DENNIS SCHWARTZ 
IS THERE ANY GOOD 
IN SAYING 
EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?

 
WANDA NEVADA (director: Peter Fonda; screenwriter: Dennis Hackin; cinematographer: Michael Butler; editor: Scott Conrad; music: Ken Lauber; cast: Peter Fonda (Beaudray Demerille), Brooke Shields (Wanda Nevada), Fiona Lewis (Dorothy Deerfield), Luke Askew (Ruby Muldoon), Ted Markland (Strap), Severn Darden (Bitterstix), Paul Fix (Texas Curly), Henry Fonda (old prospector), Larry Golden (Slade, card hustler), John Denos (Billy, gas station greaser), Bert Williams (trading post owner); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Neal Dobrofsky/Dennis Hackin; MGM; 1979)

 
"Worth seeing because it's the only time Peter Fonda teams with his famous father Henry."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Peter Fonda ("The Hired Hand") directs and stars in this casual romantic-drama road movie, while Dennis Hackin turns in the screenplay and co-produces. Fonda is so laid-back, one wonders if he's taking a snooze or acting. Worth seeing because it's the only time Peter Fonda teams with his famous father Henry. Otherwise the film is confusing and never ends up taking us anywhere interesting.

In 1950, grizzled drifter Beaudray Demerille (Peter Fonda) gets into a poker game and wins 14-year-old orphan girl Wanda Nevada (Brooke Shields). They then go prospecting together in the Grand Canyon (filmed on location in the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Glen Canyon, and Mexican Hat, Utah). Out in the field, Beaudray runs into a group of criminals also after the same treasure and a bearded old loon of a prospector (Henry Fonda). Nothing much happens that one has to tune into, but there's a nice Carole King song played over the end credits and, though it might not be saying much, Brooke Shields never acted better before or since (not that it was a good performance, but rather a bearable one).

REVIEWED ON 8/26/2008        GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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