismatched pair of cattle rustlers the West has ever seen. Jack and Cecil want nothing more than to avoid an honest days work by stealing cattle from wealthy ranchers and supporting themselves on the proceeds.
The likeable pair spend their days wooing the local women, all the while trying to come up with a brilliant scheme that will net them their own "Rancho Deluxe" where they can retire and raise their own cattle.
After killing one of rancher John Brown's prize cattle the two men decide to steal over 50 of his cattle (with some inside help from his two dull-witted ranch-hands). Jack and Cecil believe their scheme is foolproof but Brown brings in Henry Beige (Slim Pickens), a "stock detective" who has allegedly apprehended rustlers all over the West.
As Jack and Cecil hatch their brilliant plan Beige apparently does little to investigate the rash of cattle thefts, infuriating Brown. Beige appears to be a doddering old man who needs his lovely niece to help him move around.
In the meantime we learn a great deal about Jack and Cecil. Jack apparently comes from wealth and privilege and has abandoned all of that to become a rustler. Cecil is an American Indian who has been to prison before and assures his father all his enterprises are completely legitimate.
As the big score approaches Jack and Cecil rekindle their dream of their own ranch but there may be a few stumbling blocks they couldnt have envisioned!
Rancho Deluxe is a funny, quirky film that has garnered quite a following in the last 25 years. Jeff Bridges has made a career out of unorthodox roles and this film is no exception. He has never allowed himself to be pigeonholed into any specific type of role and his career has maintained a vibrancy that many of his peers have not been able to.
MGM's DVD presentation of "Rancho Deluxe" is a visible improvement over any previous incarnation. The original elements are somewhat grainy but that is a flaw inherent in many of the films produced at that time. The colors are strong and vibrant and the image is a bit soft at times but much better than any video version I've seen. A trailer has also been included.