Sonny, the new face of "Ranch Breakfast" cereal, was once a prominent figure in the Rodeo circuit. Now he is reduced to little more than gimmicks for an advertising company. His next gimmick takes him to Las Vegas where he is to ride "Rising Star", a retired, prize race horse. The only problem is the mistreatment of the $12 million equine has him questioning his new found role as a public figure. When Sonny's wife corners him and demands he signs divorce papers he figures he has not much more to lose. He steals the horse and rides it down the Las Vegas Strip before taking a left after Circus Circus on his way to Mesquite.
Spunky news reporter, Hallie, tries to get the story on Sonny by questioning his closest friends and even recently divorced wife. She heads out hot on his trail, eventually catching up to him and learning the reason he stole the horse was to liberate him. With the reporter now on his side they need to get to Red Rim Canyon to free the stolen horse.
With help from a friendly rancher(Wilford Brimley) and the police now in pursuit, they get through road blocks and out of the area. Now on foot they trek across the desert canyons and down river trails getting used to each other's company while telling stories of their pasts. He learns her real name is Alice and she scared to be disconnected from the world, she finds out his real name is Norman and he's got a lot of broken parts.
After the theft of the horse all Sonny and Hallie's scenes takes place out in canyons and desert but the rest take place back in Las Vegas, mainly Caesars Palace Rooms and pool side. There's a few cop chase horse scenes and a couple kissing under the stars scenes and eventually they get to release the horse back to the wild, charges are dropped and they go their separate ways.
Que the Willie Nelson music, "Mamas' don't let your babies grow up to be Cowboys"
Yes, it's your classic feel good story with two mismatched characters who find out they have more in common then they first thought. The movie itself could have taken place in almost any south western city in the US but they chose Vegas and the rest of Nevada so that was cool. I wouldn't rush out to see it if you're looking for Vegas nostalgia. There was a great scene very early in the movie when he rides the horse down the strip and then out of town. He rides past the parking lot of the Stardust Casino which was out front. It gave me a few chills remembering that exact parking lot in front of the Sportsbook because it never seemed to change over time.
-Great shots of Caesars signage and fountains of the late 70's
-Stardust, Slots-a-Fun, Circus Circus, Frontier and a quick look at Silver Slipper, The Mint sign and Desert Inn.
- Of course Vegas Vic makes an appearance. (why, because he is in every Vegas movie)
Robert Redford as Sonny
Jane Fonda as Hallie
Willie Nelson as Wendell