Ricochet Romance


1h 20m 1954

Film Details

Also Known As
The Matchmakers
Release Date
Nov 1954
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 27 Oct 1954
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

At the Flying "W" Ranch, emergency workers once again rescue owner Tom Williams from the fiery aftermath of one of his failed magic tricks. Tom's shenanigans are threatening the ranch's guest business, a subject of much concern to his grown daughter Betsy, young son Timmy and faithful employees, cousins Alfredo Gonzales Gonzales and Manuel Gonzales Gonzales. Alfredo and Manuel are happy to collect the new round of guests, pretty Angela Ann Mansfield, Mr. Worthington Higgenmacher, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey, Miss Clay and Mr. Webster, but as soon as the group reaches the ranch, Tom causes an explosion that prompts the cook to quit and the customers to decide to leave. Manuel offers to drive them to the airport, but along the way pretends that the car engine has failed, forcing the group to walk back to the ranch. He and Alfredo then visit an employment agency to hire a new cook. While practical Manuel hires Pansy Jones, a coarse woman with impeccable references, Alfredo has decided that Tom needs a wife to keep him busy and so chooses curvy Claire Renard, an actress with no domestic experience. All four of them return to the ranch, where Tom is immediately smitten with Claire, and Betsy despairs because Angela Ann has taken an interest in her boyfriend, cattle rancher Dave King. That night, Pansy's food so entrances the guests that they all agree to stay on, especially after Alfredo promises an exciting hunting expedition for the next day. Because there is no game in the area, however, Alfredo plants an electric crocodile, a moose head and several rabbits in the nearby fields. The inexperienced hunters spend the afternoon being frightened by the "wild animals" and narrowly avoiding shooting one another, and return to the ranch exhausted. Over the next few days, Tom repeatedly disappoints Timmy by canceling their plans in order to take Claire out. One night, Pansy tucks the boy in, and when Timmy reveals that Claire is urging Tom to sell the ranch and return to his old career in the rodeo, Pansy comforts him. She then turns to a distraught Betsy, who has turned her back on Dave after Angela Ann trapped him into taking her horseback riding, and convinces the young woman to use her own feminine wiles to win him back. Soon after, Claire plans a fiesta Fourth of July party and enlists Alfredo and Manuel to perform a Mexican hat dance, although they would prefer to dress as American Revolutionaries for the Independence Day celebration. At the party, Angela Ann watches jealously as Betsy easily enchants Dave, while Worthington snubs Claire and talks only to Pansy, whose food he adores. When Tom and Claire sneak off, Alfredo and Manuel do their best to interrupt the couple but fail to prevent Claire from kissing Tom in the stairway. Within days, Pansy learns that Tom has agreed to sell the ranch, and decides it is time for her to be part of the family and help solve the problem, even after Worthington reveals himself to be a multi-millionaire and offers to hire her away. After Alfredo and Manuel lie to Claire that Tom has a terrible temper, Pansy tells her that Worthington is a rich bachelor. Alfredo and Manuel then buy several expensive outfits and have them sent to Claire, who assumes that Tom has bought them for her, and leaves him with the huge bill. Although Tom tries to chastise her, her kisses confuse him and he pays the bill. Pansy once again takes over, now lying to Worthington that her recipes and techniques actually come from Claire, who will not openly cook for anyone until she has a husband. Worthington and Claire immediately begin an affair, and over the next few days, everyone in the house conspires to keep Tom away from the couple long enough for them to fall in love. One night, while Tom performs miserable magic tricks, Claire and Worthington try to sneak off to elope, but when Tom's trick explodes, they assume his terrible temper is at work and run and hide. Pansy, Alfredo and Manuel are forced to track down the lovers and facilitate their secret rendezvous. When the car finally drives away, they are surprised to see tin cans tied to its bumper, but Tom explains that he knew about the affair all along and wishes them only happiness. With his arms around his children, Tom announces that with his ranch, his family, and a wonderful cook, he lacks for nothing.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Matchmakers
Release Date
Nov 1954
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 27 Oct 1954
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Matchmakers. According to studio press materials, star Chill Wills suffered a detached retina four months prior to the production of Ricochet Romance, and only regained full sight two weeks before shooting began. Although Hollywood Reporter announced in February 1954 that Myrna Hansen was cast, she did not appear in the final film.