(director: Edward Bernds; screenwriters: story & screenplay Elwood Ullman & William Lively; cinematographer: Paul Ivano; editor: Fred Allen; music: June Starr/Alex Alexander; cast: George O’Brien (himself), Clem Bevans (Doc Mason), Sheila Ryan (Laura Mason), The Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Shemp Howard, Larry Fine), Al Baffert (Utah), Fuzzy Knight (Sheriff), Hugh Hooker (Sandy), Lyle Talbot (Taggart), John Merton (Clem), Bill Ward (Red), Monte Blue (John Sawyer); Runtime: 56; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bernard Glazer; United Artists; 1951-B/W)
“Routine Western that improves with the slapstick comedy of The Three Stooges.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Edward Bernds (“World Without End”/”Loose in London”) adequately directs this routine Western that improves with the added slapstick comedy of The Three Stooges. The screenplay is written by Elwood Ullman & William Lively from their story.
The Stooges are heading West as traveling salesmen in their caravan when they stop the robbery of the lone rider on the trail, the ex-marshal insurance salesman George O’Brien, who is going to the mining town of Red Mesa to sell insurance to the miners because there have been a string of thefts of gold ore being shipped.
George gives the Stooges jobs as insurance agents. Then he sells an insurance policy for theft to a mine owner (Monte Blue), and devises a scheme to thwart a robbery of his shipment by having the Stooges carry the real gold while he carries bags of dirt on another trail. But the bad guy saloon owner leader of the gang of gold raiders, Taggart (Lyle Taggart), finds out the plan unwittingly from the elderly Doc Mason (Clem Bevans), who has a drinking problem. Nevertheless George acts quick enough to stop the robbery before the gang can take too much.
When Taggart kidnaps Doc’s pretty grand-daughter Laura (Sheila Ryan) to force Doc to work for them, the old coot outfoxes them and the good guys prevail.
The funniest line has the Stooges in the field of battle tackling Taggart’s gang by throwing exploding cigars at them, as Moe tells Larry “Fire at Will.” Larry responds by saying, “Which one’s Will?”
REVIEWED ON 12/29/2022 GRADE: B-