Clint Eastwood is one of the few actors for whose work I am a completist—meaning that I have made it my mission to watch everything the actor ever made.
My favorite Clint Eastwood movies are the more recent ones: Gran Torino and The Mule. But if you’re in the mood for something cheesier, you might give Every Which Way But Loose (1978) a try.
Every Which Way But Loose is a movie about a guy, Philo, who drives a truck and bare-knuckle boxes for extra money.
Oh, and Philo has an orangutan as a sidekick. And a human sidekick. And a foul-mouthed mother.
The movie takes place at various locations in the American West. But it begins in Southern California. Philo falls for pretty but dodgy lounge singer, Lynne (Sondra Locke). She takes off, and he pursues her to Colorado.
That’s the main plot—sort of. But Philo also makes enemies of two vengeful police officers, and a neo-Nazi gang called the Black Widows.
If this sounds a tad ridiculous, well—it is. Nevertheless, Every Which Way But Loose is an oddly entertaining movie. From what I’ve read (I was alive in 1978, but too young to have watched the film), this movie was roundly panned by the critics, but it was a commercial success.
It just goes to show: Never trust professional critics.