Run, George, Run!

  • videoarchives
  • March 14, 2023

Just when you thought the Video Archives Podcast was out, it gets pulled back in! Quentin, Roger & Gala follow podcast favorite George C. Scott for one final job in Richard Fleischer’s The Last Run. Then they take a trip to the Wild West for the irrepressible Western parody Rustlers’ Rhapsody, before revisiting Star Wars through the lens of mid-century comedy legend Jack Benny (yes, really) in The Jet Benny Show. I’ve got film facts and movie posters galore in today’s Counter Talk, so let’s put pedal to the metal…

The tagline of The Last Run is “In the tradition of Hemingway and Bogart,” and George C. Scott, fresh off the success of Patton, was very forthright about looking for a Bogart-type role to play next, which he found in Alan Sharp’s weighty crime script. Quentin and Roger dig into the details of a fraught production that saw original director John Huston replaced by Fleischer, and original female lead Tina Aumont replaced by Trish Van Devere, who would marry Scott a year after The Last Run’s release and co-star in many more films with him.

Was this casting complicated by the fact that Scott’s wife at the time, Colleen Dewhurst, also starred in the film, playing a prostitute with a heart of gold? Considering Scott and Dewhurst wouldn’t divorce until well after The Last Run’s release, I imagine there were some tricky days on set!

Scott and Van Devere in The Last Run

The tape of The Last Run in the Video Archives collection is the first bootleg tape we’ve covered on the show, so if the art looks like it was printed just a little too big to fit on a VHS box, that’s probably why:

Since this isn’t an official release, let’s take a look at some of the actual poster art used for The Last Run. Each of these offers a slightly different pose from Scott, so we can ponder the many expressions of this legendarily intense actor in full Bogart mode. Here he is smoking a cigarette, looking away ruefully as he appears to load his gun, presumably for the last time…

In this one, he’s already loaded his gun, but he’s staring out pensively at whatever may be laying in wait for him..

Here, it looks like he’s either been distracted by a sudden noise to his left, or he’s staring at the sun for a moment. Bad idea, George!

In this Spanish language poster, he’s done messing around, already haunted by whatever he’s about to do with that gun.

Finally, in this extremely cool daybill-sized Japanese poster, he’s back to chomping on a cigarette with total focus and determination.

I also have to include this double bill after Quentin’s heart, pairing The Last Run with Sam Peckinpah’s Killer Elite!

This week’s second film, Rustlers’ Rhapsody, isn’t just a parody of Westerns (à la films like A Million Ways To Die In The West) – it’s a very specific parody of the ‘singing cowboy’ Western popularized by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Writer/director Hugh Wilson made this passion project right after the success of his film Police Academy, but you really feel the sitcom snap of his pacing from his time as showrunner of WKRP In Cincinnati. And yes, country star Steve Dorff, who scored the film, is the father of Blade star Stephen Dorff.

Meanwhile, I believe this is the second Video Archives selection to feature a Razzie-winning performance – first Dom DeLuise in Haunted Honeymoon, then Marilu Henner here. This says more about the credibility of the Razzies than the worth of these performances, in this humble writer’s opinion….

Other than the slightly wacky typeface choices, the front cover of the Rustlers’ Rhapsody VHS release is played perfectly straight, just like Tom Berenger’s performance.

The back of the box description sounds much better in Quentin’s Slim Pickins cowboy voice:

The Jet Benny Show is a 77 minute Super 8 curio that’s easy enough to explain the gist of - it’s a Star Wars parody in the style of “The Jack Benny Show,” featuring Jack Benny impersonator Steve Norman - but harder to answer the question…why was this made? Who decided this was a funny angle for a Star Wars parody, and how does it hang together against all odds?

There’s very little information online about the creators of The Jet Benny Show, or how the film was conceived, but perhaps that’s for the best; Quentin and Roger have a great time speculating on the origins of Jet Benny, and as far as I’m concerned, their theories are the gospel truth until proven otherwise. Prepare yourselves for “A super spoof of the not-too-distant future!”

Don’t sniff at that Ann Arbor Film Festival award, either – it’s one of the oldest film festivals in the US, and over the years the AAFF has spotlighted early work from not only Lawrence Kasdan (who still sponsors the Narrative Feature award) but Gus Van Sant, Agnès Varda, Andy Warhol and The Coen Brothers.

Speaking of fantastic film festivals, today’s Video Archives Merch Spotlight comes from listener Shawn Connolly! Here he is in Columbia, Missouri, home of the exemplary documentary festival True/False.

And that does it for this week! Next week I’ve got some fun goodies for the After Show – until then, why don’t you check out Roger & Gala’s wonderful appearance on the Movies That Made Me podcast? Get some of those merch goodies at Podswag, keep telling your friends about the show, find all our socials and past newsletters at, and I’ll be back in your inbox soon.