6.6/10
548
15 user 7 critic

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:

"SHOW BOAT'S" HANDSOME STAR! 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 movie was a satire of Hopalong Cassidy (1952), the first Western network television series, which would explain the disclaimer at the end of the film referred to in Crazy Credits. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Stretch' Barnes: Grandma used to say money can't buy happiness, but it sure is a most pleasant way of being miserable.
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

Where the Tumbleweed Is Blue
Written by Charles Wolcott
Sung by Howard Keel (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sort of like a comedy variation on A FACE IN THE CROWD
20 April 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

While CALLAWAY WENT THATAWAY isn't the deepest film I've seen, it sure was very perceptive and fun to watch. I also wonder if maybe although the film has a disclaimer saying it ISN'T based on any celebrity they REALLY were lampooning several of the big-name cowboy stars (such as Gene Autry who was a lot like the original Callaway)--a lot like how A FACE IN THE CROWD was based on Arthur Godfrey, though the studio strongly denied this.

The film is about a cowboy movie star from a decade ago who has suddenly gained a new following with kids thanks to television--just like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were re-discovered thanks to TV. As a result of his fame, the advertisers are anxious to find the actor who played Smokey Callaway so they can make more films as well as public appearances. The problem is that the actor was a big-time drinker and he just seemed to vanish after going on an extended bender in South America. Even a private eye (Jesse White) can't find the guy, so Dorothy McGuire and Fred MacMurray (who own the advertising agency) go in search of a double to pretend to be Callaway. In the process, they find a dead ringer--played by Howard Keel. The only problem is, eventually the drunk and nasty Callaway DOES resurface and they are in quite a quandary! The film has some nice comedic moments but late in the film it also becomes rather serious and romantic. Leonard Maltin's guide indicated the film was excellent until this change, but I actually liked the finished product. While not a great film, it was well worth seeing and quite perceptive about the private lives of some celebrities. Also, it's worth a look for some cameos of other stars playing themselves, such as Clark Gable and Dick Powell (among others).


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