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Hearts of the West

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Hearts of the West is a 1975 comedy-drama film directed by Howard Zieff that follows the journey of Lewis Tater (Jeff Bridges), a naïve farm boy from rural Iowa who dreams of becoming a famous Western writer. With no formal education, Lewis takes correspondence courses to enhance his writing skills and ends up winning a contest that promises him a chance to work for a film studio in Hollywood. Full of excitement and enthusiasm, Lewis sets out for Hollywood, thinking that he will finally have his big break.

On his arrival, Lewis discovers that the reality of working in the film industry is far from what he expected. He is hired as a lowly assistant, and his only responsibility is to wash costumes and horses. Lewis eventually meets Howard Pike (Andy Griffith), a fading Western star who takes him under his wing and teaches him the ropes of the movie business.

As Lewis starts to learn more about the film industry, he also begins to understand the harsh realities of life. He witnesses the treatment of Native American actors in Hollywood, and the cultural insensitivity in the portrayal of Native American characters in Western movies. As he gains more experience, he becomes disillusioned with the Hollywood culture and starts to question whether the fame and fortune he once craved is worth it.

The film's plot is set against a historical moment of Hollywood's transition from silent films to talkies, capturing the glamour and chaos of Hollywood in the 1930s. Along the way, the film pokes fun at the hypocrisy and absurdity that often surround the movie industry.

The three leading actors each deliver memorable performances that embody the quirky characters they play. Jeff Bridges portrays Lewis Tater with a charming naivety, and the audience can't help but root for his character's success. Andy Griffith brings warmth and humor to his role as Howard Pike, a character who has seen better days but still has a passion for the craft. Donald Pleasence plays A.J. Nietz, the stern studio executive who oversees the film's production, with a strict, no-nonsense demeanor.

The film's cinematography is also noteworthy, capturing the essence of the Western genre through sweeping vistas and vivid landscapes. The film's score, composed by Ken Lauber, is reflective and poignant, syncing perfectly with the film's slower-paced moments.

Despite its humorous tone, Hearts of the West addresses significant themes about the power dynamics in the film industry and the importance of cultural representation in films. It also reminds us to never lose sight of what matters most and to stay true to oneself, even in the face of adversity.

Overall, Hearts of the West is a heartwarming and thought-provoking film that is well worth watching. It's a charming comedy that doesn't take itself too seriously, but still manages to deliver a meaningful message. The film transported its audience to a bygone era and delivered an entertaining yet insightful story. The film's blend of comedy and drama ensured its place in cinema history as a timeless classic.

Hearts of the West is a Comedy, Western movie released in 1975. It has a runtime of 102 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.5..

How to Watch Hearts of the West

Where can I stream Hearts of the West movie online? Hearts of the West is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Hearts of the West for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Howard Zieff
Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence, Blythe Danner, Alan Arkin
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