THE MAN WHO SHOOK THE HAND OF VICENTE FERNANDEZ
(director/writer: Elia Petridis; cinematographer: Eric Leach; editor: Terel Gibson; music: Ruy Folguera; cast: Ernest Borgnine (Rex Page), Barry Corbin (Walker), Carla Ortiz (Solena), June Squibb (Irma), Tony Plana (Dr. Dominguez), Arturo del Puerto (Alejandro), Dale Dickey (Denise), Audrey P. Scott (Clementine, Grandaughter); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Arturo del Puerto /Elia Petridis/Darren Brandl; Indican Pictures; 2012)
“This corny neo-Western comedy catches our attention because it’s the swan song of Ernest Borgnine.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
This corny neo-Western comedy catches our attention because it’s the swan song of Ernest Borgnine, who died shortly after its release at the age of 94. Elia Petridis (“How Henri Came to Stay”) is the writer-director, who keeps things in this slight indie drama gentle and goofy. The southern California dwelling Rex Page (Ernest Borgnine) is the grouchy retired radio DJ, who irritates his long-suffering wife Irma (June Squibb) and married daughter Denise (Dale Dickey) by still trying to audition for a part in a Hollywood Western. Only his playful granddaughter (Audrey P. Scott) supports his mission. A stroke leaves him in an assisted-living nursing home, run by the crooked and nasty Walker (Barry Corbin) and his henchman supervisor Dr. Dominguez (Tony Plana). The Latino staff respect Rex when they learn that in 1975 or 1976 he once shook the hand of Mexico’s Frank Sinatra, their hero Vicente Fernandez. By taking down the despotic facility head, Rex gains favor with the Latino staff and his family..
REVIEWED ON 10/27/2016 GRADE: C+