Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970) Poster

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uplifting, heartwarming, innocent
grmpbob130 December 2001
I found this movie to be uplifting, and heartwarming. Dan Blocker is funny in his innocent way. It promotes high morals and is the kind of movie that the whole family can watch. A funny, innocent love story that you'll want to add to your library.
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Great movie
ridgerunner77330 January 2002
I haven't seen this movie in years, but I remember I saw it at the movie theatre and really enjoyed it. It was a great chance to see Dan Blocker in another role besides "Hoss Cartwright". It also had other cast members such as Jack Elam and Mickey Rooney who were truly enjoyable to watch.
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Good stuff
tonellinon7 April 2004
I saw this movie maybe twice--once in the theater and once on TV--all over 30 years ago. Then I obtained a very good VHS copy and it is in my collection. It is very good and deserves a release in some form. I enjoyed some very comic moments: Jack Elam plays a half-crazed, legally blind bounty hunter with thick spectacles, teaching his finger how to read a wanted poster; Jack Cassidy ends up in jail and loses his temper because the one locking him up is too stupid to understand he's got the wrong man; Nannette Fabray gives the burly Dan Blocker a big roundhouse punch which seals their romance. The plot is a classic: a mail-order bride no-show motivates the town to fix their only blacksmith up with a saloon girl substitute, who just arrives in town. There a lot of subplots that are slapstick. The scenes between Fabray and her hostess where Fabray reveals that she's unexpectedly fallen in love with the gentle giant of a blacksmith; and the scenes between Fabray and Blocker are quite good and are what makes this film better even than what its writer or director probably intended. I would have directed Fabray to keep in mind that her character--while probably matching Fabray's intelligence and robustness but not her sophistication--is not accustomed to having such deep feelings. Perhaps a scene or two more to contrast her relationship to Panama Jack with her newly-discovered capacity to deeply love a man who is not a Western stereotype (but probably closer to the majority of men actually living in the post-Civil War West), the unarmed, simple rough-cut but still part of Victorian America--blacksmith named Charlie. This movie is a hidden gem because it's a product of an old-school cast that whose careers started in an era where actors cared deeply about their work. I cannot see today's TV or movie crowd making such a movie without treating the subject matter and their characters as beneath them--or adding unneeded sex scenes, more violence, profanity, politics and message--so that they could show their constituent audiences, or their equally cynical paymasters, that they're determined to be "realistic." Folks, get a copy of this if you can; it's worth it.
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Some great life lessons in a feel-good movie
keakakui19 January 2004
I absolutely adore this movie, and am so sad that it isn't available on VHS, laserdisc, DVD or any premium channels to speak of, since I tend not to watch movies on channels with commercials. Packed with great laughs and touching performances, the movie teaches some of life's great lessons about beauty truly being in the eye of the beholder, love, stereotyping, and yes, even Christianity and forgiveness. My fondest wish is that someone from the Westerns channel would happen onto this gem and pick it up for broadcast during family viewing hours. Maybe even on DVD???? Pop the popcorn, light the fire, and settle in for a feel-good movie that doesn't rely on pyrotechnics, violence, sex or foul language to define "entertainment value."
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Great Feel Good Movie!
cusdon-119 March 2005
I remember seeing this movie at the drive-in theater when I was a kid. It was both entertaining and innocent. I wish it was available today on DVD. It had some really great stars of the era. It was especially great to see Dan Blocker in a humorous, sensitive movie role. If you enjoyed Dan Blocker in 'Bonanza', I believe you will find him even more enjoyable in his role in this movie. There were great performances by supporting comic actors also. I can't remember if it was a Disney film, but it reminds me of some of the later Disney works such as 'The Apple Dumpling Gang', mostly because of the type of comic support appearing in both movies. It's probably too innocent for today's kids, but us older kids will enjoy watching it.
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great comedy at it's best
bopzoo8 August 2001
I really loved this movie and have seen it many times. Dan Blocker and the rest of the cast do a bang up job of funny one liners and great sight gags. The bounty hunter who can't see and asks the horse for directions, thinking it a fine lady is just a blast.Mickey rooney is especially good. enjoy!!!!
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One of my favorite great classic comedy westerns
artronixwa22 January 2006
This western comedy with a hand full of great actors like the main star Dan Blocker and One that's not on the menu ... Jack Cassady as Panama Jack, has been one of my favorites ever sense first time I watch it on T.V. many years back. Very few seem to know of it and it is little hard to find, but well worth the watching if your into excellent western comedies. Most of the many popular actors that are in this movie have sense pasted away after the making of it...which makes it one of the great classics that should have more attention! I am very happy to see that it is listed and available on DVD with IMDb and have requested it to others as a must see! I rate it on a 1 to 10 scale as 10+ ... excellent story line and lots of laughter you can look forward too from Jack Elam to Mickey Rooney. I compare it with other fine comedy westerns such as Water Hole #3 with James Coburn, Support your local sheriff with James Garner, The over the hill gang with Walter Brennan etc. just to name a few... Thanks IMDb ... Arthur from Thailand
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Backlot western with a mugging cast of old pros...
moonspinner558 August 2010
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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ccarni112 November 2004
A 1970's screwball comedy-western with just the right amount of sentiment thrown in...and is NOT on video or DVD! Why?? You have a wonderful cast brought together here: Dan Blocker, Jim Backus, Nanette Fabray, Wally Cox, scene-stealer Mickey Rooney, Noah Berry Jr, Stubby Kaye, the uproarious Jack Elam, long-time stock player Henry Jones, Jack Cassidy, and more! You couldn't lose with a cast like this!

