If you are a Rancho Delux cultist then this film is for you. rŌbert
Hearts of the West is a 1975 American comedy film starring Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Blythe Danner, and Alan Arkin. Set in 1930s Hollywood, the story revolves around a wannabe Western writer who finds himself cast as a leading man in several B-movie westerns.
In 1933, Lewis Tater (Jeff Bridges), an aspiring novelist who harbors dreams of becoming the next Zane Grey, decides to leave his family home in Iowa to go to the University of Titan in Nevada so he can soak up the western atmosphere. He arrives to find that there is no university, only a mail order correspondence course scam run by two crooks out of the local hotel. He tries to spend the night at the hotel, but is attacked by one of the men in an attempted robbery. He escapes his attacker, grabs his suitcase, and steals their car to get away, but after a while it runs out of gas. He looks in the car trunk, and finds a toolbox containing a revolver and ammunition. Afraid the two crooks are still in pursuit of him, he takes the tool box and his suitcase and walks off into the desert.
Wandering and exhausted, the next morning he happens upon a threadbare film-unit from Tumbleweed Productions grinding out a “B” western. Later that day, he catches a lift with the cowboy actors to Los Angeles. After applying for work at Tumbleweed, he is referred by crusty old extra Howard Pike (Andy Griffith) to the Rio, a western-themed restaurant. While washing dishes at the Rio, he is called by Tumbleweed, where Howard mentors him to be an actor. After proving himself as a stuntman, unit manager Kessler (Alan Arkin) offers him a speaking role. Tater then falls in love with spunky script girl Miss Trout (Blythe Danner). Meanwhile, the crooks trace him to Los Angeles to retrieve the safe-box containing their money that was in the car stolen by Lewis.