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  • Film buffs love to say Debbie Reynolds is 'underrated' as an actress--but most of her fluffy output from the 1960s look suspiciously like Doris Day cast-offs. Finally, in "The Second Time Around", she gets a sparkling comedy, a disarming concoction with Reynolds in good form as a widowed mother of two who relocates to Arizona in search of work and ends up the new mayor of a tumbleweed town. Sharp script, colorful supporting work from Andy Griffith, Thelma Ritter, Juliet Prowse and the reliable Steve Forrest, and a fine sense of atmosphere and nuance makes this one of Debbie's best comic vehicles. *** from ****
  • MartinHafer20 September 2016
    This certainly is a very unusual film--and its being so different is a big plus. The film begins in the East and the widow Lu Rogers (Debbie Reynolds) and her children are living with her mother-in-law. However, Lu wants to go out and earn her own money and find a place of her own for her family, so she takes up on an offer by an old family friend to move to Arizona (about 1912) and work for him. However, when Lu arrives she learns that the man is dead...and she is without any prospects. But a woman (Thelma Ritter) feels sorry for her and agrees to take this city girl on as a hired hand.

    Along the way, two men (Andy Griffith and the rakish Steve Forrest) vie for her hand. She also has a bit of a small feud with the local sheriff...that ends up erupting into an all-out war! Can this nice little lady manage to survive all this?!

    The film is, more than anything else, fun...along with being unusual. It's hard not to like the film and Reynolds is at her spunky best. Well worth seeing and as much different from a typical western as you can find! Cute and clever.
  • edwagreen3 September 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    A real western romp with Debbie Reynolds showing almost the same stamina she would show 3 years later in the marvelous "Unsinkable Molly Brown."

    Debbie had a wonderful support cast to work with, as a widow from N.Y. who ventures to pre-statehood Arizona.

    We know by the hand who actually murdered Sam Wechsler in his store. It would have been nice if something had been said about it.

    As always, Thelma Ritter shows her mettle as the strong-willed Aggie who takes the Reynolds character in to do farm work.

    Naturally, we have the usual characters in such a film- a gambler, farmer with a mother who will not let him lead the nest, and an array of other assorted character.

    While it may come as a surprise regarding who Reynolds winds up with, there is good clean fun here.
  • Although not a note of the song is sung, The Second Time Around gets its title from the song Bing Crosby introduced in High Time the year before this film came out. However Frank Sinatra scored the big hit on that song and the melody is heard throughout the film.

    It's a cute film, but sadly not cute enough for me. Debbie Reynolds a recent widow comes out to Charleyville, Arizona to get a job in a mercantile when she finds the owner being shipped out in a pine box. He was a friend to her late husband and now she's stranded in Charleyville in 1911 on the eve of Arizona becoming a state.

    Thelma Ritter gives her a job on her small ranch and pretty soon gambler Steve Forrest and neighboring rancher Andy Griffith are panting after Debbie. But Debbie who is disgusted by the lack of law and order in the town gets the sheriff recalled and gets his job.

    A great blow for women's rights, but so help me I couldn't wrap my mind around the concept that Debbie who was such a tenderfoot when she came out west is now handling a six gun like a gunfighter. It was really a bit much.

    Debbie and Thelma Ritter worked well together and they would do so again in the much better How The West Was Won. Juliet Prowse has a nice part as Steve Forrest's saloon dancer girlfriend who is remarkably tolerant of her new rival.

