Cowboy Jeff Larabee returns from the east and meets Doris Halloway, a young girl, that he regards as a vagabond, till he learns that she's the owner of the farm where he works. He tries to ... See full summary »
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Robert F. McGowan
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Cowboy Jeff Larabee returns from the east and meets Doris Halloway, a young girl, that he regards as a vagabond, till he learns that she's the owner of the farm where he works. He tries to win her heart, but without success, until she is endangered by gangsters. Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
The movie keeps shifting plots every 15 minutes. It seems probable that lots of material was cut out, as very little makes much sense.
However, the movie contains so many delightful elements that one hardly cares. Bing Crosby is quite pleasant. He is wonderfully laid back and relaxed, just saying his lines between songs. This allows us to focus mainly on Francis Farmer, who is captivatingly beautiful as a runaway heiress-bride. Bob Burns with an instrument he invented called "the Bazooka" and Leonid Kinskey as the Russian immigrant cowboy "Mischa" provide a few laughs. Cuddles the Bull is also a surprisingly effective animal co-star.
This is 20 year old Martha Raye's screen debut and it is quite unusual. She is doing vaudeville without toning it down one iota for the screen. This makes a sharp contrast to Crosby and Farmer's gentle reserved acting styles. She is frenetic, shouting and jumping all other the sets. There is something disturbing about her man-hungry character, Emma. It is a sex-role reversal with the woman as the obsessed predator who can't control herself and offers herself to any stray man. With so many other out-of-synch elements in the film, she just fits right in.
It is a little ironic that Raye would get top billing two years later in "Give Me A Sailor" which was Bob Hope's first real starring film. So Raye worked with both Crosby and Hope before they worked together on the road pictures.
For about 15 minutes towards the end of the film, there's a nice jamboree which includes the introduction of the classic Johnny Mercer song "I'm an Old Cow Hand". The three or four plot lines are kept in limbo while this is going on. If we had cared about the plot lines, we would have been upset, but since they are so light and flimsy anyway, we can see them as just excuses for this nice vaudeville segment.
It is a shame that the duet between Farmer and Crosby was cut. I hope someone finds it somewhere and releases it on Youtube.
Ultimately, this is an amusing and reasonably clever concoction of fluff and music. It is too slow-paced for today's ADD generation, but for lovers of Old Hollywood, it is fine.
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