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A lovely film
Spondonman6 February 2005
Ride 'Em Cowboy has always been my favourite Abbott & Costello film, since the first time I saw it at 10 years old. Other films of theirs had some of the classic routines, maybe better stories too, but this one has some great routines, great atmosphere and a lot of great songs too. And just as importantly Anne Gwynne never looked lovelier ... even when she was ogling Dick Foran! Was that why she didn't she make the A-list?!

It's that Universal Studios 1941 atmosphere that counts most, and Don Raye & Gene de Paul had cooked up some marvellous tunes as well, my favourite being Give Me My Saddle. The marvellous Merry Macs had their bit with Wake Up Jacob, a glorious little ditty I think is still not available on CD. Most of todays music experts would go for Ella's classic A-Tisket A-Tasket though, whilst probably commenting on how demeaning it was for her to appear in such a film. But as far they're concerned not for anyone else appearing though!

Favourite bits: Lou's dream sequence "You will You won't"; in the chase "putting out the brake"; the romantic midnight horse ride to the gorgeous I'll Remember April; many other bits of Bud & Lou's, all putting a smile on my face: not forgetting the poker game, breaking in Wildcat, the Red Indian dummy sketch etc. Was Sunbeam the young squaw an inspiration for Tex Avery's cartoons?

82 minutes of joy to fans, however if you don't like A&C, b&w films from 1941, Westerns or slushy music there's nothing for you here.
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very funny A+C vehicle
Russell Dodd14 July 1999
Abbott and Costello, working on a rodeo as hot dog salesman accidently let out a bull while on the run from the boss. The bull gets in the path of celebrated western hero 'Bronco' Bob. He panics and it's up to champion cowgirl, Anne to save his life. She injures her ankle and is out of the competition. He apologises but she's having none of it after discovering he's a big fake. Meanwhile, the boys, still on the run from the boss hide on the train which Anne(and Bronco Bob) are on. A hilarious poker game routine occurs here. Lou's facial expressions are hystrical. Anyway, the boys get jobs on the 'Lazy S' ranch which Anne's father owns where Bob asks Anne for forgiveness and asks her to train him for the upcoming rodeo competition. Meanwhile, Costello accidentally shoots an arrow through the heart of a teepee and by law has to marry a girl(probably played by a man) whom the tent is owned by. So the Indians are after him.

The boys do all sorts of routines throughout this very very funny outing which won't disappoint any of their fans. Crazy house routine, swimming pool scene, poker scene and the great driving finale are all highlights in one of their best. One or two of the songs slow the pace though (Foran's only).
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The boys own Way Out West?
Spikeopath4 March 2008
Well obviously not close to that brilliant offering from Stan & Ollie, but this is a nice genre attempt from Bud & Lou.

The guys here are peanut vendors at a rodeo show, after accidentally burning their boss's foot they hide away on a train heading west. They end up at the Lazy S ranch and get work despite the fact that they clearly have no idea what they are letting themselves into.

That's as much as you need to know really, there is the usual mix up of songs, love interest, and pure mania that goes with the decent films from the boys considerably large CV. A running plot strand of the guys on the run from Indian's because Lou has accidentally got engaged to a squaw, makes for some great and humorous scenes, but the stand out sequence takes place at a swimming pool, wonderfully funny part of the film. The film isn't really one to win new fans to the comedic talent of the pair because the running time could be too long for some with this brand of humour, but for those already converted, the film sits nicely up at the top with the best of their work.

A-ticket, a-tasket, a green and yellow basket! 7/10
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"Don't worry sister, we'll have a bow and arrow wedding."
classicsoncall17 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Abbott and Costello found themselves in a wide variety of films; "Ride 'em Cowboy" is their take on mangling the Western genre. They're aided by genuine "B" Western stars Johnny Mack Brown and Dick Foran along with pretty Anne Gwynne as the romantic interest for Foran's character, Bronco Bob Mitchell. Bronco Bob is largely a mythical character, invented by Mitchell when he was a starving writer. But his Western stories were hugely successful, so the Mitchell exploits grew larger than life until he can no longer live up to the image of his creation. Arriving at the Lazy S Ranch, Mitchell and the boys take a stab at dude ranch life and try to get ready for the annual rodeo celebration, in which Mitchell has agreed to compete. Therein lies the recipe for this Abbott and Costello brand of Western fun.

