Saturday, March 20, 2010


I borrowed the title of this blog from the lyrics of the song Act Naturally. Even though it wasn't written by Buck Owens (it was written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison), Buck was the first to record it to the best of my knowledge and I associate the song first with him and second with Ringo Starr. I thought it only fair that the first movie I should review would have to have Buck Owens in it.

When I researched Buck Owens to see what movies he might have been in, I could only find one where he was acting and not just being Buck Owens. It was a made for TV movie called "Murder Can Hurt You". Unfortunately, I found out that it was not available on vhs or dvd. Luckily, I found it on ioffer from someone who had recorded it back in 1980 and had transferred it to dvd. To my surprise it was a pretty good looking copy and they had even edited out the commercials.

"Murder Can Hurt You" is a spoof of TV cops and detectives. It seems someone is out to kill all the great cops and detectives. Buck Owens plays Sheriff MacSkye (McCloud), Victor Buono plays Ironbottom (Ironside), Tony Danza plays Pony Lambretta (Baretta), Gavin MacLeod plays Nojack (Kojack), Connie Stevens plays Salty Sanderson (Pepper Anderson, Police Woman), Burt Young plays Lt. Palumbo (Columbo) and Jamie Farr and John Byner play Studsky and Hatch (Starsky and Hutch) .

The surprising thing about the cast is that most of the actors (Victor Buono, Tony Danza, Gavin MacLeod, Burt Young) do such a great job of portraying their TV counterparts that its not hard imagining them as the actors in the original roles. Buck Owens holds his own with the rest of the cast, even if his acting is basically the same as you would have seen him doing in his Hee-Haw Skits. Connie Stevens does a good job as Salty and also gets to do a great Dolly Parton take off at one point in the movie. Jamie Farr and John Byner play their characters a little too broad and there is no believability to their roles.

Of course, the humor in the movie is a little too broad for me; it's of the variety of let's see how wacky we can be and put the actors in a lot of outlandish situations. Even the villain appears to be out of the 1960's Batman. Maybe in 1980 when the movie was made this would have been funnier, viewing it today it was hard to even stay awake to the end. But it was nice to catch Buck Owens playing someone other than himself.

Below is part one of the movie from youtube:

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