I've discovered a whole new personal genre of films, which needs a shorter title than "Movies I loved watching with my dad when I was younger, but which haven't held up well over the years and since I developed actual taste in moviegoing." I can still derive a certain amount of enjoyment by watching some of these movies with my dad, because he gets such a kick out of them, but they're not all that great on their own. The list would include Harry and Walter Go to New York, one of my biggest guilty pleasures, but also Support Your Local Gunfighter, Fatso, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Cannonball Run, and definitely The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox. I noticed that today was Goldie Hawn's birthday, and that was the film that popped into my mind, despite the fact that I've enjoyed watching her much more in other films (Foul Play was a pleasant surprise).

My dad used to be a big George Segal fan, and he also loves a good Western/comedy combination complete with double-entendres. The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox co-stars Segal and Hawn as a Wild West gambler/con artist and a prostitute. He steals a suitcase full of money, which she steals from him, and what is supposed to be hilarity ensues. I'm terribly vague on the details because I honestly don't remember much about the movie. I can remember one thing, illustrated in the above photo: Hawn, dressed in a fruit-bedecked corset, singing a faux-bawdy song called "Please Don't Touch My Plums." In a reversal of Gypsy, a few scenes later Hawn poses as a duchess and sings the same song to a nursery of children as though it were a lullaby. This is the kind of humor my dad truly loves, and for years after we saw this movie, singing "Please Don't Touch My Plums" was a family joke. (I hope my mom doesn't read this; I'm not sure she likes me telling these stories, as it makes the family sound weird.)

I haven't seen The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox in years; I recorded the film off cable for my dad sometime in the early 1990s, but I don't think I was able to sit through the entire movie. I do not think I want to give it another chance, after reading a few reviews of the film on the web. (This guy absolutely loathed it, and I tend to value his opinion.) It's probably better for me to remember enjoying the movie with my dad, back in the days when I thought Don Knotts and Tim Conway were the ultimate comedy duo.
categories Features, Cinematical