The plot is simple and formula: Charlie, the only blacksmith in town (Blocker) is going to leave because his mail-order bride turned out to be a hoax. The nervous townsfolk convince Sadie the saloon girl (Fabray) to portray the bride just long enough to let him down easy, leave town, then resume her normal life as a bar singer. Since the blacksmith doesn't drink, he'd never enter the saloon, so it's a perfect plan, right?

Jack Cassidy plays Sadie's nasty sometime-boyfriend Roger Hand who the gang try to pass off as wanted criminal Panama Jack. In a great 'showdown' scene, blind-as-a-bat bounty hunter Blaze Kittrick (Elam) draws down on innocent Indian Tom (Rooney) with hysterical results!

Blocker and Fabray fall for each other in the end (naturally) , but the path to their eventual nuptials is a comedy gold-mine with a lot of laughs and heartfelt warm. A true gem of a minor "B" film that finally, after years of waiting, I have a DVD of the movie from an Australian source! Hopefully someday a big-wig at Universal will see the light of day and release it to the public. You want a copy? has them for sale (me too!).
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Mystery finally solved
OKCRay10 July 2017
This movie hounded me for YEARS. We saw this on a double-bill with PUFINSTUF, and all I could remember was it being a family-friendly western with a saloon gal as part of the plot. Thanks to the online Chicago Tribune archives I found the listing and solved the mystery. Someone had posted the movie to YouTube and this is definitely the movie I had remembered. Good performances by a veteran cast (the opening credits panning through a turn of the century catalog were pretty creative), this is an ideal movie you can enjoy with the family, hopefully Universal will finally make this available on DVD or BluRay.
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"If you didn't know who it is, you wouldn't know who it was!"
classicsoncall21 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Done in the same spirit as the 'Over the Hill Gang' Westerns, this one instead relies on a lot of traditionally non-Western genre character actors to spice up the comedy elements in the story. Bonanza's Dan Blocker finds himself in the lead here in a somewhat characteristic role, that of a big lug with a soft spot in his heart for a gal he wants to marry. The story is similar to a Blocker made for TV movie from 1968 titled "Something for a Lonely Man", in which his character is basically the same guy, but just a bit more oblivious to the frontier gal displaying her affection for him.

Whenever Charley Bicker (Blocker) isn't on screen, the supporting players have a good time hamming it up, with Jim Backus, Mickey Rooney, Wally Cox and Noah Beery, Jr. leading the charge. Jack Elam flits in and out of the story as a hilarious blind gunslinger on the trail of a thousand dollar bounty for outlaw Panama Jack. The town folk come to rely on Kittrick (Elam) to run saloon gal Sadie's (Nanette Fabray) suitor out of town to grease the skids for Bicker's romance.

