Classic Intel: Coogan's Bluff - Online Review

''I only handle young single girls' / 'Yeah, me too', says Coogan as Babs Windsor, Sid James and Kenneth Williams coo from the wings'

It would be nice to think that Coogan's Bluff is the type of misogynist, sexist, slightly racist Comedy Thriller that it was only possible to make in the late-1960s, as people woke up to things like morals, though the more-than occasional laddish film which still shows up nowadays unfortunately shows this not to be the case.

As Coogan (Clint Eastwood) travels to New York from dusty Arizona, to bring back an arrested suspect, you suspect all sorts of fish-out-of-water Comedy might ensue. What you don't really expect is a light-hearted joke about rape within the first twenty minutes, nor another early exchange ('I only handle young single girls' / 'Yeah, me too') that would have Babs Windsor, Sid James and Kenneth Williams cooing from the wings.

All of that comes after Eastwood, the alpha male white man, has tracked down a Native American (Rudy Diaz) and forced him to put on some Western dress, as well as calling in to Millie's (Melodie Johnson) house for a spot of light-hearted adultery and a chance for director Don Siegel to ogle her chest line.

Women in Coogan's Bluff not only come off as a mixture of sex object and idiot floozy but are also treated appallingly by the plot. Intelligent doctor Julie (Susan Clark) is not only charmed by the previously mentioned idiot line but then goes on to be robbed by Coogan so he can continue his pursuit, deciding during the film's finale that all of that matters not a jot and she will still run after him as he returns home.

Meanwhile, Coogan uses the information to find Julie's patient Linny (Tisha Sterling), characterised as young and somewhat impressionable, whom he then promptly sleeps with to gain information, following this up with some light assault when the information proves to be not entirely legitimate.

The description of Coogan's Bluff on Sky's on-demand service references Crocodile Dundee, which is kind, but the impression left is that this is something of a James Bond-wannabe, which watched those films and saw only Bond's relationship with women. The rest of the plot, save for an exciting and well-shot motorbike chase at the end, is so dull that there's little redemption here for the gender politics, certainly not on the level of Bond, which at least had the good grace to be charming and fast-moving whilst it was treating its female characters like uniformly complete blundering morons.




Coogan's Bluff was available to stream from Sky.


By Sam Turner. Sam is editor of Film Intel, and can usually be found behind a keyboard with a cup of tea. He likes entertaining films and dislikes the other kind. He's on , Twitter and several places even he doesn't yet know about.

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