Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, William Demarest Dir.-Stuart Heisler

You may have seen me say before that I am not a fan of westerns.  I admit that’s a blanket statement, it’s just that I don’t notice the subtleties in them that separate one from the next.  Western comedies are different, however, because they’re not just a bunch of sand and horses and tumbleweed and squinting.  I mean they all have that, but they’re funny too.  And comedies are my thing.

Gary Cooper is also my thing.  I will watch any of his movies at least once.  Except for that boat one where he was really old and wore a sweater.  I just couldn’t get into it.  No doubt it’s a failing on my part. I’ve seen Along Came Jones many times though, so obviously I’m not completely unredeemable.

This movie is about accidental identity theft.

That was your ambiguous plot synopsis.  Hope you enjoyed it because that’s all you’re gonna get from me.

Gary Cooper actually produced this movie (see illustration above) and it’s the only movie he ever produced.  He even built a little western town out on a ranch to shoot the movie.  He never used it again, but lots of other movies did.

Loretta Young, who was pregnant at the time, did well in her role, which had many transitions that included a lot of secrecy and deceit.  She was also adept at standing up to people. And a good shot.

The best things about the movie are Cooper’s relationships with Young and William Demarest, who probably started playing crotchety old men when he was in grade school.  The chemistry between everyone is spot on and their dialog is written and spoken perfectly.

You know how people watch movies and then go straight to IMDb and report continuity issues?  I don’t do that.  Honestly, if the movie is good, I rarely notice anything amiss unless it’s blatant.  Westerns are really bad about things like bullet count in the six-shooters.  Then there’s the one where someone gets shot in one spot when it happens and then it’s in another spot in the next scene.  I’m not gonna lie, I did notice that second scenario in this one, so it’s gotta be pretty obvious to people who really care about stuff like that.  It’s not a big deal, really.  I just want you to know I’m aware of it and you shouldn’t get angry with me for telling you to watch it, so relax because it doesn’t detract from the movie.  Take a breath.

The movie makes fun of the western genre to a small degree, which is why I like to say it’s a western for people who don’t like westerns, so it really serves everyone and you have no excuse not to watch it.


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