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TEXAS, BROOKLYN & HEAVEN(director: William Castle; screenwriter: Saturday Evening Post story by Barry Benefield/Lewis Meltzer; cinematographer: William Mellor; editor: James Newcom; music: Arthur Lange; cast: Guy Madison (Eddie Tayloe), Diana Lynn (Perry Dunkin), Florence Bates (Mandy), James Dunn (Mike), William Frawley(The Agent), Michael Chekhov (Gaboolian),Irene Ryan (Opal Cheever), Margaret Hamilton (Ruby Cheever), Moyna McGill (Pearl Cheever),Roscoe Karns(Carmody, the cop), Lionel Stander (Bellhop), Audie Murphy (Copy Boy); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert S. Golden; United Artists; 1948)

“A bomb.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A bomb. Future horror film gimmicky director William Castle (“The Tingler”/”The Old Dark House”/”Strait-Jacket”), in his only foray into a western comedy, seems lost in trying to make this limp comedy be even somewhat entertaining. It’s based on the Saturday Evening Post story by Barry Benefield and is written by Lewis Meltzer. The stars, Guy Madison and Diana Lynn, are dreadful. Lionel Stander and Audie Murphy are given insignificant minor parts, in a film that could have used a lot more of Stander.

Eddie Tayloe (Guy Madison) leaves his Dallas hometown and his low-level newspaper reporter job after inheriting $6,000 from his grandfather and plans to become a playwright and reside in NYC. On the trip to NYC, Eddie meets on the road the runaway Perry Dunkin (Diana Lynn). She quit partnering with her married brother in a gas station and after she fixes Eddie’s broken car goes with him to NY. Only Perry ends up living in Brooklyn with the puritanical Cheever spinsters, while the struggling nice-guy playwright lives in a cheap Manhattan hotel. Though the play never gets published Eddie still becomes rich as he meets bartender Mike (James Dunn), who invented a drink that’s good enough for Eddie to use as his feature drink in the Texas bar he opens upon returning home. Settling down in Texas, Eddie lives happily ever after with the horse-loving Perry, who buys a horse ranch.

If the film wasn’t bad enough, it’s further butchered in the editing room as some scenes are cut so poorly they can’t be understood.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”