Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Cheyenne Social Club

It's Saturday night, I'm watching, "The Cheyenne Social Club".

As I watch it, I can remember, clearly, the first time I saw it, in 1970.

Interestingly enough, the famous, singer, dancer, actor, Gene Kelly, is the director. He took the two most famous people around back then, James Stewart and Henry Fonda, G-rated movie stars if ever there were two, and put them in a very humorous film with compromising situation: Stewart's character is put in the position of owning a House of Ill Repute; a House of the Rising Sun; a... whore house, left to him by his deceased brother. Fonda, is just his cowboy friend, tagging along. They are "range rats" only used to working cattle across the countryside, most likely for decades or the majority of their lives.

Henry Fonda is Stewart's straight man, as well as his ten year companion on the cattle driving trail. They are basically humble, God fearing, cowboys, who one of them, simply ends up owning a house of prostitution.

I thought it was a stroke of genius. A comedy unseen before this. I immediately loved it. Sweet, funny, almost edgy, you can't not like this movie. And it is always a fun diversion.

"The Cheyenne Social Club is a 1970 Western comedy film written by James Lee Barrett and directed and produced by Gene Kelly, and starred James Stewart, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Jones. It was one of the few off-color ventures for Stewart, who specifically suggested that his friend Fonda be cast; one of the two times the two worked together in a film (the other being in Firecreek in 1968). It was shot at the Bonanza Creek Ranch and Eaves Movie Ranch outside Santa Fe, New Mexico (exteriors), and the Samuel Goldwyn Studios in Hollywood, California (interiors).

"The Cheyenne Social Club was a minor success, but was poorly received by critics. It didn't receive any notoriety until decades later with numerous cable television broadcasts. Barrett's script earned a 1970 Writers Guild of America nomination for "Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen", but lost to Neil Simon for The Out-of-Towners." - Wikipedia

If you ever feel like a strange little classic western, with two huge old stars in it, definitely give this one a shot.

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