Share

Watch It

On DVD: TBD | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Bud Abbott
as Duke Eagan
William Ching
as Jim Simpson
George Cleveland
as Judge Benbow
Edmund Cobb
as Lem
Lou Costello
as Chester Wooley
Wade Crosby
as Squint
Olin Howland
as Undertaker
Gordon Jones
as Jake Frame
Rex Lease
as Hank
Murray Leonard
as Bartender
Marjorie Main
as Widow Hawkins
Billy O'Leary
as Billy Hawkins
Dewey Robinson
as Miner
Glenn Strange
as Lefty
Pamela Wells
as Sarah Hawkins
Audrey Young
as Juanita Hawkins
Iris Adrian
as Dance Hall Hostess
Billy Engle
as Undertaker's Helper
Frank S. Hagney
as Barfly
Jerry Jerome
Charles King
as Gunman
Ethan Laidlaw
George Lewis
as Cow Puncher
Emmett Lynn
as Old Codger
Frank Marlowe
Forbes Murray
Zon Murray
as Cowboy
David Sharpe
as Man Thrown by Widow
Mickey Simpson
as Big Miner
Harry Evans
as Card Dealer
Audrey Wilder
Mickey Simpson
as Big Miner
Iris Adrian
as Dance Hall Hostess
David Sharpe
as Man Thrown by Widow
Emmett Lynn
as Old Codger
Billy Engle
as Undertaker's Helper
Charles King
as Gunman
Harry Evans
as Card Dealer
Zon Murray
as Cowboy
Frank S. Hagney
as Barfly
George Lewis
as Cow Puncher

Crew

Charles Barton
Director
Robert Arthur
Producer
William Bowers
Screenwriter
John Grant
Screenwriter
Robert Lees
Screenwriter
Charles Van Enger
Cinematographer
Walter Schumann
Composer (Music Score)
Frank Gross
Editor
Gabriel Scognamillo
Art Director
Bernard Herzbrun
Art Director
Charles Wyrick
Set Designer
Rosemary Odell
Costume Designer
Bud Westmore
Makeup
Advertisement