Concrete Cowboys

Concrete Cowboys

Adventure, Drama | 100 Mins | Released: 1979
Director: Burt Kennedy
Starring: Jerry Reed, Tom Selleck, Morgan Fairchild, Geoffrey Scott, Ray Stevens, Seldina Reed, Claude Akins
Our Rating: 6
Black & White

Two Montana saddle tramps head to Nashville to open up a detective agency. The agency begins on a lark, but soon they get involved in a case of a kidnapped singer.

Movie Notes:

Concrete Cowboys
is a 1979 American TV Movie directed by Burt Kennedy and starring Jerry Reed and Tom Selleck. It was also a short-lived 1981 TV series with Jerry Reed reprising his role as J.D. Reed and Geoffrey Scott taking over Tom Selleck’s role as Will Eubanks.

The film is also known as Highway Action (in Finland), Nashville detective (in Italy) and Ramblin’ Man, the latter under which it was released on video by a few companies, including Edde Entertainment.

An amiably silly redneck comedy romp
Woodyanders  from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left – 29 November 2006
Tom Selleck and Jerry Reed are utterly engaging as rascally, penniless, down-on-their-luck cowboy drifters Will and J.D., who find themselves stuck in Nashville, Tennesse. A lovely young woman (the gorgeous Morgan Fairchild) mistakes the pair for private detectives and hires the affable duo to find her missing sister. Pretty soon both Will and J.D. are neck deep in all kinds of trouble. Briskly directed by Burt Kennedy, with a slight, inane cookie cutter script by Jimmy Sangster, crude cinematography by Victor Salzis and Alan Stensvold, a jaunty hillbilly bluegrass country score by Reed (who also sings the rousing theme song “Breakin’ Loose”) and the expected copious slapstick fist fights and wacky car chases, this totally inconsequential piece of made-for-TV piffle makes for a perfectly enjoyable diversion. The loose’n’wiggy chemistry between Selleck and Reed is a treat to watch. Solid supporting turns by Claude Akins as a famous country singer/songwriter, Gene Evans as a gruff police lieutenant, Lucille Benson as a stern, but friendly whorehouse madam, and Grace Zabriskie as a wax museum worker are likewise delightful. Special guest appearances by country stars Roy Acuff, Ray Stevens and Barbara Mandrell as themselves further add to the goofy fun. A likably silly timewaster.

Laconic Vs. Loquacious?
Ian Bourne from Barbados, Caribbean – 9 December 2006
I loved the illustrations for each chapter of the flick, I was just annoyed it never listed who did them…
This hokey country & mystery was really Jerry Reed’s show, he had a Top 5 hit in the 70’s “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot (When You’re Not, You’re Not)” that even became a popular catchphrase T-shirt, Tom Selleck either pre-Magnum or same time and hedging his bets played the studious and mostly quiet itinerant rancher.
The plot had some pinholes but not really obvious as Jerry Reed wove his spell of brash down-home-isms and Tom Selleck playing the puller of butts from frying pans & fires.
The pilot-debut pulled out a good set of stops to hit the ground running; invite Roy Acuff, Barbra Mandrell and Ray Stevens to do cameos as themselves.
There were chase-scenes and there were sex, lies & Nashville but Selleck’s character summed up Jerry Reed the best in two quotes from the film, “You’ll either be rich or in jail,” along with “J. D. Reed, I swear, you start with a toothpick and end up with a lumber yard.” Selleck’s character provided the know-how in not knowing how city slickers do their dirty deeds and helped in his slow, quiet manner to not only use his love of encyclopaedias to avoid arrest, but to tie up loose ends in an alleged murder.
Claude “Movin’ On/Sheriff Lobo” Akins also plays a mover and shaker in the Nashville music scene, I believe this picture was meant to have a sort of Lite commentary on the other Nashville, as in that film which Keith Carradine played in back in 1975 – but (A) considering it’s supposed to be a comedy, this was hardly the time and place for that, and (B) there was not enough time to do such type of editorialising justice, so the amateur sleuthing won out, thank God!