Girl Rush


1h 4m 1944
Girl Rush

Brief Synopsis

Two vaudevillians try to round up some ready-made brides for gold prospectors.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Western
Release Date
Jan 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,822ft

Synopsis

In San Francisco in 1807, Jerry Miles and Mike Strager manage a successful music hall revue until word comes of a gold stirke and their audience pours out of the saloon to go prospecting. When their patrons fail to return and revenues dwindle, the show girls, led by Flo Daniels, grumble about their unpaid wages. To placate the girls, Jerry and Mike decide to go prospecting, promising to take the girls to fame and glory in New York with the treasure they find. After six weeks of prospecting, the boys are goldless and near starvation when they wander into the town of Red Creek and are tantalized by a bar laden with food. Stealing two walnuts from the spread, Jerry devises a crooked shell game to win some money. When saloon owner Barlan, whose policy is to shoot all cheaters, exposes Jerry's scheme, he chases Jerry and Mike from the saloon in a hail of bullets. Taking refuge at the hotel, they meet Emma, the kindly owner. Over dinner that night, Emma, Muley and Jimmy Smith, two of her boarders, lament the tyranny of Barlan, whose saloon provides the town's only diversion. When Emma learns that Jerry and Mike manage a revue of showgirls, she decides that the girls would be the perfect remedy to end Barlan's reign in the woman-hungry town of Red Creek. After the miners provide them with a sack of gold to finance the girls's journey, Jerry and Mike board the stage for San Francisco. Feeling guilty because he has promised to take the girls to New York, Jerry decides to double-cross the citizens of Red Creek until he discovers that Jimmy and Muley are driving the coach. When Barlan's gang attacks, Muley and Jimmy jump down to delay the bandits, leaving Jerry and Mike behind in a driverless stage. After stopping the horses, Mike and Jerry continue to San Francisco without Jimmy and Muley and there buy wagons to transport the girls to New York. When Muley and Jimmy unexpectedly appear at the music hall, Mike and Jerry decide to drug them and leave for New York before they can inform the girls about their bargain to go to Red Creek. Mike switches the glasses, however, and as a result, Mike and Jerry down the drugged drinks and pass out. Awakening in a wagon on the road to Red Creek, Mike and Jerry plot to hijack the wagons and head for New York while Jimmy and Muley are asleep. Their plan goes awry, however, when Jimmy tells Flo that the miners of Red Creek have financed the journey. When Flo refuses to perform in Red Creek, Mike and Jerry hide in the woods to escape the wrath of Jimmy and Muley. After Jimmy takes Flo in his arms and kisses her, however, she changes her mind about Red Creek and they continue their journey. As the wagons near town, Emma gallops out in her carriage to warn them that Barlan and his gang are waiting in ambush. To trick Barlan, the men dress as women and drive the wagons into town where they are warmly welcomed by the women-starved men. Barlan and his henchman Scully begin to flirt with Mike and Jerry until Mike's wig falls off and exposes his true identity. In the ensuing fight, Barlan and his thugs are vanquished. The Frisco Follies are staged and become a big success in Red Creek until word comes of a gold strike, sending their audience scurrying to the hills once again.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Musical
Western
Release Date
Jan 1944
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,822ft

Articles

Girl Rush


Jerry and Mike (the comedy team of Wally Brown and Alan Carney), two vaudevillians stranded in San Francisco during the 1849 Sutter's Mill gold rush, strike it rich in a completely unexpected way. They decide to bring a musical revue top-lined by female entertainers to the womanless frontier town of Red Creek, an idea which is quickly endorsed by the local miners who view these shapely recruits as potential mail order brides. Success brings complications, of course, and Jerry and Mike's plans to buy a wagon train and return east to New York are constantly frustrated at every turn by crooked gamblers and assorted varmints though a friendly cowpoke (Robert Mitchum) often bails them out of trouble. In the end, it takes a huge street brawl to set everything right and bring the townspeople together in a united front.

Girl Rush (1944) is not a standard Western by any means - it's a musical comedy - and it's certainly atypical of Robert Mitchum's later work in the genre. Here, he is a mere supporting character, playing second fiddle to Brown and Carney's comedy routines and in one of the plot's more outrageous contrivances, Mitchum even appears in drag, somehow managing to look nonchalant while dressed in a bonnet and gingham dress. Yet, despite his secondary role, Mitchum's relaxed, self-assured screen presence was noted favorably by critics in all the reviews and led to the role that launched his career the following year - The Story of G.I. Joe (1945); he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as Lt. Walker.

