I had low expectations for this one. I mean, hey, it was released in 1973, and it's science fiction, so I expected heaping helpings of cheese. It was quite a shock, then, to find it almost cheese-free.
The music, the cinematography, the costumes, the special effects and the script (by Michael Crichton, no less) all hold up well. The only time the film looks somewhat dated is when we're taken to the control room, where vast banks of Time Tunnel-style computers line the walls.
The only thing I found slightly cheesy was the first-half performance by Richard Benjamin, who, despite getting second billing behind Yul Brynner, snagged most of the screen time. He's the giddy first-time visitor, guided by the steady hand of his pal Josh Brolin, who's been to Western World before. All that giddiness is a bit hard to take (especially if you don't like Richard Benjamin much to begin with), but it's almost worth it later, as we see him grow a pair and finish the film with a strong character arc.
And there are two interesting guest appearances. One by Majel Barrett (Mrs. Gene Roddenberry) as the madame at the saloon/whorehouse, and the other by Yul Brynner's cowboy outfit, which is supposedly the same one he wore in The Magnificent Seven.
So. I ain't saying Westworld is a great film, but it's still fun, and almost as entertaining as it was 39 years ago.
More Overlooked Films and stuff, as usual, at SWEET FREEDOM.