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Callaway Went Thataway (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Western | 15 November 1951 (USA)
Two marketing professionals hire a lookalike of classic western actor Smoky Callaway to impersonate the actor and make new films, but things go awry when the real Callaway, thought long missing, returns.
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Mike Frye
Dorothy McGuire ... Deborah Patterson
Howard Keel ... Stretch Barnes / Smoky Callaway
Jesse White ... Georgie Markham
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Tom Lorrison
Natalie Schafer ... Martha Lorrison
Douglas Kennedy ... Drunk
Elisabeth Fraser ... Marie
John Indrisano ... Johnny Terrento (as Johnny Indrisano)
Stan Freberg ... Marvin
Don Haggerty ... Director Don
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Storyline

Two smart marketing people resurrect some old films starring cowboy Smoky Callaway and put them on television. The films are a big hit and the star is in demand. Unfortunately no one can find him. When a lookalike sends in a photo, the marketing team hires him to impersonate Callaway. Things get sticky when the real Callaway eventually shows up. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Callaway's crazy for her and she's crazy for dough! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

15 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esperto Contra Esperto See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,103,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film failed at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $294,000 ($2.9M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

(at around 30 mins) Stretch fastens the same three buttons on his shirt twice. See more »

Quotes

Georgie Markham: Don't worry, I'll bring him back dead or alive. Either way, he ought to look great.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Card at the end states: 'This picture was made in the spirit of fun, and was meant in no way to detract from the wholesome influence, civic mindedness and the many charitable contributions of Western idols of our American youth, or to be a portrayal of any of them.' See more »

Connections

Spoofs Hopalong Cassidy (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

You Wonderful You
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played by the band at the Somerset Club
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I Just Discovered Howard Keel!
31 January 2016 | by bbrebozoSee all my reviews

OK, I may be a little late to the party -- Howard Keel had a long, proud and successful career as a theater and movie star. But he was amazing in the dual roles of good guy Stretch Barnes and bad guy Smoky Calloway. Even though the two characters dressed in identical outfits through most of the movie, Keel's acting craft made it early to recognize whether you were seeing Stretch or Smoky. I actually spend a few minutes wondering whether it was two different lookalike actors, and had to check into IMDb to confirm that it was the same guy.

The film itself was a clever take on the television Westerns that were popular when I was a boy. Fred MacMurray very nicely plays the role of a lovable on the outside, sleaze ball on the inside theatrical agent. Dorothy McGuire played the opposite as his partner -- reluctantly sleazy on the outside, heart of gold on the inside. Others include old standby Jesse White, and watch for Stan Freeberg as the nerd who works with MacMurray and McGuire.

But really, Howard Keel was the star, and should have gotten top billing. Overall, the film was a very pleasant way to spend an hour-and-a-half or so.


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