Under Western Skies


57m 1945

Brief Synopsis

In a film that was closer to being a "sanitized" version of and contained more elements akin to Mae West's and W.C. Fields' "My Little Chickadee" than it did from anything John Ford had done, or was to do, a traveling show arrives in a small Arizona town and finds much opposition from local townspeople. They plan to stage the show in the saloon and the leading lady, Katie (Martha O'Driscoll), gets involved with the local school teacher, Tod (Noah Beery, Jr). and a mysterious masked bandit, King Randall (Leo Carrillo).

Film Details

Also Known As
Musical Round-Up
Release Date
Jan 19, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,092ft

Synopsis

The stagecoach carrying Willie Wells's Variety Show, a Barbary Coast musical revue, is attacked by the notorious bandit, King Carlos Randall, and his gang. Rather than stealing the troupe's money, King, taken by Willie's beautiful daughter Katie, asks for a performance, much to the consternation of his men. Later, the troupe arrives in the small Western town of Rim Rock, Arizona, only to learn that they have been banned from performing in the community-owned opera house by a local ladies' club. Katie then convinces the proprietor of the Silver Dollar saloon to allow the troupe to perform there. Later, Katie meets Tod Howell, the local schoolteacher, who fixes the wheel of her carriage, but voices his disapproval of variety shows. Still, Tod sneaks into the Silver Dollar that night for the show, which is interrupted first by an impromptu performance by saloon girl Maybelle Watkins, then by the appearance of King Carlos and his gang. When James Whitcolm Wyatt, the town's near-sighted sheriff, confronts King Carlos, a brawl breaks out which nearly destroys the saloon. Katie is rescued from the mêlée by Tod, who then takes her out on a moonlight carriage ride. The next day, Katie forces the troupe to attend the local church services, as a show of good faith to the community of Rim Rock. The services are stopped when King Carlos' men arrive and abduct Katie. Jim is then fired as sheriff when he fails to shoot the bandits as they leave, as his double vision makes it impossible for him to distinguish Katie from the outlaws. Jim manages to somehow redeem himself, however, and rescues Katie from King Carlos. Later, during a ceremony held in the Silver Dollar, a new plaque honoring Jim is unveiled. Jim, however, insists that the honor should go to Katie, having "lured" King Carlos into his trap. The show people are then finally accepted by the town, and Katie and Tod are married.

Film Details

Also Known As
Musical Round-Up
Release Date
Jan 19, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Company, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
57m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,092ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Musical Round-Up. The viewed print was missing several critical scenes near the end of the film. Although the Copyright Catalog lists Universal Pictures Co., Inc. as the film's copyright claimant and there is a copyright statement on the film, the number and date listed, LP13300 on January 4, 1945, are incorrect and actual number and date have not been determined. While the film's credits and most contemporary sources list H. J. Salter as Under Western Skies's musical director, the Daily Variety review credits Frank Skinner in that position. Modern sources include Ray Jones in the cast.