Callaway Went Thataway

Callaway Went Thataway

Director: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama, Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire

Cast: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama, Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire

     
 
Callaway Went Thataway is an amiable spoof of early television's "Hopalong Cassidy" craze. Fred MacMurray and Dorothy McGuire star as Mike Frye and Deborah Patterson, advertising copywriters who have pulled off quite a coup by purchasing the old "Smokey Callaway" Westerns for TV. Trouble begins when the sponsor wants to meet up with Callaway (Howard Keel) and

Overview

Callaway Went Thataway is an amiable spoof of early television's "Hopalong Cassidy" craze. Fred MacMurray and Dorothy McGuire star as Mike Frye and Deborah Patterson, advertising copywriters who have pulled off quite a coup by purchasing the old "Smokey Callaway" Westerns for TV. Trouble begins when the sponsor wants to meet up with Callaway (Howard Keel) and sign him to a long-term contract. But Smokey, a notorious boozer and womanizer, has dropped out of sight and left for parts unknown. In desperation, Mike and Debbie hire a Callaway look-alike named Stretch Barnes (also Howard Keel), whom they give a crash course in the art of being a boyhood idol ("You're a cowboy star. You have two expressions: hat on and hat off"). Barnes not only pulls off the ruse with the greatest of ease, but also takes his responsibilities to his young fans quite seriously. The plot thickens when the real Smoky Callaway emerges from a ten-year bender to demand a piece of the action. Callaway Went Thataway is full of wonderful moments, not least of which is a climactic fistfight between Callaway and Barnes, adroitly edited and photographed so as to make it appear that Howard Keel is actually punching out himself! The supporting cast includes future TV favorites Jesse White, Stan Freberg, and Hugh Beaumont (unbilled), while several MGM stars make surprise cameo appearances. Perhaps to avoid potential lawsuits, the film ends with a timorous disclaimer, stating that most Western stars are generous, upstanding individuals -- and not at all like the bibulous, mercenary Smoky Callaway.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While it would be stretching things considerably to call Callaway Went Thataway a classic comedy, this amiable little film does have a certain undeniable appeal, the source of which is a little hard to pin down. For example, the Melvin Frank-Norman Panama screenplay is just about as predictable as it can be, with very few surprises or unexpected detours. Yet this somehow is less irritating that in many other films, perhaps because Frank and Panama provide enough giggles and chuckles (and even a few outright laughs) to keep the viewer decently entertained. The writers/directors also keep the film moving at a steady clip, never dwelling too long on any sequence or letting the movie overstay its welcome. Aided by their cast, they also invest Callaway with a decent amount of charm. And they pull a truly amusing performance from Howard Keel, who in many of his other films comes across as much too stiff. Fred MacMurray and Dorothy McGuire are also in good form, and the large supporting cast (which includes several star cameos) is also a plus. While Callaway Went Thataway is too modest a film to ever be more than a "little picture," it's an agreeable and inviting one.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/14/2015
UPC:
0888574282097
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:21:00
Sales rank:
14,131

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Fred MacMurray Mike Frye
Dorothy McGuire Deborah Patterson
Howard Keel "Stretch" Barnes/"Smoky" Callaway
Jesse White George Markham
Fay Roope Tom Lorrison
Natalie Schafer Martha Lorrison
Douglas Kennedy Drunk
Elisabeth Fraser Marie
John Indrisano Johnny Tarranto
Stan Freberg Marvin
Don Haggerty Director
Gene Alsace Cowboy
Dorothy Andre Girl
John Banner Headwaiter
Hugh Beaumont Mr. Adkins
Paul Bryar Actor
Mae Clarke Mother
Harold Cornsweet Salesman
Billy Dix Actor
Helen Eby-Rock Phone Operator
Paul Fierro Mexican Bartender
Douglas Fowley Gaffer
Clark Gable Guest Star
Glen B. Gallagher Actor
Ned Glass Mailman
James Harrison Actor
Marjorie Liszt Phone Girl
Mickey Little Kid
Emmett Lynn Desert Rat
Paul Newlan Koch
Ann Robin Hatcheck Girl
Kay Scott Actor
Carl Sepulveda Heavy
Glenn Strange Black Norton
Elizabeth Taylor Actor
Roque Ybarra Native Fisherman
Hank Weaver Announcer
Wayne Treadway Actor
Lynn Farr Actor
B.G. Norman Actor
Carlos Conde Native
Dick Powell Guest

Technical Credits
Melvin Frank Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Norman Panama Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Eddie Imazu Art Director
Ray June Cinematographer
Marlin Skiles Score Composer
Cotton Warburton Editor

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Callaway Went Thataway
1. Chapter 1 [7:10]
2. Chapter 2 [9:36]
3. Chapter 3 [6:59]
4. Chapter 4 [7:34]
5. Chapter 5 [9:19]
6. Chapter 6 [7:56]
7. Chapter 7 [6:17]
8. Chapter 8 [8:06]
9. Chapter 9 [9:07]
10. Chapter 10 [7:58]
11. Chapter 11 [1:26]

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