5.2/10
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Hawmps! (1976)

In 1854, at Fort Val Verde, Texas, the U.S. Cavalry is experimenting the novel idea of using camels rather than horses as a means of transportation.

Director:

Joe Camp

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Hampton ... Howard Clemmons
Christopher Connelly ... Uriah Tibbs
Slim Pickens ... Naman Tucker
Denver Pyle ... Col. Seymour Hawkins
Gino Conforti ... Hi Jolly (as Gene Conforti)
Mimi Maynard Mimi Maynard ... Jennifer Hawkins
Lee de Broux ... Fitzgerald
Herb Vigran ... Smitty
Jesse Davis Jesse Davis ... Mariachi Singer
Frank Inn Frank Inn ... Cook
Larry Swartz Larry Swartz ... Cpl. LeRoy
Mike Travis Mike Travis ... Logan
Tiny Wells Tiny Wells ... Higgins
Dick Drake Dick Drake ... Drake
Henry Kendrick ... Col. Zachary
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Storyline

A cavalry outpost in the Wild West of nineteenth century U.S. is in need of horses. The Captain of the outpost gets word that they're about to receive a shipment of fine Arabians. What he gets, is a shipment of camels. Written by Afterburner <aburner@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A riotous adventure about camels in the cavalry from mulberry square productions See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cocoaşe! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Glen Glenn Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on historical events. In the late 1850s, the U.S. Army experimented with the use of camels in the southwestern territories, the present states of Arizona and New Mexico. Hi Jolly (Hadji, or Haci Ali, 1828-1902) (portrayed by Gino Conforti) was a Syrian camel expert and driver hired by the Army to help with the experiment. Unfortunately, the project was deterred by the Civil War, and never resumed afterward. Hi Jolly became something of a local legend, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen, and living out his remaining days in Arizona. See more »

Quotes

Bad Jack Cutter: My calling card is this belt I made from a rattlesnake, who's head I bit off on a bet!
Howard Clemmons: [Aside] That's disgusting.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 126 minutes. Current video versions run 113 minutes. See more »

Soundtracks

Still Thinkin' 'Bout You
Music and Lyrics by John Christopher and Robert Wood
Sung by Jesse Davis
courtesy Mulberry Square Records
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User Reviews

 
A Genial, Fast-Moving and Thoroughly Likable Western Send-up
20 April 2008 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

It would be difficult, I suggest, to say enough in praise of the genial and narrative positives of "HAWMPS". Its writers and director managed somehow to make the film engaging, easy to follow, ethical, and logical at the same time in my opinion, not always the expected qualities of a western "send up" . The writers, William Bickley, director Joe Camp and Michael Warren kept the dialog rather swift and on target, without engaging in too many long digressions, extraneous stories, etc. Director Camp also gave the film plenty of well-staged "slapstick" physical moments; but a study of these will reveals that virtually none were wasted--instead they all contributed to the fundamental storyline...The War Department's dispatching of James Hampton, about the only man who would accept the job, to assess the practicality of replacing horses in some jobs in the American West, with camels was. This attempt, which happened in history, is then staged for the audience step-by-hilarious-step. The veteran cavalry troop assigned to this experiment expected fine Arabian mounts; and their new Eastern leader, Hampton, couldn't bring himself to tell them that they were not getting new horses until it was too late. From this point in the story on, everything that happened, I suggest, revealed the Army's leaders' mental shortcomings. Hampton's seriousness about becoming the leader of men he really wanted to be and everyone else's inability to understand their own motives in regards to the camels complete the picture of the picture. The film's makers, I suggest, wasted almost no opportunity where they might reveal character and changing emotions by means of speech as well as action--no small asset to an action film. The cinematography by Don Reddy is always above average, and the original music by Euel Box sustains the moods evoked very well. Production designer Harlan Wright and Art Director Ned Parsons gave the film a dusty, western and believable look everywhere, in my judgment. In the cast, outstanding work was turned in by Jack Elam as Bad Jack Cutter, Slim Pickens as the leader of a rival cavalry troop, James Hampton and Chris Connelly as the leaders of the experiment, Denver Pyle as an artillery-happy commanding officer, Gino Conforti as the camels' imported caretaker and riding instructor, and everyone else concerned. One reason the characters are so memorable, I suggest, is that their motives are rendered so clear throughout the proceedings. I recommend the film for a number of scenes, including the original decision in Washington, the arrival of the camels, the first and second transits of a nearby town, the learning-to-ride sequence, the saloon fight refereed by veteran actor Herb Vigran, and the protracted contest that constitutes the final third of the film. I add my approval also to the way in which all details at the end are wrapped up logically, neatly and amusingly. This film is almost unique, I suggest, in its good-hearted approach to finding comedy in a realistic situation in the American West without demeaning the western genre. I found it to be unexpectedly likable, occasionally touching and enjoyable throughout. Recommended.


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