Mackintosh and T.J. [Blu-ray]
(Roy Rogers, James Hampton, Joan Hackett, Billy Green Bush, Andrew Robinson, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1975) 2021 / MVD Visual)
Overview: In his triumphant final film role, Roy Rogers (Lights of Old Santa Fe) stars as Mackintosh, a migrant cowboy traveling across the West Texas plains in his rundown pickup truck.
While looking for work breaking horses, Mackintosh befriends T.J. (future ProRodeo Hall of Famer Clay OBrien), a runaway teen. The two form an unlikely bond and find jobs together at a cattle ranch where Mackintosh impresses the owner with his bronco-taming skills.
Trouble, however, is on the horizon, but Mackintosh proves himself as a man who is not afraid to take a stand.
Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, it takes a bit of getting used to Roy Rogers not being Roy Rogers cowboy hero in Mackintosh & T.J..
Still for his final big screen appearance Roy decided to do a character part and, if he had wanted to, probably could have done more roles like this thereafter.
The title roles are played by Roy and young Clay OBrien respectively. Roy is an old time working cowboy who is not settled down and OBrien is a young kid of 14 on the road.
He has run away because his father has died and he has not liked his mothers choice in companions. The two hit it off and eventually find work at a ranch where Walter Barnes is the foreman and Edith Atwater his wife.
OBrien did roles in two John Wayne films before this one, The Cowboys and Cahill, US Marshal and the same easy chemistry he had with the Duke he also has with Roy Rogers. Most of the screen time is spent with these two.
It looks very much like they are going to stay on Barness ranch, but a jealous husband, a battered wife, and a cowboy with some issues all get involved in their business. It ends in tragedy. The three parts are played respectively by Billy Green Bush, Joan Hackett, and Andrew Robinson.
Of the three, Hackett is the one to watch. Charlton Heston who worked with Joan Hackett in Will Penny in his memoirs paid tribute to her grace and talent. Without much in the way of dialog she does a marvelous job in portraying a battered spouse.
However, and again, for those who remember Roy Rogers in those fancy western shirts and fancy designed boots seeing him dressed as just a regular cowboy takes a bit of getting used to.
It was over 20 years since he made his last big screen appearance and a little less for when his television western series ended its run, so I wonder what made him decide to do this film?
I guess it might have been to see if he could play a different character, because for all intents and purpose, he sure did not need the money. Oh, and Roy is wearing reading glasses at times so you know hes conceding his age!
When I heard he was doing this film back in the 70s I wanted to see it, but it never played in New York. Mackintosh & TJ.. apparently only played in the red state market like so many films that never make it to the east. So when I finally did get to see it, it was a double pleasure as everyone was fantastic in in.
Roy only did two more acting roles on the television series Wonder Woman and The Fall Guy, thus Mackintosh & T.J. is a rather nice farewell big screen performance to the most famous of cowboy heroes. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary with Clay OBrien, Andrew Robinson and moderator C. Courtney Joyner
Lone Pine Cast Reunion with Clay OBrien, Andrew Robinson and Larry Mahan
Interview with Billy Green Bush
Original On-Set Footage