    I don't think The Second Time Around is first rate for Debbie Reynolds and the rest of the cast.
  • I remember seeing this movie at the theater and thoroughly enjoying it. I would very much like to see it again and cannot understand why it is not available. I loved Debbie Reynolds, of course, but Thelma Ritter as always is truly splendid as are all other cast members. Steve Forrest is a handsome romantic lead with Andy Griffin and Juliet Prowse creating a colorful background. The whole concept of a very proper young Boston widow with two adorable children trying to make a new life in the West working as of all things a ranch hand makes for most enjoyable entertainment. Why is this movie not available for purchase on DVD?
  • overseer-318 July 1999
    Debbie Reynolds is her usual feisty self, and gorgeous Steve Forrest (Dana Andrew's brother) is the fellow who wins her heart, in this fun film about a "widder lady" bucking convention in the 1800's to go out west and make a new life for herself and her children. Catch it on AMC sometime; it is not out on video.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In this 1961 film, Debbie Reynolds plays a young widow(Lucretia Rogers) with 2 half grown children living with her mother in law in NYC. However, she wants to show that she can support her family on her own. An alternative is to find a suitable replacement husband. Given her beauty, this should not be difficult in NYC. However, apparently, she wants a complete change in scenery, and accepts an offer by an old friend to come work for him in the small town of Charleyville , AZ. The only problem is that when she gets there, he's deceased. There aren't many jobs for a greenhorn self supporting woman from the East. Very fortunately, she makes the acquaintance of Aggie Gates(Thelma Ritter), who runs a small nearby ranch. She offers to give Debbie a try as a ranch hand. Reluctantly, Debbie agrees for a trial period. Of course, she encounters unexpected problems, and finds the work day long and arduous. She falls off the roof repairing some shingles, and falls into a muddy quagmire dealing with a calf. However, at the end of the month, Aggie let her continue.........Almost immediately, Debbie locks horns with the reigning chauvinistic sheriff(Ken Scott, as Sheriff Burns). When she suggested that he was a public servant, and hence accountable by the public, he though that was hilarious, especially coming from a woman. Many citizens didn't trust Burns, and were game to replace him with, Debbie, as outlandish as that sounds. I'm not aware of any woman who was a sheriff in the old west. Probably, legally they were excluded, except in those states and territories where they had been granted civil rights, such as voting. Soon after Debbie arrived, the territory of Arizona became the 48th state, and granted women the right to vote. Hence, probably, legally, Debbie could become sheriff. In any case, the citizens of the county voted to recall Burns, and stage a new election, which Debbie handily won. Incidentally, today, there are quite a few women across the US serving as sheriff........ Her first act was to charge saloon owner Dan Jones(Steve Forrest) with operating an illegal gambling establishment. She immediately put him in jail. Steve claimed she did this out of spite for his caper that made a fool of her. He planted several sizable gold nuggets in a stream, and told her there were rumors of gold being found in that river. It turned out that his idea was to lure her out in the wilderness, and get her in the mood to make love. But, rancher Pat Collins, also in competition to land Debbie, smelled a rat and came riding out to where they were, wanting to fight Dan, whom he correctly accused of planting the gold nuggets. Debbie was livid. and didn't want to speak to Dan until she charged him with a crime. But, Dan would save the damsel when she was abducted by ex-sheriff Burns and his outlaw gang. He was in jail when this happened, but was let out by the deputy, to spearhead a rescue plan, involving the other townies , some of whose stores had been robbed by the gang. After the recue, she would come to forgive Dan, and even kiss and hug him at the end: quite a dramatic turnaround! He told her he felt awkward kissing the sheriff, so she threw away her sheriff badge, with the implication that she hoped he would support her. Not mentioned, is the fact that Dan was still on the books for his illegal gambling charge, and the status of his saloon was in limbo.........Incidentally, Pat Collins , Dan's rival, lived with his mother on a ranch, and was Aggie's choice for a husband for Debbie, since she didn't like Dan's business. However, he seemed too tied to his mother's apron strings.........Apparently, this film did poorly at the box office. There are currently only 8 reviewers at this site for it, compared to more than a hundred for Debbie's favorite: "The Unsinkable Molly Brown", released a few years later. But, I don't see why the present flick is not rated higher. It's fun!.......I saw the film at Encore Westerns. It's also out on a DVD.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Copyright 1 November 1961 by Cummings-Harman Productions. Released through 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Paramount: 22 December 1961. U.S. release: 26 October 1961. U.K. release: 4 February 1962. 8,880 feet. 99 minutes.

    SYNOPSIS: Charleyville is a typical pioneer town at the turn of the century, peppered with outlaws, saloon-thugs and gamblers who make life tough for the ranch folk. Broke and friendless, Debbie takes a job as ranch-hand with Aggie Gates (Thelma Ritter), aiming to collect enough money to send for the two youngsters she has left in New York with her mother-in-law. Saloon-keeper Dan Jones (Steve Forrest) and his dance-hall sweetheart (Juliet Prowse) are an immediate threat to Debbie's security, as is Sheriff Yoss (Ken Scott) whose loose government Debbie attacks at once and sets out to fight to a showdown. Befriending Debbie in a series of adventures through which she learns to slug her way with the best of them, is neighboring rancher Pat Collins (Andy Griffith).

    NOTES: The novel by Richard Emery Roberts entitled "Star in the West" was first published in 1951. To coincide with the movie release, Pocketbooks launched an initial printing of 500,000 copies. As the movie chalked up no great returns at the box-office, I wonder how many copies were pulped?

    COMMENT: Far-fetched and not to be taken too seriously, "The Second Time Around" is a pleasant and amusingly unassuming little film with some most agreeable characterizations.

    Miss Reynolds herself leads the pack, but she is more than ably supported by Steve Forrest (of all people), Andy Griffith, Ken Scott (another surprise, he's absolutely top-notch as a crooked sheriff) and Tom Greenway (a Lon Chaney Jr. imitator in the small part of the deputy sheriff).

    These character sketches are well handled by director Vincent Sherman (here making his final Hollywood movie). True, Sherman has significantly less success with Tracy Stratford and Jimmy Garrett, two typically American movie brats who are fortunately left behind in New York.

    OTHER VIEWS: Miss Reynolds is a natural at this sort of thing. She really flings herself into this part. It's her show... Except for one brief, snappy Flamenco, all Juliet Prowse has to do is kind of hover in the background. She hovers well. — Variety.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Debbie Reynolds elected to town Sheriff?! That does not compute! There's no way she could have ever handled the job. In fact it just made me root for the outlaws and even cheer as robbed the town captured the new Sheriff and ride off with her. Any Western town that would elect Debbie as Sheriff deserves to be taken over by outlaws!