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Charming tale of mountaineer-trapper Murphy's first taste "big city" life with young, sweet Sandra Dee in tow. She flees her family, which tried to trade her for some of Murphy's beaver pelts, and tags along with the reluctant Murphy. They get into all manner of trouble in town, and Murphy has to shoot the sheriff to rescue Dee from her job as a dancehall girl. Written by
If you are going to have a prayer of enjoying this movie, you have to accept that Audie Murphy is playing a boy, about age 16 or so, so that his romance with Sandra Dee (playing the unfortunate daughter of some trashy folk) doesn't seem creepy. If you notice that Murphy looks every bit of 35, and Sandra Dee looks a young 16 or 17, you will be in trouble.
The movie itself is intended to be strictly family entertainment -- as full of good-hearted humor and lack of dramatic conflict as a typical Disney film of that era. And that makes it an odd choice for Murphy -- who, even when playing innocents, tends to have a sense of danger about him. Poor Audie plays his role with a strain of irritability that makes one think, at any moment, he'll notice that Sandra Dee has a crush on him and go "Girls! Oh gross! Cooties!".
The basic plot -- Audie goes to the big city (er, Casper Wyoming) to sell some beaver furs his pa has trapped. Sandra Dee hitches along, because Pa will try to trade her to somebody for furs or whiskey, and she might not like the guy. So Audie also tries to go find Sandra Dee a job, so she'll stop pestering him. The rest of the flick is how these innocents deal with the big bad world, including corrupt sheriff and dance hall owner Gilbert Roland. (Gilbert plays the role like he knows he is in a bad movie, and hopes to sleep through it.) If you like family friendly movies, and are unbothered about the concept of fancy dance hall women that looms large in this plot, this movie might work for you. If you are looking for a gritty western in the style of Ford, Boetticher, or Mann, run far, far away.
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