The Cowboy Quarterback (1939)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Sport  |  29 July 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 72 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Football scout for the Chicago Packers Rusty Walker signs Harry Lynn, a legendary broken-field runner. Harry won't leave his home town without his girlfriend Maizie Williams. He gets ... See full summary »


(as Noel Smith)


(screen play), (from a play by), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Bert Wheeler ...
Marie Wilson ...
Maizie Williams
Gloria Dickson ...
Evelyn Corey
Rusty Walker
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
Steve Adams
Handsome Sam Saxon (as DeWolf Hopper)
William Gould ...
Colonel Moffett
Charles C. Wilson ...
Coach Hap Farrell (as Charles Wilson)
Frederic Tozere ...
Mr. Slater (as Fredric Tozere)
John Harron ...
Mr. Gray
John Ridgely ...
Mr. Walters
Eddie Acuff ...
Airplane Pilot
Lem - the Mailman


Football scout for the Chicago Packers Rusty Walker signs Harry Lynn, a legendary broken-field runner. Harry won't leave his home town without his girlfriend Maizie Williams. He gets tangled up with gamblers and Rusty's girl Evelyn Corey makes a play for him. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's 1939's All-American Laugh-Back ! (original poster) See more »


Comedy | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 July 1939 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the onscreen credits list the play's writers as Ring Lardner and George M. Cohan, the play's opening night production credits list Lardner as the writer and Cohan as the producer. See more »


In the beginning, the two actors were shown in a closed plane side by side. When the plane was shown flying in a long shot, it was a open plane with the actors not side by side. See more »


Version of Elmer, the Great (1933) See more »


"I'm an Old Cow Hand (1936) (uncredited)
Written by Johnny Mercer
Variations in the score often
See more »

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User Reviews

Passable entertainment and that's about it
14 February 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I am going to say something absolutely terrible and it may shock fans of old time comedy. Wheeler and Woolsey were, with the exception of the Ritz Brothers as well as Hitler and Mussolini, one of the unfunniest comedy teams in history. They were quite popular in the early to mid-1930s but they definitely have not aged well. I've seen most of their films but the best I could find were only tolerable entertainment. Now, by 1939, Woolsey had since died and Bert Wheeler tried to make a go of it in comedy without his annoying partner. Well, considering that Wheeler was the straight man and also quite annoying, the film was at best passable entertainment. This was made even worse by the fact that it was a remake of a mediocre film made only 6 years earlier (ELMER, THE GREAT). In most ways, the original film was better though fortunately Wheeler came off as a bit more likable than Joe E. Brown's character--though Wheeler was still a self-important idiot.

The 44 year-old Wheeler is supposed to be a hot prospect for pro football and the film begins with an agent (William Demarest) arriving in Montana to sign Wheeler to play for the Chicago Packers. Oddly, Wheeler has absolutely no mind of his own (probably because he just seemed really, really dumb) and this decision could only be made by his fiancée, Marie Wilson (playing a role that might have been easily adapted for Woolsey had he lived). Wilson is also quite dumb and together they might have half a brain. But to make matters worse, she's rather abrasive and the coach conspires with the agent to get her back to Montana. Once gone, Wheeler shows that he's a complete idiot and extremely co-dependent--making a mess of living on his own. By the end of the film, however, Wheeler manages to save the day and everyone seems very happy....except for the audience who were still probably waiting for a few laughs, though they never really materialized.

By the way, William Hopper (later of "Perry Mason" fame) is present but with all the personality of a block of wood. He's tall and somewhat handsome but with practically no screen presence at all. Interestingly enough, he himself played a football player in OVER THE GOAL.

An interesting curio if you want to see Wheeler without Woolsey, otherwise this is a recycled plot, the characters aren't engaging at all and the film has the look of a toss-away B-movie. Watchable but nothing more.

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