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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
"Don't worry sister, we'll have a bow and arrow wedding."
Abbott and Costello found themselves in a wide variety of films; "Ride 'em Cowboy" is their take on mangling the Western genre. They're aided by genuine "B" Western stars Johnny Mack Brown and Dick Foran along with pretty Anne Gwynne as the romantic interest for Foran's character, Bronco Bob Mitchell. Bronco Bob is largely a mythical character, invented by Mitchell when he was a starving writer. But his Western stories were hugely successful, so the Mitchell exploits grew larger than life until he can no longer live up to the image of his creation. Arriving at the Lazy S Ranch, Mitchell and the boys take a stab at dude ranch life and try to get ready for the annual rodeo celebration, in which Mitchell has agreed to compete. Therein lies the recipe for this Abbott and Costello brand of Western fun.
With no sign of the Andrews Sisters from their earlier films, the musical chores are picked up by The Merry Macs and Ella Fitzgerald. A quick peek at Ella's filmography reveals that her standard "A-Tisket, A-Tasket was performed in seven films between 1939 and 1948, and it's done here in fine fashion. Dick Foran also croons a tune as the obligatory singing cowboy.
Lou Costello proved he could ride a runaway torpedo in 1941's "Keep 'Em Flying"; here he does the same on a stampeding bronco, with Bud along for the ride. The film also offers some of the same sight gags found in Warner Brothers cartoons of the era, notably Lou's having his "palm re(a)d" in a dream sequence dominated by Indians.
"Ride 'em Cowboy" gallops along at a fairly quick eighty six minute run, a lot of it at a frenetic pace. Abbott and Costello fans will enjoy their favorites here, as the boys show they can be at home in any setting.
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