With no sign of the Andrews Sisters from their earlier films, the musical chores are picked up by The Merry Macs and Ella Fitzgerald. A quick peek at Ella's filmography reveals that her standard "A-Tisket, A-Tasket was performed in seven films between 1939 and 1948, and it's done here in fine fashion. Dick Foran also croons a tune as the obligatory singing cowboy.

Lou Costello proved he could ride a runaway torpedo in 1941's "Keep 'Em Flying"; here he does the same on a stampeding bronco, with Bud along for the ride. The film also offers some of the same sight gags found in Warner Brothers cartoons of the era, notably Lou's having his "palm re(a)d" in a dream sequence dominated by Indians.

"Ride 'em Cowboy" gallops along at a fairly quick eighty six minute run, a lot of it at a frenetic pace. Abbott and Costello fans will enjoy their favorites here, as the boys show they can be at home in any setting.
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A Bow and Arrow Wedding
bkoganbing25 June 2005
When Universal found they had a gold mine in two burlesque comedians named Bud Abbott and Lou Costello they rushed them into film after film. In the early years of their Unviersal contract the boys did film after film. Since Universal did most of it's product on the cheap for a major studio Bud and Lou became major moneymakers.

Have you ever noticed that in their earliest films while they are top billed, Bud and Lou are extraneous to the plot. There's usually some romantic story plot and always some musical entertainment. Ride 'Em Cowboy fits this formula perfectly. Dick Foran who appeared in three Abbott and Costello films in this period is a western story writer who's publicity agent has made him a western superhero. Foran sings real nice, but he can barely ride a horse. Anne Gwynne, daughter of a dude ranch owner, learns the truth and spurns him. But the smitten Foran is determined to make himself all the cowboy she expects of him.

Dick Foran who had done some singing cowboy films at Warner Brothers in the Thirties was now at Universal and he had a pleasant singing voice and an easy manner that never intruded on the comedy of Bud and Lou. A big hit song for the World War II years, I'll Remember April, was introduced by him in this film.

And if Foran introducing a hit song wasn't enough, Universal got the Merry Macs to perform a few numbers and Ella Fitzgerald reprised her A Tisket A Tasket hit from the mid thirties. Something for everyone.

But after all this is Bud and Lou's film and they have some good moments themselves. Funniest I think is Costello trying to break a horse and he literally ropes Abbott along for the ride.

Douglass Dumbrille plays an Indian chief. For me, just the sight of the polished villainous Mr. Cedar of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town in an Indian suit is funny enough. But Costello shoots an arrow through the painted heart of his daughter's tepee which in that tribe is a marriage proposal. Costello is going to be wed to an Indian princess who looks like Rosie O'Donnell. He balks at the prospect and a running gag throughout the film is Dumbrille and the tribe chasing Costello to get him to the altar in a bow and arrow wedding. This same gag with the same principal players is used in their later film Lost in a Harem for MGM.

This is one of my favorite Abbott and Costello films and when you get to see it, it will be a favorite of your's as well.
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"You shot an arrow through the heart of her teepee."
utgard1425 May 2015
Fun Abbott & Costello movie has the boys playing peanut vendors at a rodeo who get into trouble with their boss, so they head West and get a job working on a dude ranch. While Bud and Lou are up to their usual antics, singing cowboy Dick Foran tries to win over cowgirl Anne Gwynne. The problem is Foran's not a real cowboy and Gwynne doesn't think much of him. But when he's set to compete in a charity rodeo, she has to teach him to be a real cowboy fast.

Pretty funny with a good supporting cast that includes Douglas Dumbrille, Samuel S. Hinds, Morris Ankrum, and Johnny Mack Brown. Bud and Lou are in good form with funny lines and banter throughout, as well as some nice physical gags. Dick Foran does fine and lovely Anne Gwynne is charming. This one also has several musical numbers. The Merry Macs sings some nice tunes and Ella Fitzgerald, in her film debut, sings "A-Tisket A-Tasket." Even Dick Foran sings a couple of forgettable songs. Not one of A&C's best but pleasant entertainment. While it's true there's more focus on other characters and music than you might want in an Abbott & Costello comedy, rest assured that every time the duo is on screen they are gold.
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Rhythm on the Range
lugonian5 February 2011
RIDE 'EM COWBOY (Universal, 1942), directed by Arthur Lubin, places the popular comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in another funny outing, literally, this time set at a dude ranch surrounded by cowboys, Indians, an assortment Universal stock players, and several fine tunes. It also marked the motion picture debut of vocalist, Ella Fitzgerald (appearing as Ruby), singing her signature song, "A Tisket, A Tasket (My Little Yellow Basket)" while resident cowboy star, Johnny Mack Brown, takes time out showing Bud and Lou the ropes in between time of his own Universal western series of the time.

