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Two peanut vendors at a rodeo show get in trouble with their boss and hide out on a railroad train heading west. They get jobs as cowboys on a dude ranch, despite the fact that neither of them knows anything about cowboys, horses, or anything else. Written by
With this, their first release of 1942, Abbott and Costello continue in the same vein as their four previous starring successes; they are supposed to be the stars, but are often second fiddle to music and a romantic subplot. Not that that's bad, considering the appearance of the one and only Ella Fitzgerald -- but the formulaic way Universal was treating the team begins to wear thin with each new film.
There are still plenty of laughs, however; enough to rate this a slight improvement over their previous release, "Keep 'Em Flying." A western setting for Abbott and Costello provides enough comedy hijinks to offset the romance. Dick Foran is back, crooning his way into a girl's heart (in this case, it's Anne Gwynne), and really good music is provided by the aforementioned Miss Fitzgerald (though "Cow-Cow Boogie" mysteriously and unacceptably was cut from the final release) and the Merry Macs.
As top box office attractions, it can be understood why Universal stuck by the comedy-romance-music formula. However, it's wearing thin by even 1942 standards. "Ride 'Em Cowboy" is good, but one waits for the film where Abbott and Costello take center stage throughout the film (fortunately it happens before year's end with the release of "Who Done It"). 7 out of 10.
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