Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Review of “The Shakiest Gun in the West,” starring Don Knotts, video

Review of

“The Shakiest Gun in the West,” starring Don Knotts, video

Three out of five stars

 Andy Griffith has been quoted as saying that he knew within ten minutes of working with Don Knotts that he had to let Knotts be the funny man while he played the straight man. It was the interactions between Griffith and Knotts on the set that made “The Andy Griffith Show” the classic comedy it is. Furthermore, unlike other two-member comedy teams, Griffith and Knotts truly liked each other and were the best of friends until the end. Griffith was at Knotts’ side when he died.

 This movie stars Don Knotts in a role similar to that of Deputy Barney Fife, a bumbler with a good heart, but still a bumbler. His character is a dentist by trade and after graduation from dental school he leaves Philadelphia to practice his craft in the west. There is a continuous set of bumbling acts by the Knotts character, as he never seems to do anything right.

 The problem with the movie is that there is no strong straight person for Knotts to play against. Barbara Rhoades plays Bad Penny Cushings and is the straight person, but their comedic chemistry is just not there. This forces Knotts to try to carry the scenes himself, and it just doesn’t work.

 This movie points out how necessary it is for a comedian to have a straight person to contrast with. Knotts was typecast as the bumbler, but even the best comedic bumblers need the straight foil to make it work the way it should.  

No comments:

Post a Comment