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John is working as a cow poke for very little money with his friend Harley when he gets word his brother, DJ, has left him The Cheyenne Social Club. He and Harley ride for nearly a thousand miles to his inheritance only to find he is now the owner of a first class brothel. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
James Stewart agreed to do the film and suggested to the producers that they offer the part of Harley to his good friend, Henry Fonda. Fonda read the script and agreed to do it but he had one suggestion. In the opening sequence, when the two ride to Cheyenne, his character had no dialog in the script. Fonda innocently asked to give his character something to say. The writer, James Lee Barrett, came up with the speech Fonda gives. For years after the film was released, the sign that hung in the club listing the names of the girls hung in Barrett's home as a memento. See more »
There are no mountains in the immediate vicinity of Cheyenne, Wyoming. See more »
When I was young, I had all sorts of dreams. There's something awfully sad about an old dream.
Yeah, I know. When I was a boy down in the panhandle, that was before I slipped my hobbles, I was a real stargazer. I tell you, Jenny, I dreamed and I planned big things. And then I started drifting... and I've been drifting ever since.
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Cowboy James Stewart gets a letter that's followed him through many jobs for almost two years. It seems as though his prosperous brother from Cheyenne died and left him a going business, something called The Cheyenne Social Club. So Stewart quits his job in Texas and rides to Cheyenne to claim his inheritance and saddle pal Henry Fonda goes along for the ride.
The Cheyenne Social Club rises and falls on the chemistry between its two stars and this one rises like the lightest of angel food cake. The two movie icons and best friends from Princeton days are so perfectly cast it's a shame they didn't make a sequel and have some further adventures.
No doubt also these two helped director Gene Kelly over the rough patches in a movie genre he really wasn't familiar with. Kelly was wise enough to cast the film with a whole lot of players familiar with the western genre. And he was wise enough to give all these people their head and they don't let him down.
It turns out that The Cheyenne Social Club is a bordello under the temporary management of Shirley Jones. It's quite an institution in Cheyenne, but it doesn't quite seem right for Stewart, something a working cowboy can enjoy, but not live off. Of course his friend Fonda seems to have settled down quite nicely there.
Fonda's part could have been the great grandfather of the character he played in The Rounders. Apparently whatever suits Stewart just tickles Fonda plumb to death.
Best moment in the film is when Jimmy Stewart gets the best of bad guy Robert J. Wilke in a gunfight after he beats up Shirley Jones. Of course it's with the help of Fonda and a noisy pecan. Has to be seen to be appreciated.
This was James Stewart's last starring western and a great one to go out on as well.
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