In a story presented on two levels, the first goes to title character "Broncho Bob" Mitchell (Dick Foran), author of best selling western novels, making his introduction as the feature attraction of Greater New York Bennett Rodeo. In spite of his fame and fortune, Martin Manny (Charles Lane), his severest critic, who doubts him to be "a great western hero," intends on exposing him in his next column. Manny's suspicions are proved correct when a bull breaks away, causing Bob to fall from his horse and cover his face in fear while cowgirl Ann Shaw (Anne Gwynne) steps in to bulldog the bull by the horns. Her heroic deed causes her leg injury that keeps her from riding in the finals to win that $1,000 grand prize. The second level moves to pals, Duke (Bud Abbott) and Willoughby (Lou Costello), working as hot dog/ peanut vendors whose antics get them in trouble with the boss (Wade Boteler). After their latest antic, Duke and Willoughby take refuge in a cattle car taking them to the same train as Ann and Broncho Bob while bound for Arizona. While at the Lazy S Ranch in Gower Gulch owned by Ann's father (Samuel S. Hinds), Duke and Willoughby obtain work as hired hands for foreman, Bruce "Alabam" Corman (Johnny Mack Brown) while Ann helps Bob's cowboy hero reputation by training him to ride a horse for the upcoming Frontier Day Celebration before some unexpected situations take place.

During the course of its 86 minutes, there's time out for music. Songs by Don Rays and Gene DePaul include: "Give Me My Saddle" (sung by Dick Foran); "Wake Up Jacob" (sung by The Merry Macs); "A Tisket, a Tasket" (sung by Ella Fitzgerald/ music and lyrics by Fitzgerald and Al Feldman); "Beside the Rio Tonto Shore" (sung by The Merry Macs); "I'll Remember April" (sung by Dick Foran); "Rockin' and Reelin'" (The Merry Macs) and "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (sung by chorus). While song interludes might become intrusive for those interested in catching those Abbott and Costello routines, some of them work out quite well, in fact, almost working their way as highlights. Aside from Ella Fitzgerald's aforementioned "A Tisket a Tasket," the impressive tune of "I'll Remember April," was one that usually got edited out of commercial television presentations to provide for some paid advertising during its 90 minute time slot. This haunting number introduced by Foran singing it to Gwynne during a mountain moonlight ride is quite impressive, even more so with cowboy/ cowgirl chorus crooning beautifully in the background. The Merry Macs perform their numbers in true 1940s jive style while one notable sequence, featuring three black tap dancers, is presented too briefly, leaving indication of a show stopping number ending up on the cutting room floor.

While Costello's ad-libs and outbursts might come across as forced sometimes, whatever weakness RIDE 'EM COWBOY may have are redeemed by some fine comedy routines, ranging from Abbott and Costello's abridged reworking their poker game routine introduced in BUCK PRIVATES (1941); Costello's attempt to go swimming while wearing a type of bathing suit unseen since the Mack Sennett silent comedy days; Bud and Lou's entanglement with Indians (lead by Douglass Dumbrille as Jake Rainwater); Costello avoiding marriage to Moonbeam (Jody Gilbert), an overweight Indian Girl; to that great climatic chase between Indians on horseback after Bud and Lou in their jalopy, to laugh-filled results. The amusing "The Crazy House" skit, enacted as part of a dream sequence, originally introduced by Abbott and Costello in their burlesque days, was actually used to better advantage in their 1950s television episode titled "Peace and Quiet" from THE ABBOTT AND COSTELLO SHOW. Interestingly, "Crazy House," immediately following the "I'll Remember April" number, turned out to be another cut segment from most television prints during the 1960s and 70s.

