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Peter Bogdanovich's early career as a film writer stood him in good stead for this comedy drama about the early days of the motion-picture industry, based in part on his interviews with pioneering directors Raoul Walsh and Allan Dwan. Leo Harrigan (Ryan O'Neal) is a lawyer and Buck Greenway (Burt Reynolds) is a cowboy and gunman. Both are sent to California to shut down a renegade group of silent-movie makers -- financed by blustery H.H. Cobb (Brian Keith) -- who are in violation of the Motion Picture Patents Co. Trust. Harrigan and Greenway somehow find themselves working with the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Peter Bogdanovich's film is an okay comedy-drama about the early days of motion pictures."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Peter Bogdanovich knows a great deal about movies, including how they are made. Perhaps he doesn't know why they are made. In any case, knowing how something is made isn't the same as making it."
‑ Richard Eder, New York Times
"A clunker of a comedy from Bogdanovich that aims high and misses by a mile."
‑ , Film4
"Bogdanovich is trying to do an interesting and commendable thing in dramatizing aesthetic passion; his failure is as noble as it is conspicuous."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"We're reminded that Orson Welles described a movie studio as the biggest electric train a kid could ever get. Bogdanovich doesn't let us play with his train. Instead, he keeps us on the outside of a curiously flat movie."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"The direction is agonisingly pedantic for a comedy, and leaves O'Neal and Reynolds totally exposed, mugging away in charmless and clumsy fashion."
‑ , Time Out
"As an homage to the start of the film industry, this extravaganza is quite a tribute, but as a motion picture it's sadly lacking."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Nickelodeon on Rotten Tomatoes