August 06, 1979 12:00 PM

It is tempting but not entirely accurate to label this a poor man’s Blazing Saddles. Actually, nobody is that poor. With Gene Wilder as a bumbling Polish rabbi adrift in the American West of the 1850s, the potential is there, but the comic lunacy and broad farce of Mel Brooks’ 1974 classic are missing. Wilder is a gentle, affecting presence, but he’s reined in too tight. And, as his bank robber sidekick, Harrison Ford proves again that his success in Star Wars was a casting fluke. Though Robert Aldrich can be a capable director of action yarns (The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard), one would never guess it after sitting through this aimless, interminable (122 minutes) mess. (PG)

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