RIDE 'EM COWBOY, distributed to home video and later DVD, had its share of cable TV broadcasts over the years, namely the Comedy Channel (late 1980s); American Movie Classics (2001) and Turner Classic Movies where it premiered July 25, 2010. While not essentially a western, RIDE 'EM COWBOY will sure to please any Abbott and Costello devotees whether they'd be riding horses, milking cows, or time out for others in the spotlight with song and dance. (***)
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Pleasant and passable A&C outing
jimtinder16 January 2001
With this, their first release of 1942, Abbott and Costello continue in the same vein as their four previous starring successes; they are supposed to be the stars, but are often second fiddle to music and a romantic subplot. Not that that's bad, considering the appearance of the one and only Ella Fitzgerald -- but the formulaic way Universal was treating the team begins to wear thin with each new film.

There are still plenty of laughs, however; enough to rate this a slight improvement over their previous release, "Keep 'Em Flying." A western setting for Abbott and Costello provides enough comedy hijinks to offset the romance. Dick Foran is back, crooning his way into a girl's heart (in this case, it's Anne Gwynne), and really good music is provided by the aforementioned Miss Fitzgerald (though "Cow-Cow Boogie" mysteriously and unacceptably was cut from the final release) and the Merry Macs.

As top box office attractions, it can be understood why Universal stuck by the comedy-romance-music formula. However, it's wearing thin by even 1942 standards. "Ride 'Em Cowboy" is good, but one waits for the film where Abbott and Costello take center stage throughout the film (fortunately it happens before year's end with the release of "Who Done It"). 7 out of 10.
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Way Out West with Abbott & Costello
wes-connors29 July 2010
New York hot dog vendors Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (as Duke and Willoughby) cause trouble at a rodeo, them move out west for real, first disguised as cows and then as cowboys. This was the inevitable "western" take on the "Abbott & Costello" franchise, and it catches the duo appearing still fresh, and with the formula working well. With their "poker game" probably best known, the vaudeville routines seem not to have been tapped out, and the material is chosen well. And, new comedy bits are blended in well.

The inoffensive lovers are singing cowboy Dick Foran (as "Bronco Bob" Mitchell) and pretty cowgirl Anne Gwynne (as Anne Shaw).

Ella Fitzgerald drops in, to sing her hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (1938). Western hero Johnny Mack Brown (as "Alabam'" Brewster) also lends some support. But, the highlight is seeing Ms. Fitzgerald and The Merry Macs do a 1940s jive called "Rockin' and Reelin'" (a tune Chuck Berry might have enjoyed). It's guaranteed to pop your top. Merry Mac brothers Joe, Ted, and Judd McMichael (herein complimented by Mary Lou Cook) were an excellent vocal group, best known for their later hit "Mairzy Doats" (1944).

******* Ride 'Em Cowboy (2/13/42) Arthur Lubin ~ Lou Costello, Bud Abbott, Dick Foran, Anne Gwynne
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The making of a cowboy: lots of fun
weezeralfalfa27 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As with many of the early films of Abbott and Costello this one is composed of 3 basic elements: 1) a budding romance, with its ups and downs 2) several lead singers, with songs dispersed through the film 3)comedy, mainly involving Bud Abbott and Lou Costello(A&C): the nominal leads. This was the last of 5 A&C films that Arthur Lubin directed. He would go on to direct most of the 'Francis the Talking Mule' comedy series, about a decade later.

Along with several other A&C films, Dick Foran is the romantic lead, getting involved with pretty Anne Gwynne, and doing some singing. With her help, he's in the process of metamorphosing from a fake cowboy and writer of western novels into a real singing cowboy. Thus, he sings "Give Me my Saddle", "I'll Remember April", and "Ride 'Em Cowboy". Surprisingly, Ella Fitzgerald makes 2 cameo appearances, singing "A-Tisket A-Tasket", and "Rockin' and Reeli'",neither of which has anything to do with cowboys. The Merry Macs, consisting of 3 men and a young woman, sing several songs.

The film begins with Foran , as 'Bronco' Bob Mitchell, a popular writer of western novels, being honored at a rodeo on Long Island. He's been recently criticized as never having been in the West, and not being a cowboy. He wants to show that he can ride a horse, even though he's never been on one. All goes well, until A&C accidentally let a bull out of its pen, spooking his horse, which dumps him. Anne comes to his rescue, but sustains a bad ankle sprain which knocks her out of the competition for the best female performer. Fortan takes a liking to her, and signs up as a long-term guest at her father's dude ranch in Arizona. He hopes this experience will transform him into a real cowboy, along with romancing Anne.

