23 June 2020 | SimonJack
Wonderful comedy and entertainment with Debbie Reynolds
"The Second Time Around" is a very good film that the whole family should enjoy. And, because if was a movie made in 1961 that was set back in the last days of the settling of the West, it isn't dated. This is another example of a title that has almost nothing to do with the plot, and even the billing is off. Rather than an action, adventure, comedy, this film is clearly a comedy Western and family film. The latter includes a serious aspect to it. There's plenty of action in some of the comedy, but there's no resemblance of this film with pioneering, high seas, discovery, or swashbuckling films that make up the genre of adventure.
The first two-thirds have some of the funniest antics of a female star in film. Reynolds was known for this in her earliest films as Tammy and a couple other roles. She was the young girl coming of age as a young woman, and with it, she stumbled, fumbled, tripped and fell in any number of hilarious scenarios. This is the stuff that Lucille Ball took to television with her sitcom shows.
The cast are all fine in this film, but the standout performances clearly are by Reynolds as Lucretia Rogers, and Thelma Ritter as Aggie Gates. As with some other roles and with other stars (i.e, Alma with Doris Day in "Pillow Talk") Ritter is the key to some of the humor. An example throughout is the number of antics that Reynold's Lucretia has that are funny in themselves, but when the camera closes in on Aggie's face that is expressionless or shows disbelief in Lu's antics, the laughter moves to a howl. The audience is transposed from being observers of the funny scenes, to seeing them through Aggie's eyes. What great comedy that provides and what very good writing and clever scripting and acting this film has to carry that across.
Andy Griffith, Steve Forrest, Juliet Prowse and Ken Scott have good roles that add to the fun and excitement. The film is based on a 1911 novel by Richard Avery Roberts. The setting moves from New York City in 1911 to Charleyville, Arizona in 1912 - which is in the process of becoming the 48th state of the U.S.
One of the funniest scenes is Lu wresting with a sack of grain that Aggie has told her to load onto the wagon. The movie is loaded with funny dialog as well. Most people, even in modern audiences, should enjoy this film. Here are some favorite lines.
Mrs. Rogers, "You're going off to a place that's uncivilized. A territory... Arizona isn't even a state yet."
Tobey Rogers, in his underwear as Lu gives him a hug, "Mother, don't grab me when I'm naked."
Dan Jones, "You wouldn't wanna hit a woman now, would you sheriff?" Sheriff Burns, "In self-defense, why not?"
Aggie Gates, "Well, I don't reckon you'll be getting' drunk Saturday nights, 'n settin' fire to the barn. I'll try ya for a month."
Lucretia Rogers, "I've been on the train four days, and it was a little dusty coming in from town. Could I have a bath?" Aggie Gates, "On Thursday?"
Aggie, "Um, did you ever think of looking for a husband?? Lucretia, "A husband?" Aggie, "You know, one of them tall critters, supposed to take care of us women."
Pat Collins "Well Aggie, all I can say is, you sure do have fine taste in ranch hands." Aggie, "Thank you, Pat."
Aggie, "Between statehood and motherhood you don't have much chance for yourself, do ya?"
Pat Collins, "I was an only child." Lucretia, "Oh?" Pat, "I always had a dog, though." Lucretia, "A dog?" Pat, "Yeah. Got a fine dog. Real killer. If you or any other strangers come within a hundred yards of my place and I wasn't there, he'd tear ya to pieces... I think a lot of him."
Lucretia, "Do you have a petition to recall the sheriff?" Petition worker, "The sheriff? Lucretia, "Mm, hmm." Petition worker, "Why no, mam. We have a recall for the tax assessor and others, but not for the sheriff." Lucretia, "Will you draw one up, please?"
Dan Jones, "I think I oughta warn you, Mrs. Rogers. The, uh, sheriff may not like this." Lucretia, "Splendid."
Lucretia, "I've heard a little more about your reputation, and I'm quite sure owing me an umbrella isn't going to hurt it one bit. " Dan Jones, "Mrs. Rogers, I'm trying to improve."
Lucretia, "Could I go prospecting with you?" Dan Jones, "Well, since you went to the trouble to dress for the occasion, how could I say no."
Mrs. Vera Collins, "Well, I don't see what you're getting' so heated up about." Pat Collins, " Ma, there's some things I just don't tell you."
Vera Collins, "I know you, Aggie. You come here to get my Pat riled up over that gal. You've been wantin' to throw her at him ever since she got here." Aggie Gates, "I'm surprised at you, Vera. Pat has his poor ailing ma to take care of. Besides, he's too young to get married. I'll bet that boy ain't a day over 35."
Lucretia, "You're so good to me." Aggie, "That ain't it. I just don't want a fallen woman on my hands."
Vera Collins, "You better make your speech before you get your hand busted again." Pat Collins, "Ma, that was uncalled for."
Lucretia, "I know what I'm doing, and I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't march in my parade."
Pat Collins, "You know somethin,' Aggie. I got a feelin' it ain't gonna be safe to spit on the sidewalk." Aggie, "You're right."
Dan Collins, "You've got enough courage to be sheriff, but not enough courage to be a woman."