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The First Traveling Saleslady (1956)

Approved | | Comedy, Western | 29 August 1956 (USA)
At the turn-of-the-century, Miss Rose Gillray (Ginger Rogers) and ex-showbiz friend Molly Wade (Carol Channing) get involved in selling steel. When they come unstuck with corsets, they ... See full summary »

Director:

Arthur Lubin
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ginger Rogers ... Miss Rose Gillray
Barry Nelson ... Charles Masters
Carol Channing ... Molly Wade
David Brian ... James Carter
James Arness ... Joel Kingdom
Clint Eastwood ... Lt. Jack Rice
Robert F. Simon ... Cal - Texas Rancher (as Robert Simon)
Frank Wilcox ... U.S. Marshal Duncan
Dan White ... Sheriff (as Daniel M. White)
Harry Cheshire ... Judge Benson
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Storyline

At the turn-of-the-century, Miss Rose Gillray (Ginger Rogers) and ex-showbiz friend Molly Wade (Carol Channing) get involved in selling steel. When they come unstuck with corsets, they embark on the even more hazardous project of selling barbed wire to highly suspicious Texas cowboys. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Please Don't Tell What Ginger Sells! It's Banned In Texas! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Primeira Caixeira Viajante See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carol Channing had made only one screen appearance before this movie, an uncredited bit part in Paid in Full (1950), but her meteoric rise to stardom on the Broadway stage in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" that same year led her to receive above-the-title billing in this movie. Her performance as Molly Wade is as close as modern audiences can get to viewing Channing's stage persona as it appeared in the first phase of her career, as the role of Molly Wade is more Lorelei Lee than Dolly Levi, the role to come that would define her ever more in "Hello, Dolly!" Interestingly, though Ginger Rogers was a legendary performer in musicals, the primary song spot in this movie went to Channing. See more »

Goofs

Moving shadow of the boom microphone on the wall of the jail (upper right of the frame) with the two tied-up jailers after Rogers and Channing are sprung by Arness. See more »

Quotes

Miss Rose Gillray: Molly, I guess it's really my fault that you had to leave New York. Why don't you come with me? I'm sort of selling my way West and you could help. Huh?
Molly Wade: Skinny-ma-rinky-dink! You do the selling, I'll do the modeling! And before we're through, we'll have every squaw wearing a Gillray corset under her blanket.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1897!

America was feeling its strength and had come of age as a nation.

The American Salesman was telling anyone who cared to listen that it was a man's world. The American woman agreed . . . . . and prepared to take it away from him.

This is the story of the first traveling saleslady in America and HOW she got that way!! See more »


Soundtracks

The First Traveling Saleslady
Sung by The Lancers (Coral Recording Artists)
Music by Irving Gertz
Lyrics by Hal Levy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the worst films that I actually enjoyed!
27 September 2001 | by mark.waltzSee all my reviews

Take dancing queen Ginger Rogers; pair her with dizzy queen Carol Channing, and you've got one of the oddest teamings in film history. Ginger and Carol must have had some laughs over this one years later when Ginger prepared to take over the role of Dolly Levi from Carol on Broadway in "Hello, Dolly!". This is one of RKO's last films, and how sad it must have been for Ginger to return to the studio that made her a star when it was on the verge of becoming the property of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. She had not made a film there in ten years, so it must have brought back some long- forgotten memories.

The film is a period comedy about corset saleswoman Rogers who wants to make it in a man's world by selling barbed wire after previous salesmen were either lynched or run out of town. Channing is her pal, a ditzy gal who sings the show-stopping "A corset can do a lot for a lady" to advertise their colorful girdles. (With this song out there, why "Que Sera Sera" won best song in 1956 makes no sense to me!) Together, they join forces to take on the men of the wild west, especially brauny James Arness. Then, there is Barry Nelson as the wisecracking man who keeps crossing Ginger's past. Serious dilemmas arise: will Ginger and Carol emancipate the west from cattle barons like Arness who refuse to allow barbed wire onto their lands? Or will they end up lynched or thrown out of town with their corset stays between their legs? Which man will Rogers choose, Arness or Nelson? And then, the most important question: will Clint Eastwood (as Channing's beau) ever crack a smile? All these questions end up being answered in a trial that would make Frank Capra jealous.

OK, so "The First Traveling Saleslady" is no "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", or even a "Mr. Winkle Goes to War". But its the type of comedy that older leading actresses like Claudette Colbert, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, and Rogers were being given towards the end of their career. The comedy isn't classic, but it isn't low. It produces smiles, a few groans, and one or two major chuckles. If you compare this to most other RKO features of the mid 1950's, its barely better or worse than the others. Rogers and Channing, sadly, did not photograph too well; the men were much luckier.

I first saw this as a teenager, and really enjoyed it. As a young adult, I got some amusement out of it, and recently thought, "What the heck did I find so amusing?" So I must admit, the more sophisticated you get, the less you will laugh. In a sense, too, it's ahead of its time on the subject matter of women's lib, even if how it tells the story is extremely silly. References to David Belasco and Carnegie Steel are smart and sassy.


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