For Reel

Ride ‘Em Cowboy (1942)
February 23, 2016, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Arthur Lubin
2.5 Stars
Ride 'Em CowboyArthur Lubin’s fifth and final film with Abbott and Costello placed the comedic duo in the wild west, where Costello finds himself betrothed to a Native American girl and on the run from those who wish to make a “bow and arrow wedding” happen. After Hold That Ghost and Keep ‘Em Flying, the routine of scaring Costello had already developed as one of the lasting tropes that the team would return to, and Ride ‘Em Cowboy makes its ghoul out of one of the American Indians (leading to the oft-repeated gag wherein a threatening character poses as a statue to tease Costello). The picture is amusing in doses, but offers nothing that hadn’t already been exhausted in their careers at Universal Pictures by this point. The side plot involves a singing cowboy who must transition from his entertainment career to an actual rodeo–Dick Foran is forgettable in the role, but Anne Gwynne is likable as his mentor and love interest. If the best Abbott and Costello films are often determined by how well they incorporate the other elements of the plot, Ride ‘Em Cowboy is mediocre at best. The first screen appearance by Ella Fitzgerald is a highlight, although she doesn’t have the screen time or influence in the plot that The Andrew Sisters were given in their collaborations with the duo.