The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947)

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap





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The Abbott & Costello western spoof The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap is predicated on an actual Montana law of the 19th century, which dictated that if a man killed another in a gun duel, that man was responsible for the care and support of the victim's family. The film gets under way with an introductory title: "MONTANA: Where Men Are Men? With Two Exceptions." Those exceptions are travelling salesmen Duke (Bud Abbott) and Chester (Lou Costello), freshly arrived in the wide-open western town of Wagon Gap. No sooner has Chester reached Main Street than he is falsely arrested for the murder of Hawkins, the town layabout. He and Duke are spared the hangman's noose when the genially corrupt Judge Benbow (George Cleveland) reminds the jury that Chester is now responsible for Hawkins' debts and family. In short order, Chester is moved bag and baggage into the ramshackle home of the rowdy Widow Hawkins (Marjorie Main) and her brood of seven noisy children. Forced to do all the chores around the Widow's home, poor Chester must also put in overtime at Jake Frame's (Gordon Jones) saloon to pay off Hawkins' debts. While the crafty Duke tries to figure out various methods of extricating Chester from his dilemma, the Widow uses all of her wiles to get Chester to propose marriage to her. The plot goes off on a new tangent when it is discovered that none of the town desperadoes are willing to shoot down Chester, lest they inherit the Widow and her brats. Emboldened by his "untouchable" status, Chester swaggers around town striking fear in the hearts of the local menfolk, bosses Duke around for a change, and is even appointed sheriff! Alas, his invulnerability comes to an abrupt end when it turns out that the Hawkins spread is the most valuable property in town, thereby making Widow Hawkins the territory's most eligible bachelorette. The story comes to an uproarious conclusion when Chester and Jake Frame confront each other in a "high noon" gun duel. Incredibly, screenwriters D.D. Beauchamp and William Bowers originally intended The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap as a vehicle for James Stewart!more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: D. D. Beauchamp, William Bowers, John Grant, Robert Lees, Frederic I. Rinaldo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 15, 1992


Bud Abbott
as Duke Egan
Lou Costello
as Chester Wooley
Marjorie Main
as Widow Hawkins
William Ching
as Jim Simpson
Audrey Young
as Juanita Hawkins
George Cleveland
as Judge Benbow
Gordon Jones
as Jake Frame
Olin Howland
as Undertaker
Bill Clauson
as Matt Hawkins
Bill O'Leary
as Billy Hawkins
Pamela Wells
as Sarah Hawkins
Billy O'Leary
as Billy Hawkins
Paul Dunn
as Lincoln Hawkins
Diane Florentine
as Sally Hawkins
Jimmie Bates
as Jefferson Hawkins
Emmett Lynn
as Old Codger
Iris Adrian
as Dance Hall Hostess
Billy Engle
as Undertaker's Helper
David Sharpe
as Man Thrown by Widow
Harry Evans
as Card Dealer
Zon Murray
as Cowboy
Wade Crosby
as Bartender
Murray Leonard
as Bartender
George J. Lewis
as Cow Puncher
Lee "Lasses" White
as Shotgun Rider
Jack Shutta
as Tough Miner
Mickey Simpson
as Big Miner
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Audience Reviews for The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap

Bud and Lou are traveling salesmen who venture into a rough frontierstown in Montana. Soon after entering town, Lou is accused of killing a man, and by law he must provide for the widow and children. The woman is rude and crude, so he feels trapped. Soon he figures the benefit of the scenario because no one will kill him for fear of having to care for her. A funny premise, and it was interesting to see them cast in a Western setting.


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