Every Which Way but Loose (1978): Eastwood in Action Comedy

Produced by Robert Daley and directed by James Fargo, Every Which Way but Loose stars Clint Eastwood in offbeat comedy role as Philo Beddoe, a trucker and brawler roaming the American West in search of a lost love.

He is accompanied by his brother-manager, Orville, and his pet orangutan, Clyde.

Philo crosses an assortment of characters, a pair of police officers and a motorcycle gang (the Black Widows), who end up pursuing him for revenge.

Orville learns that Tank Murdock is ready to retire after one more fight. Orville makes the arrangements, and Philo faces his elderly nemesis. During the fight, the crowd begins to insult him, with some murmurs that Philo is going to be the next Murdock. Philo lets his guard down, intentionally giving Murdock a clear shot, knocking Philo down for the count.

Murdock, having regained the crowd’s esteem, is allowed to retire undefeated, and Clyde, Orville and Echo head home.

Eastwood appeared in this film, after making several spaghetti westerns and the hugely successful Dirty Harry series. Though it was poorly reviewed by critics, the film became a huge hit, leading to a sequel, Any Which Way You Can.

Cast
Clint Eastwood as Philo Beddoe
Sondra Locke as Lynn Halsey-Taylor
Geoffrey Lewis as Orville
Beverly D’Angelo as Echo
Ruth Gordon as Ma
John Quade as Cholla, the Biker Leader
Dan Vadis as Frank, Assistant Head Biker
Roy Jenson as Woody, Secretary Biker
Bill McKinney as Dallas, Treasurer Biker
William O’Connell as Elmo, Sergeant-at-Arms Biker

Note:

TCM showed the film on December 18, 2019.