Wagons East!

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

If a zany western comedy is your cup of tea, WAGONS EAST! just might appeal to you, but maybe not. A group of westward-bound settlers, headed by Phil (John Lewis), tire of the inconveniences of the west and decide to head back east. They meet a drunken wagonmaster, James Harlow (John Candy), who bluffs his way into leading them back east. A strange mix of characters drives the wagons, including a prostitute and a homosexual. Harlow leads the wagon train into an Indian camp, takes a wrong fork in the road, and misguides them at the river crossing. When this east-bound group makes the headlines, the government officials desperately try to stop them, as they are anxious to populate the western frontier. First a henchman and finally the cavalry are sent to halt their return. Except for a few of comedian John Candy's hilarious scenes, there are many dull moments as this wagon train plods across the desert. Dedicated to Candy, who died while making the film, WAGONS EAST will probably be popular with his fans.

As a "shoot-'em-up western," WAGONS EAST! has the usual fighting, crashing through windows, and several on-screen shootings. The shootings are treated as humorous, with the mortally wounded talking while the bullet holes pore out blood. Also not humorous are the many scenes of drinking in bars, by government officials in their offices, by officers of the cavalry. The wagon-driving prostitute wears revealing clothing and attempts to seduce some of the men, with suggestive talk, glances, and body movements. The homosexual guy flirts with some of the men and is stereotyped as an effeminate, cappuccino-drinking booklover. At nightfall, the wagons start shaking and rolling, implying intercourse. Many juvenile and gross attempts at humor, such as a boy who urinates in a water canteen and then gives it to someone to drink, are offensive. Rather surprising, however, there are no regular profanities and no f- or s-words, but there are many crudities. Portraying homosexuals and the mortally wounded as comical and drunken officials as normal illustrates the script's poor creative efforts.

Preview Reviewer: Alice Anderson
TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (19) times - Mild 14, Moderate 5

Obscene Language: Few (3) times (other)

Profanity: Exclamatory 4 times

Violence: Moderate and Severe (fighting, pushing through windows, graphic on-screen shootings)

Sex: None, but implied few times with prostitute

Nudity: Picture of nude in bar shown few times; Near-nudity (revealing dresses, man in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several humorous references to intercourse; prostitute uses suggestive body movements and glances

Drugs: Many times (drinking in bar, in government offices and by military officers); smoking

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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