Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


THE WISTFUL WIDOW OF WAGON GAP (1947). Director: Charles Barton.

"Marriage is a three ring circus. First there's the engagement ring. Then the wedding ring. And then comes the suffering!"  

Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) and Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) are out in the wild west when the latter is accused of murdering drunken gambler Hawkins. Chester is told that he's now responsible for the Widow Hawkins (Marjorie Main) and her brood of several children of varying ages. Bud and Lou move onto the widow's farm, where Mrs. Hawkins tries to sweet talk Chester into marrying her. Because no one else wants to be responsible for the widow and her kids, Chester discovers that no desperado will shoot him -- and is therefore made the sheriff! It's fun seeing Lou Costello and the great Marjorie Main teamed together, though considering the pairing one would have hoped for a more side-splitting movie. Still, Wistful Widow is generally amusing and boasts one classic bit, wherein Lou is bedeviled by a frog in his soup! Abbott and Costello are both at the top of their game and Main is just marvelous. William Ching plays a good guy, and Gordon Jones, star of the first Green Hornet serial, is a saloon owner and stage coach robber.

Verdict: Cute picture for fans. **1/2.

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