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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 <email@example.com>
During the Bannister gang shootout, a long shot shows three of the gang shooting while previous close shots had reduced the gang to two members. See more »
[O'Hanlon enters the saloon, looking for the man who beat up Jenny]
What do you want, O'Hanlon?
The man that beat up one of my... one of my girls. They tell me his name is Corey Bannister, and they tell me I can recognize him by a streak of yellow down his back.
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"The Cheyenne Social Club" is a delightful easy going comedy western produced and directed by screen legend Gene Kelly. Given the subject matter, Kelly manages to stick handle around the double entendres and present a comedy that is tastefully done and probably offended no one.
Two drifters, John O'Hanlan (James Stewart) and Harley Sullivan (Henry Fonda) are working cattle in Texas. One day O'Hanlan receives a letter informing him that he has inherited some property in Cheyenne, Wyoming. So he and Harley set out for Cheyenne.
When they arrive, they discover that the property that O'Hanlan has inherits is a bawdy house known as The Cheyenne Social Club. They meet the "Madame", Jennie (Shirley Jones) and the rest of the girls, Opal Ann (Sue Ann Langdon), Pauline (Elaine Divry), Carrie Virginia (Jackie Russell), Annie Jo (Jackie Joseph) and Sara Jean (Sharon DeBord).
O'Hanlan at first is hailed as a saviour by the townsfolk. He is given carte blanche at the local saloon by the Barkeep (Robert Middleton) and becomes the most popular man in town. Harley meanwhile has struck up a friendship with another saloon girl Alice (Jean Willes) after he stops her runaway horse.
O'Hanlan is uncomfortable with the kind of business he's in and announces that he is closing up the Social Club while he ponders his next move. Well, the townsfolk don't take too kindly to this and turn against him. In particular he runs afoul of bully Corey Bannister (Robert J. Wilke).
When Jennie is beat up by Bannister, O'Hanlan comes to her aid. With some unexpected help from Harley, he manages to gun down Bannister. The local Marshal (Arch Johnson) warns O'Hanlon that Bannister's relatives will surely come after him. Harley decides to return to Texas. On the trail he meets the Bannisters led by "Uncle" Charlie (Charles Tyner) who are heading to Cheyenne.
Only O'Hanlon is left to defend the Social Club and its girls. But then........................
Stewart and Fonda had been friends since the 1930s and play well off of each other. As a contrast, takes a look at "Firecreek" which they made two years earlier for two completely different performances. Both had done light comedy before so were able to play these roles convincingly. They even get to "sing" a song on the trail (good thing they didn't quit their day jobs).
The film is made even better with its fine supporting cast. In addition to those already mentioned there is Dabbs Greer as Lawyer Willowby, J.Pat O'Malley as a fast talking drummer and John Dehner, Jason Wingreen, Myron Healey and Hal Baylor in other roles.
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