A&C, who are selling peanuts and hotdogs at the rodeo have a series of misadventures with the customers and their boss. They run onto the train that will take Foran and Anne to Arizona just as it is taking off(What about tickets?). All get on the ranch bus. A&C are tentatively hired, but unclear what they can do. Lou is given the task of milking a cow, with occasional coaching from Bud. But Lou is a very poor student, and at the end still has no idea how to do it, pumping the tail like a hand pump. The boys encounter an open store run by Indians. Lou tries out using the bow and arrow, and puts it through the center of a heart drawn on a nearby tent. The Indians say that means he proposed to someone inside. But, Lou isn't interested, and runs away. For the remainder of the film, the Indians pursue him to make him marry her.

A&C try out the ranch swimming pool, which has both high and low diving boards. However, when Lou tries to use the low board, he gets hammered on the head with people bouncing in the high board(A very poor arrangement!). Of course, he can't swim.

A&C have a time with a fake Indian placed in their room. When they are out, a real Indian looking identical takes it's place(why?). Lou has a dream where he goes to Bud dressed as a doctor to tell about his fear of Indians. Lou then changes into Indian dress. The nurse looks like Anne, except she's dressed as an Indian maiden. Then , Custer and gang show up on one end of his bed, while Sitting Bull and gang show up on the other side, and shoot at each other, with him in the middle.

Somehow, Lou ends up on an infamous bucking bronco, and actually stays on for a long time, never being thrown. Good stunt double work, presumably. He should have been in the rodeo! Bud gets on the bronco with Lou, but without a saddle, and somehow stays on until the end.

In all, a fun experience, especially for kids. See it on the DVD set The Best of Abbott and Costello, Vol.1.
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It's a pleasant enough film but a bit of a disappointment to Abbott and Costello fans.
MartinHafer11 August 2009
Sadly, while this is billed as an Abbott and Costello film, like their earliest films, they really are supporting actors and there is a main love story that detracts from the comedy. Other than HOLD THAT GHOST, it wasn't until later that the boys truly were the stars of their films--no longer having to share the spotlight with an irrelevant love story that didn't involve them. As for Abbott and Costello, like in so many of these early films they just seem to be along for the ride and to provide some laughs.

In many ways, the main plot from RIDE 'EM COWBOY is obviously inspired by the Dick Powell film, COWBOY FROM BROOKLYN (1938). In COWBOY FROM BROOKLYN, Dick Powell plays a popular movie cowboy who really knows nothing about being a cowboy. Heck, he's even afraid of horses!! In RIDE 'EM COWBOY, Dick Foran plays a writer who writes cowboy novels and has developed a reputation as a great cowboy, though he doesn't know the first thing about it. So, unlike Powell, Foran sets out to learn what he can about roping and horses and the like. Ironically, Dick Foran is in both films!

Another complaint I have about the film is that it has a lot of irrelevant music. Sure, Foran has a lovely voice as does Ella Fitzgerald (who appears out of no where to sing), but isn't this supposed to be a comedy?! Like too many of their early films for Universal, they are not only saddled with a romantic plot but too many songs that are just distractions. It seems insane to me that these executives were crazy as were the ones who forced the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy (in a few films only) and other comedians to step back for these song and dance numbers.

Unfortunately, since so much time is devoted to these irrelevancies, the film really doesn't have all that much Abbott and Costello and the material they are given isn't their best stuff. As a result, it's a pleasant enough film but a disappointment to Abbott and Costello fans and is among the worst of their early films.
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Great Western Comedy
www11256 April 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of Abbott and Costello's best, in my opinion. This was actually my first Western film, and it remains one of my favorite Westerns. Abbott and Costello, still young and with perfect timing, are on hand as two goofy peanut vendors at a rodeo show. After getting in trouble with their boss, they run away and get into more trouble with Indians. Another highlight in this film is the inclusion of my very favorite actress, Anne Gwynne, who is just as beautiful as ever in this film. She herself claimed this to be one of her favorite films she was in, and she even takes part in the Crazy House routine. Can't get better than that!
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Music and Dance including Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan
Tangman200516 February 2007
Ella Fitzgerald, in her first screen role, plays Ruby, who fills several roles as one of the employees of the ranch. At the opening rodeo, she is dressed as a rodeo clown, and comes to Anne's side when she is hurt. Later in the film, she can be seen removing an apron before singing. Ella sings A-Tisket, A-Tasket in the bus, as the ranch crew drives from the railway station to the ranch. Ruby and the other employees interact playfully during the song.

