Bugs Bunny Rides Again

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 31, 2015

This is a good one! Sam goes right under thse swinging saloon doors. Look at those bow legs! And that’s the first movement of Beethoven’s 8th piano sonata! “This town isn’t big enough for the both of us,” Sam says. Bugs goes out and sketches a modern city skyline behind the frontier main street. “Is it now?

Bugs Bunny Rides Again is a really funny caricature of the western, or maybe of our clichéd perception of western clichés. It’s very aware of, very familiar with the genre. They cut, but affirmatively; the satire really registers, while Anthony Mann and Budd Boetticher and the best of the noble idiom remains unscathed. 6-shooter to a 10-shooter, succeeded by a pea-shooter.  Wait—that’s not just a cliché, but Cold War arms races. Topical too, as so often. Put ’em together and we’re nigh unto Shakespearean (Twelfth Night, Lear) foolery.

The “dance!” segment of this film is positively beautiful. Bugs really makes an effort! “Take it Sam!” He really makes an effort too! And then gets thrown down a mine shaft! Cruel + just = really funny, morally defensible comedy. Yes, this isn’t quite turn-your-cheek charitable, but it’s a hard world out there, so maybe a bit of aggression once in a while is actually good for you. The “step over this line!” series is wonderfully compounded. Wham! The Avery-like chase (note the music) that follows is really funny. “And my head hurts.” These pictures are full of the most marvelous superfluities, and provide a worthy rejoinder to Goneril and Regan. “Oh, reason not the need…”