This offbeat stab at the postmodern western genre never quite hits the mythic
omantic heights it seeks. Eleanor Perry's script was extensively rewritten prior to the film's shoot and, as a result, it suffers from erratic shifts of pace and mood. That said, it does boast strong characterizations and dialogue. Richard C. Sarafian's direction lacks the personal touch the movie needs but his craftsmanship is rock-solid, with nice assists from Harry Stradling, Jr.'s atmospheric lensing of the Arizona locations and a stately musical score by John Williams. In terms of performances, Burt Reynolds and Sarah Miles offer solid dramatic turns yet they lack the chemistry necessary to really light the material up. As a result, they are upstaged by intense turns from Bo Hopkins as a boyish yet dangerous member of Reynolds's gang and Jack Warden, who is effectively cast against type as a devious, tempramental crook who clashes with Reynolds. The end result is watchable but falls short of adding up to the sum of its parts. Thus, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing has to settle for being an interesting misfire that is best left to Reynolds's devoted fans.