The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap

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Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana en route to California. During the stopover, notorious criminal …

ACTORS : Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marjorie Main 

YEAR OF RELEASE :1947

POSTAGE : Free In Australia

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The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap : Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana en route to California. During the stopover, notorious criminal Fred Hawkins is murdered and the two are charged with the crime. They are quickly tried, convicted, and sentenced to die by hanging. The head of the local citizens’ committee, Jim Simpson (William Ching), recalls a law whereby the survivor of a gun duel must take responsibility for the deceased’s debts and family. The law spares the two from execution, but Chester is now responsible for the widow Hawkins (Marjorie Main) and her seven children. They go to her farm, where she works Chester from dawn to dusk, and at night he must work at the saloon to repay Hawkins’ debt to its owner, Jake Frame (Gordon Jones). Her plan is to wear Chester down until he agrees to marry her. Chester quickly learns that no one will harm him, for fear that they will need to support Mrs. Hawkins and her family.

Costello does a Sheriff in Drag Arresting The Bad Guys in Stitches
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap : This Abbott & Costello outing is definitely a very much formula Comedy Western done in the late 1940’s when all the movies were pretty much formula. Director Charles Barton who worked with the boys more than any other director does pretty well here. Barton never became a household name as a director but anyone who is a fan of the team knows his name was the most frequent one with them.

The best thing about this film is Marjorie Main. She is a major addition to a cast which includes Gordon Jones. Marjorie does comedy well including her Ma Kettle films but in this one she plays off and supports A&C just fine. She is the Widow here and as in the case of the Kettles has a big household of young ones. This is very much in her element of comedy.

While Abbott & Costello do not get a lot of verbal comedy in this, there is enough of them for their fans. Some of the special effects used we OK then but look dated now. At least there is not a lot of musical interruptions to annoy the viewer in this one. Overall, this one is much better than their worst outings.

The Naughty Nineties

Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion

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