Walter Brennan is back as the clever and funny over the hill Texas Ranger Nash Crawford. This time the gang must face corruption in their own home town. The gang put their heads together to... See full summary »
Walter Brennan is back as the clever and funny over the hill Texas Ranger Nash Crawford. This time the gang must face corruption in their own home town. The gang put their heads together to clean up their town, take back the rule of law and rehabilitate the town lush (played by Fred Astaire) along with way. Written by
When we first see Waco, there is a mountain visible just outside of town. There are no mountains around Waco, Texas. See more »
[speaking over The Baltimore Kid's grave]
And in a way, you know, it was kind of fitting that of all of us, the Kid was the first to go. He, well, he always did like to lead the way.
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As far as the plot goes, "The Over the Hill Gang Rides Again" should not be compared to Westerns of its time period, but rather with those of the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's which is what this film is a tribute to. Back then you either liked Westerns or you didn't. One did not really care too much about the plot, they were for the most part rather simple and interchangeable. The story here is basically one of trying to restore the reputation of an ex Texas Ranger, played by Fred Astaire. What sets this film apart, and why the film should be reappraised is mostly due to the once in a lifetime Western film fans dream cast. Not many can compare with it(except maybe "The Bounty Killer" which had Broncho Billy Anderson, Bob Steele, John Mack Brown and Rod Cameron). OK, first of all you have Walter Brennan. He can be found in Westerns as early as 1927 with "Ridin Rowdy" and then later in classics like "Red River"(1948), "The Far Country"(1955), "Rio Bravo"(1959), "Support Your Local Sheriff"(1969) and his not to be forgotten Oscar winning role in "The Westerner"(1940) in which he played Judge Roy Bean. Speaking of Judge Roy Bean, the actor who portrayed him in the same titled early 1950's TV series, Edgar Buchanan is next in the cast line-up. His credits include "When the Daltons Rode"(1940), "Abilene Town"(1946), "Shane"(1953), "The Comancheros"(1961) and "Ride the High Country"(1962). Lana Wood may not be a household name, but not only was she in one of the most well known Westerns of all time, "The Searchers"(1956), but also in the remake, which was titled "GrayEagle"(1977). Next in line is Chill Wills, who by himself, can make any film fun. His presence can be felt in "Way Out West"(1937), "Western Union"(1941), "Rio Grande"(1950), "The Alamo"(1960) and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"(1973). Then there's Andy Devine who was in "Destry Rides Again"(1932) with Tom Mix, "Stagecoach"(1939), "Two Rode Together"(1961), "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"(1962) and played the sidekick in the TV & radio series "Wild Bill Hickock". And rounding out the cast of Western vets is the actor who played the part of Chester in the radio version of "Gunsmoke", Parley Baer. It should also be mentioned that Andy Devine acted with Buchanan previously in "When the Daltons Rode" and Chill Wills had appeared with Brennan before in "The Westerner". And as a real curio, making his debut in a Western film is Fred Astaire, who had teamed with Brennan before also, in a non Western, "The Story of Irene and Vernon Castle"(1939). The closest Astaire had come to a Western was in the "Daddy Long Legs"(1955) DREAM SEQUENCE playing a Texas millionaire wearing a cowboy hat and boots! Did Fred ever sport a mustache before? Yes, in the BABBITT & THE BROMIDE # from "Ziegfield Follies"(1946) and in the CLAP YO HANDS # from "Funny Face"(1957). As a final note, the same year that Mr. Astaire acted in his only Western, his dancing rival Gene Kelly participated in HIS only Western, "The Cheyenne Social Club", as director!
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