Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Two Guys From Texas (1948) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson star in the amusing TWO GUYS FROM TEXAS (1948), just released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

Morgan and Carson, who were pals on and off screen, appeared together in nearly a dozen films in the 1940s, starting with the dramas WINGS FOR THE EAGLE (1942) and THE HARD WAY (1943) before moving on to lighter fare.

TWO GUYS FROM TEXAS is typical Morgan-Carson goofball silliness, in which they play partners in a nightclub act who are stranded at a dude ranch after their broken-down car is stolen.

Of course, the dude ranch is owned by lovely Dorothy Malone (most recently reviewed here in COLORADO TERRITORY), and a singer at the resort is played by Penny Edwards (TRAIL OF ROBIN HOOD). Needless to say, the boys are perfectly happy being stranded indefinitely!

Even better, the endearingly inept local sheriff is played by Forrest Tucker, displaying unsuspected comedic ability in a Ralph Bellamy-esque role. (For those who may wonder, I never saw him in F TROOP.)

The story is a bunch of nothing -- Carson is terrified by animals, there's a couple of crooks on the loose, and everyone has to make up their minds who's in love with who -- but I have to say I quite enjoyed it. It's good-natured, very colorful, and there's even a Bugs Bunny sequence with an animated Carson and Morgan!

The screenplay by I.A.L. Diamond (best known for Billy Wilder films) and Allen Boretz works in some genuinely funny moments, such as a scene where the guys and gals are in their rooms with the wall down the middle of the screen, and as we hear bits and pieces of their conversations it all fits together in amusingly disjointed fashion. The use of the split screen seems to foreshadow the phone conversations in PILLOW TALK (1959), as Morgan and Malone finally go to bed "next" to each other. The script, incidentally, was based on a '30s play called HOWDY, STRANGER.

The film also boasts a tuneful Cahn-Styne score, with "Every Day I Love You Just a Little Bit More," sung by Morgan, being particularly memorable. I also liked "Hankerin'," sung by Penny Edwards.

The movie was largely filmed at the Thunderbird Guest Ranch in Palm Springs. It's beautiful, and the Technicolor cinematography by Arthur Edeson and William V. Skall also shows off the attractive costumes by Leah Rhodes and Travilla, as well as the great colors of the resort interiors; even the dishware is splashy! It's total eye candy.

TWO GUYS FROM TEXAS was directed by David Butler. It runs 86 minutes.

The Warner Archive DVD print is lovely, and the DVD includes the trailer.

Look for more Morgan-Carson reviews here in the near future!

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.


Blogger barrylane said...

Two Guys From Milwaukee may very well be the sweetest of the Carson -- Morgan teaming's. And don't forget The Time, The Place and The Girl which though ordinary in many ways has some moments, especially from Carson in his big musical number that are warm and funny in the manner James Stewart described as 'Pieces of Time.'

9:24 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I enjoyed TWO GUYS FROM MILWAUKEE a number of years ago and will be revisiting it soon thanks to the brand-new Warner Archive release -- along with THE TIME, THE PLACE AND THE GIRL which I've never seen. Thanks for your thoughts on these films!

Best wishes,

9:58 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Just reviewed THE TIME, THE PLACE AND THE GIRL and agree it has some special moments, a real "feel good" movie. Here is my review.

Best wishes,

10:04 PM  

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