In the one dance scene in the film, a square dance is being held in a barn. The Merry Macs interrupt the square dance caller with the musical question, "What kind of old fashion jive is that you've got?" And end up telling him "Don't be a chump. Do a square dance, but make it jump." They then launch into an upbeat swing tune. The Macs sing "Ruby, Ruby. We want Ruby", and ask her to come out and sing jive. She takes off her apron and sings a few verses. Still singing, she introduces dancers who will "show you how they drop the square. You know. Back in Harlem up on Sugar Hill." Several couples come out and put on quite a display of Lindy Hop. Ruby and the Macs each take a turn with additional verses, and over a dozen couples take the floor doing swing. Well known swing dancers Dean Collins and Jewel McGowan dance along side the other couples in this scene. Although Dean is known for a smooth style of Lindy, he and Jewel perform two "around the block" moves, as well as some energetic kicks during their short time on camera. Most of the songs in the film are cowboy songs, which were very popular at the time. The presence of Ella Fizgerald and swing dancers demonstrates another popular music and dance of the early 1940s.
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Almost the birth of Rock and Roll
yonhope11 March 2004
Hi, Everyone,

I first saw some of this movie in a silent version. It was released by Castle Films as a home movie for people who had 8mm projectors. It was about five minutes in length and the Castle title was "No Indians Please." It had the car chase scene where Abbott and Costello were being pursued by Indians on horseback. The Model A Ford just looks funny even without sound. It has a good special effect where the car is driven underwater.

The spectacular thing about this movie is the music. It was made about a dozen years before Rock and Roll music would be on the charts. This movie has a couple of numbers where Black and White musical artists are mixed musically in a way that basically is Rock and Roll. The combination of barndance cowboy music mixed with an uptempo African American group that is not unlike The Coasters of the fifties is prophetic. I don't think anyone knew what they almost had.

The story is OK. Bud and Lou are their usual selves managing to find trouble in the calmest of settings. A dude ranch, a drive in the desert, a bus trip and a stop to buy some Indian souvenirs causes much chaos.

If you like the bus in this movie, be sure to watch "It Happened One Night." Other bus movies would include "North By Northwest (One scene)," "The Big Bus," "D.O.A. (One scene)," "Speed" and "High Anxiety (One scene)."

Tom Willett
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The only thing mostly missing is fun!
JohnHowardReid13 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Copyright 4 December 1941 by Universal Pictures Co., Inc. New York opening at Loew's Criterion: 4 March 1942. U.S. release: 13 February 1942. Australian release: 24 September 1942. 7,859 feet. 87 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: An author of dime-novel westerns who pretends to be a real cowboy is in danger of being exposed as a fake. So he books himself into a dude ranch in Arizona to learn about the real thing. A pretty cowgirl whom he bumps into at a rodeo has something to do with this decision. On arrival at the Lazy S, however, he discovers he has a rival for the lady's affections. Matters are further complicated by the town gambler who kidnaps the ranch foreman in order to prevent him competing in the local rodeo.

COMMENT: Beautifully photographed and directed with some element of visual style - particularly in its spectacular action climax which incorporates some good stunts excitingly filmed with running inserts on actual locations (though process screen inserts and equally obvious undercranking don't help).

Dick Foran gets to sing a couple of songs, including the beautiful melody "I'll Remember April", as well as joining a jostling parade for the rousing title tune (reminds us of Rio Rita). Anne Gwynne makes an attractively personable heroine and is effectively doubled for her stunts. The agreeable Johnny Mack Brown is also on hand. Helping out with the singing chores are the wonderful Ella Fitzgerald and the so-called Merry Macs.

The support players headed by Richard Lane, Douglass Dumbrille and Samuel S. Hinds include a number of our firm favorites. The movie is colorful, very slickly produced and often most effectively staged. The script on which the musical numbers are pegged is pleasantly light, the songs themselves are appealing, the players ingratiating.

