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Cast

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Patsy Kelly
Lillian Miles ...
La Belle Lillian
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Doc Gilbert
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Eddie
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Storyline

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Genres:

Comedy | Short

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Release Date:

28 April 1934 (USA)  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Not a panacea
24 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Respectfully to correct a previous commentator, Thelma Todd would not die until late 1935. When "Roamin' Vandals" was made in 1934, Patsy Kelly was still starring with her in their own series of shorts. So why the decision was made to star Kelly in this separate one-off is a bit of a mystery. It really doesn't belong to the style of the Pitts-Todd / Todd-Kelly series, but is part of a strain of comedy part-musicals from Roach Studios, despite not containing much music. The two or three little numbers are pleasant but inconsequential -- a girl in a skimpy costume for sex appeal and the humor of Kelly reluctantly playing an Indian squaw.

The Indian here who decides to take Patsy as his wife is, of course, wildly stereotyped, so if that kind of thing bothers you, stay away. He's right out of stock stories about the wild west medicine show, which is where this short gets its concept. The idea is that Patsy is constantly getting Billy Gilert's traveling medicine wagon into trouble with her brash Irish temper, but beyond that's there's no plot unity to speak of. I think Kelly's comedy character worked better in more supposedly realistic surroundings. There is little room for gag sequences or plot complications to develop, and not really an character-based humor either. At best it's a throwaway fun watch that doesn't approach the brilliance of a lot of what else Hal Roach's studio was producing at this time. The best sequence, albeit shoehorned in, is a pretty funny scene in which, to Billy Gilbert's dismay, the blanks that are supposed to be firing at him in a faked sharpshooting display have been replaced by real bullets.


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