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The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)

Approved | | Action, Comedy, Family | 8 October 1947 (USA)
Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana while en route to California. During the stopover, a notorious ... See full summary »


(as Charles T. Barton)


(screenplay by), (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Benbow
Jake Frame
Peter M. Thompson ...
Phil (as Pete Thompson)
Bill Clauson ...
Matt Hawkins
Billy O'Leary ...
Billy Hawkins
Pamela Wells ...
Jimmy Bates ...
Jefferson Hawkins
Paul Dunn ...
Lincoln Hawkins
Diane Florentine ...


Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana while en route to California. During the stopover, a notorious criminal, Fred Hawkins, is murdered, and the two are charged with the crime. They are quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to die by hanging. The head of the local citizen's committee, Jim Simpson (William Ching), recalls a law whereby the survivor of a gun duel must take responsibility for the deceased's debts and family. The law spares the two from execution, but Chester is now responsible for the widow Hawkins (Marjorie Main) and her seven children. They go to her farm, where Chester is worked by Mrs. Hawkins from dawn to dusk. To make matters worse, Chester must work at the saloon at night to repay Hawkin's debt to its owner, Jake Frame (Gordon Jones). Her plan is to wear Chester down until he agrees to marry her. Chester quickly learns that no one will harm him, for fear that they will have to ... Written by RP

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SEE THE LOSER TAKE LOU! (original print ad - all caps - caption for illustration of ongoing card game) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 October 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A szekér sóvárgó özvegye  »


Box Office


$720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story was based on an actual law in effect in Montana in the 1880s, which stated that a man who killed another man was responsible for the care and support of his victim's family. See more »


Chester Wooley: We stop the stage, the bandits are waiting for the stage, and then you show up instead of the stage.
Duke Egan: That's pretty well-staged.
See more »


Featured in The World of Abbott and Costello (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Plenty of Great Gags and Laughs
20 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)

*** (out of 4)

Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) and Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) go to a small Western town that is nothing but non-stop fights and shootings. The two buy some guns even though neither know what they're doing and when a man falls dead out from the sky they're blamed for it. To set a new policy, the judge orders Wooley to take care of the man's widow (Marjorie Main) and her wild children.

THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP has always been one of my favorite non "Meet" movies from Abbott and Costello because of all the hilarious jokes scattered throughout the picture. The duo did quite a few movies set in the old West but this one here is clearly head and shoulders above the rest due to some very well-written jokes and it also giving Costello a chance to act big and tough.

The highlight of the picture happens early on at a dinner sequence where Costello is trying to eat a bowl of soup but the widow's kids have put a frog in it. The back and forth between Costello and the (fake) frog was priceless and the timing was right on the mark. Another hilarious scene is the card playing one where the boys think they've came up with a good way to cheat. Also, a running gag has everyone in town afraid to kill Costello because they'd then have to take over the widow. This allows Costello some great gags where he plays it tough and pushes people around.

The performances are a major plus with both Bud and Lou doing a very good job and playing off each other nicely. Main is also extremely good as the loud and obnoxious widow. Audrey Young, Gordon Jones and George Cleveland are also quite good and you can look for Glenn Strange who had just appeared with the boys in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN, playing the monster of course.

THE WISFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP is without question one of the duo's best and funniest films.

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