[Indian Tom and another character are attempting to remove an anvil from Charley's wagon while he is away from it. Indian Tom appears to suffer a crisis of conscience, then a quick recovery]
It ain't right, stealin' a man's anvil.
Let's steal his trunk.
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Backlot western with a mugging cast of old pros...
When the only blacksmith in the tumbleweed town of Calico is set to pack up and leave after he's humiliated by his no-show mail-order bride, the other residents band together to replace her with a substitute: the trampy bar-hostess. Universal originally intended "Cockeyed Cowboys" as a television movie to be entitled "A Woman For Charley", but released it theatrically first. While lacking seriously in budget (not to mention originality), the film does have Dan Blocker in the lead, and the gentle giant from "Bonanza" really knows how to work the 'bruised big guy' routine for a touching affect. Unaware of his lady love's true identity, Blocker is quite charming "courtin' her at full steam"; though Blocker occasionally looks winded or overly-tanned, his crestfallen bachelor is the best thing in the picture (and when he's not around, it dies). Blocker inexplicably vanishes from the action twice: after a drinking binge and during a walk into town, leaving the supporting players to pick up the slack. Jim Backus is good as the sheriff, Jack Elam isn't bad in a slapstick role as a near-sighted bounty hunter, but Mickey Rooney chews the scenery (what little of it there is) and Nanette Fabray is disappointing as the bridal ringer. Ranald MacDougall wrote, produced, and co-directed the film...and maybe could have used some extra help. *1/2 from ****
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