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HOLLYWOOD COWBOY (aka: Wings Over Wyoming)(directors: George A. Hirliman/Ewing Scott; screenwriters: Daniel Jarrett/Ewing Scott; cinematographer: Frank Good; editor: Robert Crandall; cast: George O’Brien (Jeffery Carson/Buck), Cecilia Parker (Joyce Butler), Maude Eburne (Violet Butler), Joe Caits (G. Gatsby Holmes/Shakespeare), Frank Milan (Westbrook Courtney), Charles Middleton (‘Doc’ Kramer), Lee Shumway (Benson), Walter De Palma (Rolfe Metzger, the bad Pilot), Lester Dorr (Joe Garvey, the good pilot), Al Herman (Henchman Steger); Runtime: 62; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George A. Hirliman; RKO; 1937)
“Routine contemporary B-Western set in Wyoming, that’s shot as a spoof and features Chicago gangsters trying to muscle in on ranchers by starting a ranch war.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

George A. Hirliman and Ewing Scott direct this routine contemporary B-Western set in Wyoming, that’s shot as a spoof and features Chicago gangsters trying to muscle in on ranchers by starting a ranch war. There’s a Hollywood Western being shot on location, automobiles seem to be the way to get around and not horses, and an airplane dogfight becomes the film’s most intense action scene.

Cowboy star Jeffery Carson (George O’Brien) wraps up shooting a film on location in Wyoming and is visited in secret by his screenwriter friend G. Gatsby Holmes (Joe Caits). Gatsby convinces Jefferey to go camping with him so he can hide out from a divorce suit filed by a socialite against his unfaithful wife. Gatsby is innocent, yet wants nothing to do with the possible bad publicity. The Hollywood duo happen by an incident where thugs are fence-busting on the Circle Star ranch and heroically stop them, which has the pretty niece, Joyce Butler (Cecilia Parker), of the crusty elderly ranch owner, Violet Butler (Maude Eburne), hire them as real cowboys under assumed names-not knowing that they’re Hollywood cowboys.

The ranchers are faced with striking cowboys supposedly doing violent acts and a shady organization trying to form a protection racket by getting all the ranchers to join, and when Violet refuses to join the gang targets her by killing two of her ranch hands and scattering her cattle by using an airplane. The Cattlemen’s Protection Association is a racket run by eastern gangster Doc Kramer (Charles Middleton).

The prissy Easterner wealthy gentleman rancher, Westbrook Courtney (Frank Milan), courts a disinterested Joyce and is jealous of Jeffery when he catches the two kissing. When Wes spots a Wanted poster, left over from filming the movie, he gets the sheriff out to the ranch to arrest Buck–the assumed name he gave Violet. The sheriff tells them he’s not an outlaw but a cowboy actor, which irks Joyce that he made a fool of her. To get in the good graces of Joyce, the actor becomes a real-life hero by hiring a movie stunt pilot (Lester Dorr) to stop the racketeers from using a plane to scatter Violet’s cattle during her round-up. The pilot is captured and implicates Kramer in the scheme, and Jeffery gets another kiss from the grateful Joyce.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”