Picks and Pans Review: Cattle Annie and Little Britches

updated 07/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/06/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

You just know a Western with a cutesy title like that isn't going to be a sequel to The Wild Bunch. And, sure enough, this is a West where there's plenty of shooting, but nobody ever seems to get hurt. It is populated by good-hearted outlaws, and gang leader Burt Lancaster is a prince of a bad guy. He is too good to be true, and Lancaster knows it, playing the role with just the right hint of self-mockery. The screenplay abandons credibility altogether when the outlaws hook up with two comely hoboes, A Little Romance's Diane Lane and Christopher Plummer and Tammy Grimes' fiery daughter, Amanda. Director Lamont (The Last American Hero) Johnson has a confident eye, though sometimes he lets the story canter when it should gallop. Yet this modest movie is affecting and a memorable Lancaster showcase. (PG)

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