I got the biggest kick out of Mickey Rooney uttering some self deprecating lines as they relate to his own matrimonial history (married eight times!!!). The first time was when he saw the wrong mail order bride get off the train, stating that he 'wanted one of those'. The better gag was when he offered to tell Charley about all the trouble he's had with women. I bet that line dredged up a lot of memories, as he was with wife number seven at the time. I still can't get over Ava Gardner being his first.

There are also a number of sight gags you'll have to keep your eye out for. I liked the sign in the barber shop providing double duty with 'Special Rates for Funerals', along with the Calico saloon featuring 'Whiskey - 10 cents; Good Whiskey - 15 cents'. What the heck, be a big spender for the extra nickel.

For all you Bonanza fans who couldn't get enough of Hoss Cartwright, this is an entertaining family Western which manages to sidestep the issue of saloon gal Sadie's real profession; at one point she calls herself a dance hall singer and dancer. She fesses up to her shady history with Charley in a later scene by referencing her 'bad' past, but it gets glossed over pretty quickly with Charley's blasé attitude. Sadie keeps Charley and the viewer up in the air about what she'll really do when it comes to walking down the aisle, but if you've seen enough of these kinds of stories, there's only one way it could turn out. And it does.
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This is a funny and family friendly western town movie.
stupid_rs1 January 2014
The towns Black Smith and his anvil are headed back east after a bout of loneliness gets him down, his mail order bride did not wait for him? His friends might let him drift but there is not another one for 50 miles, or an anvil, and that is a bigger problem. Now his poker playing buddies need to step up and do for him what no self respecting buddy would do to a bachelor, find an unattached available, marriage minded female fast, but where? They slowly gather the whole town into their dastardly, good deed doer's plot, even the only dance hall girl in town. Without a doubt each new solution creates a new problem, when is Jack due back?
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There goes the blacksmith, so let's get him a bride!
mark.waltz1 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
An adult version of the types of comedies that were being made at Walt Disney, this is for adults who find the Three Stooges geniuses and find Mel Brooks and Blake Edwards too challenging, and Woody Allen films too intellectual. It's exactly as I describe above, the story of the dimwitted blacksmith Dan Blocker, stood up and conned out of his life savings by a "mail order bride". Not wanting to find a blacksmith in this dust bowl of a western town, the townsmen cajole saloon hostess Nanette Fabray to take on the part, resulting in a bunch of silly innuendo and ridiculous plot twists.

A great supporting cast completes the ensemble of mostly famous TV faces at the time. Most of them, completely realizing that the material is beneath them, add extra oomph in their line delivery, making this a burlesque of the western genre, minus the usual plot lines that dominated them. This is at its best when the always delightful Nanette Fabray is on screen, especially when feigning "ladylike" behavior when around the prickly women of the town who stuck their nose up at her when they believed her to be a woman of ill repute but treat her different in her disguise.

Among those in the cast are Jim Backus, Wally Cox, Mickey Rooney, Henry Jones, Marge Champion and Jack Elam. They all do their best with the material they are given, but what has been proved time and time again, comedy is a much harder genre than drama. Getting people to laugh is not as easy as stirring up people's emotions, and if I had a laugh from this for each emotion that exists, I'd be a statue.
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Never Got Off the Ground
pruiett12 February 2014
I rarely pan a movie. But this one never got off the ground. I watched for 50 minutes and it still did not get past the "setup" that should fuel the remainder of the movie. I loved seeing all the faces: Mickey Rooney, Jim Backus, Don "Red Ryder" Barry, Wally Cox, Jack Elam, Noah Beery, Jr., and more. Yes, lighthearted and family-friendly. But poor Dan Blocker, who was supposed to be the highlight of the movie just never perked up. I wish the lady who was supposed to show up on the train had actually come. That would have been something to wrap the movie around.

Watch for nostalgia.

Not late at night. it will put you to sleep.
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