Wednesday, November 02, 2005

 

Knotts & Conway

They weren't Laurel & Hardy or Abbott & Costello, but, from 1975 to 1980, Don Knotts (best known as the bubbling deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show and the befuddled landlord Mr Furley on Three's Company) and Tim Conway (best known as a supporting player on the The Carol Burnett Show) appeared together in five films that I remember as harmless Saturday matinee fun. The two first appeared together on screen in 1975 as inept bank robbers in the Walt Disney live action western comedy, The Apple Dumpling Gang. The following year, they returned with supporting roles in another Disney comedy, Gus, a movie about a mule that steps in as a kicker for a football team. The duo reprised their original roles together in 1979 (this time as the stars of the film) in The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. That same year, they starred in The Prizefighter, a lightweight outing that had Conway playing a boxer and Knotts his trainer, as the two get mixed up in a fixed fight, with their beloved gym on the line. In 1980, for their fifth film, The Private Eyes, the two paid homage to Abbott & Costello as they investigate a murder mystery in a spooky mansion that appears to be haunted. These films are silly, sure; but to a kid who loved movies, they were also fun to watch on a Saturday afternoon, with some popcorn and Goobers.

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