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Film / Every Which Way but Loose

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Cholla: You Philo Beddoe?
Philo Beddoe: Do I know you?
Cholla: You're gonna.
The Audience: That guy's screwed.

Every Which Way but Loose is a 1978 action-comedy film directed by James Fargo and starring Clint Eastwood as Philo Beddoe, an easygoing trucker and amateur bare-knuckle fighter. With his brother Orville (Geoffrey Lewis), who promotes his fights, and Clyde, an orangutan he won in a bet, he roams the San Fernando Valley in search of fights, music, and beer. Until Philo falls for a country Western singer who then suddenly leaves town — perhaps under duress. This prompts Philo to get in his truck with Orville and Clyde in tow to track her down. Hilarity ensues.

Yes, this movie has Clint Eastwood and an orangutan. You owe it to yourself to see it.

Followed up with a 1980 sequel: Any Which Way You Can, which was largely a rehash of the first movie.

Every Which Way but Loose provides examples of:

  • All Bikers are Hells Angels: The Black Widows biker gang is modeled pretty closely on the "Hell's Angels" stereotype.
  • Arc Words: "I believe that makes us even." "I believe it does."
  • Bar Brawl: There are several in the two movies.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Tank Murdock is a huge guy and a hell of a fighter, but he's quite upbeat and acknowledges that he is past his prime.
  • Bullying the Dragon: In the first scene an obnoxious bar patron taunts Philo over the latter's snagging some peanuts. That might not count by itself but he keeps at it despite several bar patrons leaving the area in fear of what is about to happen.
  • Butt-Monkey: The Black Widows of Pacoima, California, oh, so very much.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Philo goes to Colorado in search of Lynne, but with little idea of where to find her, until he randomly stumbles across her when her truck passes while he's jogging alongside some rural two-lane road. Then the LAPD cops who have gone to Colorado in search of Philo, and aparently have decided to take a break to go fishing, stumble across Orville and Echo in a bait shop.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Lynn eventually rejects Philo and tells him to stop following her, although her tearful "I HATE YOU!" suggests feelings she doesn't want to admit (the sequel confirms that this was the case). In any case, Philo leaves.
  • Did You Just Have Sex?:
    • Slowly pieced together by Philo's sidekick. Initially, he thinks their literal Team Pet just mated.
    • Also occurs in Any Which Way You Can, during Philo, Orville and Ma's trip home from Bakersfield. Ma's strange behavior alerts them to her "romp" with the motel proprietor.
  • Downer Ending: Philo finds Lynne, but she rejects him. Philo then throws his big fight against Tank Murdock out of fear he will one day become the overweight, has-been "legend" he's been beating the hell out of the whole fight.
  • Flipping the Bird: Even orangutans can do it.
  • Genre Roulette: A Road Trip/Buddy Picture/Slapstick Comedy to a backdrop of Country Music, complete with a love story, a monkey, a biker gang, The Mafia, a foul-mouthed granny and a lot of fights.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The Black Widows to Philo. They're not nearly as scary and badass as they believe but somehow Philo spends a good portion of both films with them as his wannabe arch nemesis.
  • Idiot Ball: In both films, the Black Widows and to an extent Beekman and his hoods play catch back and forth with it.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Clyde is an orangutan; he has twelve ribs, just like you and me."
  • Maniac Monkeys: Well, orangutans, but Clyde's got his moments: "Right turn, Clyde."
  • Match Cut: From a camera flash popping to the bikers' car backfiring.
  • Motorcycle Dominoes: Philo constantly damages the Biker gang's motorcycles in different ways.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Ma constantly complains about being a helpless old lady, but she drives off a motorcycle gang with a shotgun as long as she is tall.
  • Running Gag: "Right turn, Clyde."
  • Silly Simian: Some people disregard this movie because it's "the one with the monkey," thinking it's a screwball comedy, and they miss a pretty good story about innocence, betrayal, and honor.
  • Team Pet: Clyde T. Orangutan is a literal example of this.
  • Throwing the Fight: It's implied that Philo Beddoe is quite happy being Philo Beddoe rather than "the next Tank Murdock." Philo winks at Orville when he goes down and stays down.
  • Visual Innuendo: Orville and Philo stop at a roadside fruit stand manned by sexy Echo (Beverly D'Angelo). As Orville chats her up, she holds up two cantaloupes, exactly at chest level, and says "Want some cantaloupes?"
  • Worthy Opponent: Again Philo Beddoe and Jack Wilson respect and admire each other despite their status as fight rivals.
    • Also applies to Tank Murdock. He's an over-the-hill, generally kind-hearted man who sees Philo as a worthy successor. Philo, in turn, lets Murdock keep his dignity in one last fight.

Tropes unique to the sequel:

  • Badass Boast:
    • Attempted by Cholla in the second film.
      "Lord, you have given me these crosses to bear, and I will carry them from Jerusalem to Jackson, whichever's closer, but hear me, Lord, Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I WILL CHEW ON PHILO BEDDOE'S ASS FOR MY LAST SUPPER!"
    • Philo is about to fight a fearsome looking opponent:
      Orville: They say he beat everyone in the Marine Corps.
      Philo: I ain't a marine.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In the second film Cholla sells the gang's bikes to bet on Philo to win the fight, then when Beekman's hoods threaten Philo he orders the Black Widows to stop them, which they do quite handily.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The Black Widows defeating Beekman's hoods in the second film.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In the first fight scene in A.W.W.Y.C. Philo allows himself to be distracted by the bouncing breasts of two attractive female spectators. His opponent knocks him down, but not out.
  • Friendly Enemy: In A.W.W.Y.C. Philo and Wilson are this upon first meeting and throughout the film up to and including the final fight.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Lynne coldly uses Philo for sex then rejects him in the first film. In the sequel she reveals she really cared for him more than she admitted, and the two begin a relationship.
  • I Have Your Wife: In the second film James Beekman's goons kidnap Lynne Halsey Taylor to compel Philo to fight Jack Wilson.
  • It Was with You All Along: In Any Which Way You Can, after Scarfe gives Clyde the orangutan the advance money for Philo's fight with Wilson, Philo tells the ape, "You stash that, Clyde, and don't let Ma see you." "Ma" Boggs is looking out the window, however, and sees Clyde with the money. In a later scene, we see her searching Clyde's room in the shed for the money, to no avail. And when Philo decides to cancel the fight and give back the money, Clyde goes and gets it. Ma follows him, and learns that Clyde hid the money under her own mattress.
    "Humiliating! Outsmarted by a banana-head!"
  • Running Gag: "Keep an eye on Clyde, will ya? You know how he likes to crap in squad cars." As Roger Ebert put it:
    And somehow we know—never mind how, we just know — that one of the reoccurring themes of this movie is going to be Orangutan Crap In Squad Cars. We are correct. It's that kind of movie.
  • Surrounded by Idiots:
    Cholla: Why me Lord? Other men you made out of clay. Mine, you made out of shit.

Alternative Title(s): Any Which Way You Can