Coogan’s Bluff was the first movie collaboration between Clint Eastwood and legendary director Don Siegel. The plot revolves around Arizona cop, Coogan, who is sent to New York to collect a prisoner. Everyone he meets assumes Coogan is from Texas (a re-occurring gag). Unfortunately the prisoner escapes, forcing Coogan to search through the weirdest and most dangerous place he’s ever experienced; New York in 1968. The movie’s fish out of water theme still rings true today.
Lalo Schifrin’s score for Coogan’s Bluff, is a hip contemporary score (for its time) that has all the composer’s trademark funk material. The music encompasses a variety of idioms from western to eastern, with elements of jazz, rock and funk. It really captures the mood of the times tapping into the sixties motif, with use of such instruments as tabla and sitar.
One of the most memorable parts of the movie is Coogan’s visit to a night club. Nothing dates a film more than the inclusion of popular music or concert footage. Coogan’s Bluff delivers in spades with it’s depiction of late sixties counter-culture. We get liquid light shows, psychedelic music, sexual liberation and drugs. The icing on the cake is the song played during this scene, namely Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel. It is somehow manages to tread the fine line between cliché and satire, whilst still being devilishly catchy.
Pigeon-Toed Orange Peel