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Shooting At Kansas From The Hip

October 18, 1987

It is amusing to note from McDougal's article that Matt Dillon has traced his roots to the home of his namesake. He and Andrew McCarthy have followed in the footsteps of the elder Matt and his sidekick, Festus, in their mastery of small-town Kansas girls.

Hollywood has always had a warm place for Kansas--right between four caraway seeds and an agent's heart. Though apparently devoid of refinement, Kansas has often been the setting for successful films ("Paper Moon," "In Cold Blood," "Picnic," "The Wizard of Oz"). This coupled with W. C. Fields' declaration that "Chickens have pretty legs in Kansas" is enough encouragement for a Hollywood film crew to stoop to small-town life for a few weeks.

McDougal chides the movie makers' condescension toward the people of Valley Falls while holding the same opinion of them. He is quick to deride the corny signs, nasal drawls and general hick attitude of an area that concerns itself with wheat farming rather than Absolut vodka. The quotes of erudite teen idols are the intrigue of more sophisticated folk.

It's little wonder that the Kansas mechanic, who was put out of work for a week by the production, was glad to see them all leave.

ALLEN K. SEWELL

Long Beach

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