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Pardon My Gun (1930)

Passed | | Comedy, Western | 5 October 1930 (USA)
Ted is riding for Pa Martin against Cooper in the big race. When Cooper has his men capture Ted, Peggy overhears them and sets out to free Ted in time for the race.


(as Robert DeLacy)




Complete credited cast:
Ted Duncan (as George Duryea)
Peggy Martin
Jeff Potter
Pa Martin
Hank MacFarlane ...
Hank Martin
Tom MacFarlane ...
Tom Martin


The slight plot, in what little time it is actually on screen, has ranch hand Ted Duncan in love with the daughter, Mary Martin of ranch owner Martin. But Cooper, neighboring rancher has his eye on Mary and everything else Martin owns so, at the annual relay races, Martin is goaded into a lock-stock-and-barrel bet that his horse, ridden by Ted, can beat Cooper's horse. Cooper has no intention of running an honest race.The majority of the film is mostly a showcase for Abe Lyman and his band and a slew of what-killed-vaudeville acts, most featuring pint-sized Mona Ray (as another Martin daughter only to have an excuse to work her into the film.) There are seven songs,some acts and turns, and an exhibition of roping and riding by two young brothers, Tom and Hank MacFarland, a couple of kids primarily from the rodeo circuit. Some of the stuff from Mona Ray is... well... sort of disturbing. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

kidnapping | horse race | See All (2) »


Comedy | Western






Release Date:

5 October 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La alegría del rancho  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song "Deep Down South" was recorded by legendary jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke on September 9, 1930, in his last session as a bandleader. The record featured Benny Goodman on clarinet, Gene Krupa on drums and a high-voiced singer-guitarist named Weston Vaughan. Bix's record and the performance in this film were the only versions of "Deep Down South" recorded when it was new. See more »


Deep Down South
Lyrics by Monte Collins (as Monty Collins)
Music by George Green
Performed by Mona Ray with Abe Lyman and His Orchestra
Reprised as an instrumental by Abe Lyman and His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Pardon My Movie
27 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

Pardon My Gun is an example of how not to make a movie. Thinking about it in the context of 1930, the singing cowboy in movies was still developing, but the proper way to make a movie had been figured out for years. This movie was wrong in every way.

There is supposed to be a plot, but it is pushed aside for what would normally be filler. There is supposed to be a hero and a heroine, but they are pushed aside for what would normally be filler. Let me explain...

The plot is supposed to be about Ted Duncan (Tom Keene) saving Mary Martin (Sally Starr) from having to marry the villain, Cooper (Harry Woods), to settle her father's gambling debts. That is simple enough. The problem is that if I were to use a stopwatch to log the time Tom Keene is on screen it would probably total less than five minutes out of the hour long film. Heroines usually have little screen time, but Sally Starr could have filmed all of her dialogue in half an hour including set changes.

Pardon My Gun starts off kind of slow then works to a dead stop. The scene where Peggy (Mona Ray) arrives never seems to end. Peggy is a 20's flapper who would normally be out of place in a western, but this was hardly a western. The characters keep talking to one another, but nothing is said that pushes the story along. Watching Lightnin' (Stompie) talk to his frog, Fuzzy, over and over does nothing for the plot. The big barn dance scene takes a great deal of time with music, dance, and comedy performances. The redeeming value to the scene is that it gives a glimpse of what vaudeville acts were like. For what it was, it should have been left for film shorts rather than part of what should have been a movie. As much as we would like to have the hero on screen all the time, those scenes with playful interaction among the minor characters can add to the charm of the movie. In this case that is all there is! The charm wore off immediately.

Yes, there is an exciting horse race, a fight scene, some shots, and some cowboy hats. It would have been nice to have more than a few minutes of western action. The MacFarlane brothers apparently worked the rodeos because they did roping and singing for this movie in flashy western outfits. They are the closest thing to the wild west of anyone in the cast. Abe Lyman was popular on radio in the 1930's. Seeing his band in cowboy outfits is fun, but hardly western in the context of music for cowboy movies.

I have seen silent movies with much more cohesive stories than Pardon My Gun. I have seen early Bob Steele and Ken Maynard films with much more heroic action. There were better films made before, during, and of course, after the time Pardon My Gun was made. I am certain that movie-goers of 1930 felt the same way.

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