The only thing mostly missing is fun. Abbott and Costello are a couple of damp squibs. Their material is a wet blanket of tired slapstick and verbal bullying. Not only are their puns weak and unfunny, but their gauche, unstylish slapstick fails to strike even the mildest of sparks. Worse, obvious doubles and stuntmen substitute for the oafish comics whenever there's any real work to be done, as in the bronco-busting sequence.
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Top notch for Abbott & Costello, though formulaic
vincentlynch-moonoi16 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
As far as the Abbott & Costello flicks go, this is one of the best (although I rather like the comedy-fright films done later in their careers). Particularly in many of the early A&C films, the theme was "variety entertainment", and this is a very good example. In addition to the comedy of A&C, you also have some great singing by Ella Fitzgerald (yes, really), Dick Foran, and the Merry Macs. And, BTW, in the print that I just saw on TCM, the film was in excellent condition and as crisp a B&W film as you'll find.

The only problem with the Abbott & Costello films is that they are very formulaic. It's often a case of setting being different, but the A&C routines don't vary a lot. In this case, the duo is out west at a dud ranch, so there are lots of Indians (some funny stuff there) and bad guys. Lou Costello was probably brilliant, but the same old same old got a little old. So if I watch A&C, it's usually a couple of times a year...then I enjoy them.

Ella Fitzgerald does her "A Tisket A Tasket" number. Dick Foran (who I believe was underrated) sings a couple of songs, and he was a very good singer and a decent actor).

This might be the best Abbot & Costello film to watch...or certainly right up there.
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Dude Ranch Anarchy
dougdoepke19 February 2015
Lively A&C. The gags fly fast and furious as the boys invade a dude ranch that'll never be the same. There, the boys practice the patented Costello double-takes, knock-about, and word play— for example, "Ever had your palm read?"— and we fans know what happens next because of double meanings. Then there are lots of antics with Chief Yowlatchie and tribe, as Costello shows why he was a cavalry school flunk-out. And what a bang-up finale in that nifty little car that takes on the whole San Fernando Valley, both forwards and backwards.

Also, there's lovely Anne Gwynne as blonde eye candy in her cowgirl getup, along with Dick Foran and Johnny Mack Brown who're doing something or other. And shouldn't forget the many mellow sounds of the 40's, including some lively hep-cat leg shaking. And isn't that the legendary Ella Fitzgerald making a movie debut. Too bad we don't see more of her swinging style.

No real plot, just a couple intrigues for the boys to hang their hats on. Too bad this is director Lubin's last A&C film. He really knows how to mix the comic brew. Then too, it's still early for the boys and movies, so the duo appears really motivated. No, the comedy's nothing to write home about; but it is worth tapping out a happily positive review.
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Abbott and Costello milkin' and ropin'
SimonJack17 January 2015
Bud Abbott and Lew Costello provide plenty of laughs in this comedy Western musical. As Duke and Willoughby, respectively, the boys go from selling peanuts at a New York rodeo show to being hands on a dude ranch in Arizona. Dick Foran plays Bronco Bob Mitchell and croons a couple of songs. The object of his affections is the dude ranch owner's daughter and trick rider Anne Shaw (played by Anne Gwynne). This is Ella Fitzgerald's movie debut, and she sings a couple of numbers as Ruby, including her 1930s hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." The Merry Macs sing some cowboy songs.

"Ride 'Em Cowboy" has a few scenes of rodeo performers, and escapades that Lou gets into with Indians. One of the funniest sequences is when Willoughby are told to rope one of the wildest horses for Bronco Bob to break and ride. Somehow, Willoughby winds up on the horse and we see a fast-motion frantically bucking horse. Then, when he tries to help Willoughby get off, somehow Duke winds up on the horse with him. I don't know who they used for doubles, but that was a real bronco-bursting' sequence. I laughed most though at the end of their ride. A quick scene shift shows the boys on a heavily lathered black horse (obviously not the wild bay in the bucking scene). As the horse approaches a fence, a couple of hands take the bridle and help the boys off the horse. As soon as they alight from the horse, we see clearly the swayed back of the horse. It looked as though Lou was sitting in a big notch in the horse's back. What a hoot. That's the funniest looking horse I've ever seen.

