Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
With: Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Susan Clark, Tisha Sterling, Don Stroud, Betty Field, Tom Tully, Melodie Johnson, James Edwards, Rudy Diaz, David Doyle, Louis Zorich, Meg Myles, Marjorie Bennett, Seymour Cassel
Written by: Herman Miller, Dean Riesner, Howard Rodman
Directed by: Don Siegel
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 93
Date: 10/02/1968

Coogan's Bluff (1968)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Rousing Arizona

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Clint Eastwood stars in his first of five films with director Don Siegel, as Coogan, a deputy sheriff from Arizona -- with cowboy boots and hat -- who is sent to New York to bring back a prisoner. When he arrives, there are complications. His prisoner, James Ringerman (Don Stroud), has been sent to the hospital to await the end of an LSD trip. The impatient Coogan breaks him out but accidentally lets him get away. Fortunately, Coogan is an expert tracker (a prologue gives us this information), and everything leads up to a terrific motorcycle chase. In-between, Coogan scowls at a lot of people, visits a psychedelic club (with a weird song, "Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel," playing) and seduces several gorgeous young ladies. The film is like a cousin to the Western genre, with Coogan keeping his trap shut and his emotions to himself, but Siegel, with his expert craftsmanship, brisk pacing and exciting action, gives us plenty of other stuff to concentrate on. Lee J. Cobb is great as the New York detective who has to deal with the problematic Coogan. Look for young Seymour Cassel as a lecherous thug.

In 2021, Kino Lorber released this terrific film on a great new Blu-ray, with a crisp video transfer and strong audio. (It's another in a series of Eastwood films on excellent KL discs.) Bonuses include a commentary track by filmmaker and Western expert Alex Cox, and one by Alan Spencer, who created the TV series "Sledge Hammer!" back in the 1980s. There's a new interview with actor Stroud, and a vintage "at home" featurette with Eastwood. There are also trailers for this and a whole bunch of other Eastwood films. This is highly recommended.

Movies Unlimtied