Callaway Went Thataway (1951)

Approved   |    |  Comedy, Western

Callaway Went Thataway (1951) Poster

Two marketing professionals hire a lookalike of classic western actor Smoky Callaway to impersonate the actor and make new films, but things go awry when the real Callaway, thought long missing, returns.


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31 January 2016 | bbrebozo
| I Just Discovered Howard Keel!
OK, I may be a little late to the party -- Howard Keel had a long, proud and successful career as a theater and movie star. But he was amazing in the dual roles of good guy Stretch Barnes and bad guy Smoky Calloway. Even though the two characters dressed in identical outfits through most of the movie, Keel's acting craft made it early to recognize whether you were seeing Stretch or Smoky. I actually spend a few minutes wondering whether it was two different lookalike actors, and had to check into IMDb to confirm that it was the same guy.

The film itself was a clever take on the television Westerns that were popular when I was a boy. Fred MacMurray very nicely plays the role of a lovable on the outside, sleaze ball on the inside theatrical agent. Dorothy McGuire played the opposite as his partner -- reluctantly sleazy on the outside, heart of gold on the inside. Others include old standby Jesse White, and watch for Stan Freeberg as the nerd who works with MacMurray and McGuire.

But really, Howard Keel was the star, and should have gotten top billing. Overall, the film was a very pleasant way to spend an hour-and-a-half or so.

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