For Reel

Go West, Young Lady (1941)
July 20, 2016, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Frank R. Strayer
2.5 Stars
Go West, Young LadyTaking a break from the popular Blondie series, director Frank R. Strayer and Penny Singleton took the opportunity to make this B-western spoof (which would be Singleton’s only non-Blondie film during her Columbia contract). It is an appropriately schizophrenic genre hybrid—early on, Glenn Ford is attempting to court Singleton while riding on a stagecoach, only for the romantic comedy scene to quickly turn into an action-packed western when Native Americans arrive with bows and arrows! Thankfully for a film so manic, Allen Jenkins and Ann Miller are both on hand to liven things up, as the scenes involving Ford and Singleton are largely dead in the water after their first encounter. Jenkins, among the most reliable of supporting players during this period, does an entertaining lowbrow number with Miller that coasts on his charisma—very few others could make the scene produce genuine laughs—and Miller’s performance of the eponymous song is a knockout. The film is so noncommittal to any of its plot threads that it barely sustains its running time, but there’s enough talent on screen that it doesn’t play as a total waste.

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