Another very funny sequence occurs when the boys have to go to milk the cows. As with all Abbott and Costello movies, this is one the whole family may enjoy.
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Pretty good
SanteeFats8 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Another typical Abbott and Costello movie. That means corny but funny jokes and routines, unrealistic subplots, and outre antics. In this one they end up at a dude ranch that is in trouble financially. They get hired on and the laughs start. The cow milking scene is just to funny for words. One subplot has a western writer who can't ride, rope, or shoot, but everyone else does. He costs the one who will become his love interest a sure fire win in a rodeo that would have saved her dad' dude ranch. Feeling guilty he also goes to the ranch to try and make good. Another subplot is the newspaper man who is trying to expose the writer as the fraud he is. Then of course you have poor, old Lou. He shoots an arrow into the heart on an Indian girls tent. This means he has to marry her according to tribal law. Out comes this very fine looking woman. As you would expect she is not the one and her sister is not a goodun. So off and on through out the film there very funny spots with Lou and the indians trying to capture him for the wedding. Then there is local bookie who tries to make sure the dude ranch loses by capturing the writer, who has been training in secret with the girl rider, and the number two rider for the ranch. The two guys break loose, make it to the rodeo in time, though number two is wounded, the writer makes his riding event and as usual the guy gets the girl, Lou gets the squaw, the ranch is saved. Well I am sure you get the idea. :)
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Ella and the boys
jarrodmcdonald-126 February 2014
While the focus is supposed to be on Abbott and Costello in Ride 'Em Cowboy, the main attraction is Ella Fitzgerald. Do not miss her singing the classic tune 'A Tisket, a Tasket.' There are other musical acts featured in this production, and they are just as worthy of viewers' attention.

As expected, the motion picture contains inspired comic performances by the main duo and by some of the costars. For the most part, the gags are more than vaudeville-type bits, and they do contribute to the overall storyline-- even if the duo is shifted to the background during the musical scenes and while the romantic leads are falling in love.
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Out West.
AaronCapenBanner26 October 2013
Abbott & Costello play Duke & Willoughby, two peanut/hot dog vendors who get into big trouble with their boss at a rodeo, and so hitch a ride out of town with a bunch of cows(!) and find themselves at a dude ranch, where they get jobs, even though they know nothing about horses or the west. Willoughby gets in trouble with a local Native tribe over a misunderstanding, and must dodge the repeated arrows of an angry father. Meanwhile, a singing cowboy named "Bronco Bob" Mitchell(played by Dick Foran), and cowgirl named Anne Shaw(played by Anne Gwynne) have a bumpy romance. Disappointing comedy has mostly tired or dated gags that aren't that funny, with tedious and overbearing songs, though the "Crazy House" skit is a highlight.
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Abbott & Costello wear ten gallon hats in Ride 'Em Cowboy
tavm29 January 2012
Not having seen it in over 30 years, I just went to YouTube and watched Ride 'Em Cowboy again. Hilarious stuff almost from beginning to end with occasional interruptions for music and romance between Dick Foran and Anne Gwynne. Loved that car chase scene with some Indians (or Native Americans as they're now called) involving both rear projection and stunt driving. And, yes, there's a cow milking scene with Costello asking "The cow's udder what?" when Abbott tells him to put the bucket under it. All in all, one of the funniest ones from the boys. P.S. Since it's almost Black History Month, I have to cite the contributions of singer Ella Fitzgerald for both "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (which she co-wrote) and a jive square dance number called "Rockin' and Reelin'" with The Merry Macs. Fine numbers both among others. Also, during the latter, there's many African-American dance couples joining in of which one of them had reportedly Dorothy Dandridge there. There was also a trio of male tap dancers called The High Hatters at the ranch. One more thing, I always like to cite anyone from my favorite movie It's a Wonderful Life whenever they appear in another movie or TV show so it is that George Bailey's father-Sameul S. Hinds-appears here as Ms. Gwynne's father. He was previously in A & C's Buck Privates. And Charles Lane-the one who showed Potter George's plans for Bailey Park-plays Martin Manning, a columnist critical of Foran's character.
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The 19 Year Old Dorothy Dandridge
The Novelist10 April 2002
Although Abbott and Costello were watchable, this somewhat disposable film provided the 19 year old Dorothy Dandridge the opportunity to act alongside of them. She piled in a lot of celebrity films on her c.v., and was very lucky by every stretch of the imagination.
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