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The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)

Approved | | Action, Comedy, Family | 8 October 1947 (USA)
Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana while en route to California. During the stopover, a notorious ... See full summary »

Director:

Charles Barton (as Charles T. Barton)

Writers:

Robert Lees (screenplay), Frederic I. Rinaldo (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bud Abbott ... Duke Egan
Lou Costello ... Chester Wooley
Marjorie Main ... Widow Hawkins
Audrey Young ... Juanita Hawkins
George Cleveland ... Judge Benbow
Gordon Jones ... Jake Frame
William Ching ... Jim Simpson
Peter M. Thompson Peter M. Thompson ... Phil (as Pete Thompson)
Bill Clauson Bill Clauson ... Matt Hawkins
Billy O'Leary Billy O'Leary ... Billy Hawkins
Pamela Wells Pamela Wells ... Sarah Hawkins
Jimmy Bates Jimmy Bates ... Jefferson Hawkins
Paul Dunn Paul Dunn ... Lincoln Hawkins
Diane Florentine Diane Florentine ... Sally Hawkins
Rex Lease ... Hank
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Storyline

Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana while en route to California. During the stopover, a notorious criminal, Fred Hawkins, is murdered, and the two are charged with the crime. They are quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to die by hanging. The head of the local citizen's committee, Jim Simpson (William Ching), recalls a law whereby the survivor of a gun duel must take responsibility for the deceased's debts and family. The law spares the two from execution, but Chester is now responsible for the widow Hawkins (Marjorie Main) and her seven children. They go to her farm, where Chester is worked by Mrs. Hawkins from dawn to dusk. To make matters worse, Chester must work at the saloon at night to repay Hawkin's debt to its owner, Jake Frame (Gordon Jones). Her plan is to wear Chester down until he agrees to marry her. Chester quickly learns that no one will harm him, for fear that they will have to ... Written by RP

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SEE THE LAST WORD IN NECKWEAR! (original print ad - all caps - caption for illustration of necktie party) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A szekér sóvárgó özvegye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Alphin was originally cast as Juanita, but two weeks into shooting she was hospitalized with a burst appendix. She was replaced by Audrey Young. See more »

Quotes

Chester Wooley: That wild goose chase of yours is going to lay an egg.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The World of Abbott and Costello (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Bullets
6 May 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Two traveling salesmen (guess who) arrive in the lawless frontier town of Wagon Gap where the outlaw boss Gordon Jones and citizen's committee head William Ching are in a power struggle. Poor inept Costello winds up getting framed for a murder and he and Abbott are both about to be hung when Ching discovers a law in Montana Territory about a man who causes the death of another is responsible for the deceased's debts and family. Costello takes the responsibility.

He soon thinks capital punishment even the extralegal kind might be preferable to dealing with Marjorie Main and her squalling band of kids. Think of Costello inheriting the Kettle clan if Pa Kettle had met his demise at Costello's hands and you have some idea what Costello is going through.

But quite by accident it's discovered that Costello has carte blanche in Wagon Gap because no one wants to see any harm come to him or else they might inherit Marjorie Main. Costello carries a picture of her and the clan close to his heart and it's more valuable than a Sherman Tank would have been. He has a very funny scene cooling down a town drunk played by Dewey Robinson after he's made sheriff.

Marjorie Main with her own brand of rustic humor does not yield the film to Bud and Lou. You might also like the performance of George Cleveland as a judge not unlike Samuel S. Hinds in Destry Rides Again.

In fact the whole film has a lot of similarity to Destry and no surprise there since this was originally supposed to be a more serious story that was to have starred James Stewart. When he passed on it, it was rewritten for Abbott and Costello.

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap should appeal to both fans of the Kettle family and those of Bud and Lou. Between them they accounted for a big portion of what counted as profits for Universal Studios.


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