Prior to Girl Rush, Mitchum was being championed by producer/director Mervyn LeRoy as a lead in the biblical epic, The Robe. When MGM passed on the option, LeRoy persuaded Mitchum's agent to introduce the actor to Ben Piazza, head of talent at RKO. That meeting resulted in Mitchum being offered a seven-year contract with the studio but he almost turned it down. RKO management wanted to change his name to John Mitchell but Mitchum's agent effectively convinced them otherwise and the actor went on to enjoy fifth billing under his own name in Girl Rush. Approximately twenty-two minutes into the film, he makes his first appearance, rising up from a crowded dinner table. Dressed in buckskin with his hands poised on his gun belt, he strikes an iconic pose that made him a natural for Westerns and he went on to make several for the studio - in the starring role; Pursued (1947), Blood on the Moon (1948) and The Lusty Men (1952) are among his more memorable efforts in this genre.

Producer: John H. Auer
Director: Gordon Douglas
Screenplay: Robert E. Kent
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller
Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca
Editing: W. Duncan Mansfield
Music: Gene Rose
Cast: Wally Brown (Jerry Miles), Alan Carney (Mike Strager), Frances Langford (Flo Daniels), Barbara Jo Allen (Suzie Banks), Robert Mitchum (Jimmy Smith), Paul Hurst (Muley).
BW-65m. Closed captioning.

By Jeff Stafford
Girl Rush

Girl Rush

Jerry and Mike (the comedy team of Wally Brown and Alan Carney), two vaudevillians stranded in San Francisco during the 1849 Sutter's Mill gold rush, strike it rich in a completely unexpected way. They decide to bring a musical revue top-lined by female entertainers to the womanless frontier town of Red Creek, an idea which is quickly endorsed by the local miners who view these shapely recruits as potential mail order brides. Success brings complications, of course, and Jerry and Mike's plans to buy a wagon train and return east to New York are constantly frustrated at every turn by crooked gamblers and assorted varmints though a friendly cowpoke (Robert Mitchum) often bails them out of trouble. In the end, it takes a huge street brawl to set everything right and bring the townspeople together in a united front. Girl Rush (1944) is not a standard Western by any means - it's a musical comedy - and it's certainly atypical of Robert Mitchum's later work in the genre. Here, he is a mere supporting character, playing second fiddle to Brown and Carney's comedy routines and in one of the plot's more outrageous contrivances, Mitchum even appears in drag, somehow managing to look nonchalant while dressed in a bonnet and gingham dress. Yet, despite his secondary role, Mitchum's relaxed, self-assured screen presence was noted favorably by critics in all the reviews and led to the role that launched his career the following year - The Story of G.I. Joe (1945); he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as Lt. Walker. Prior to Girl Rush, Mitchum was being championed by producer/director Mervyn LeRoy as a lead in the biblical epic, The Robe. When MGM passed on the option, LeRoy persuaded Mitchum's agent to introduce the actor to Ben Piazza, head of talent at RKO. That meeting resulted in Mitchum being offered a seven-year contract with the studio but he almost turned it down. RKO management wanted to change his name to John Mitchell but Mitchum's agent effectively convinced them otherwise and the actor went on to enjoy fifth billing under his own name in Girl Rush. Approximately twenty-two minutes into the film, he makes his first appearance, rising up from a crowded dinner table. Dressed in buckskin with his hands poised on his gun belt, he strikes an iconic pose that made him a natural for Westerns and he went on to make several for the studio - in the starring role; Pursued (1947), Blood on the Moon (1948) and The Lusty Men (1952) are among his more memorable efforts in this genre. Producer: John H. Auer Director: Gordon Douglas Screenplay: Robert E. Kent Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino, Walter E. Keller Cinematography: Nicholas Musuraca Editing: W. Duncan Mansfield Music: Gene Rose Cast: Wally Brown (Jerry Miles), Alan Carney (Mike Strager), Frances Langford (Flo Daniels), Barbara Jo Allen (Suzie Banks), Robert Mitchum (Jimmy Smith), Paul Hurst (Muley). BW-65m. Closed captioning. By Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Laszlo Vadnay and Aladar Laszlo's screen story was titled "Petticoat Fever." According to pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter, Herman Schlom was initially slated to produce this film. In February 1944, Frank Strayer was assigned to produce, but was replaced by John Auer in early June 1944, before the start of production. Another Hollywood Reporter news item noted that an exact replica of the 1848 San Francisco Miner's Bank was built for the picture. Girl Rush marked Robert Mitchum's RKO debut.