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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:

HANDSOME STAR of "SHOW BOAT" 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

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

Friendly Star
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Stretch is being introduced to the Lorrisons
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Wonderfully Wry Film Comedy
3 January 2007 | by AttillioSee all my reviews

Initially, I thought that "Callaway Went Thataway" was going to be a well-intentioned, cornball/hokey 1950's film. What a delight to find that the film is a charming comedy, leavened with a wickedly mordant wit. Stars Dorothy McGuire, Howard Keel and Fred MacMurray (playing against his usual good-guy, Steve Douglas - "My Three Sons" type) are all superb. Of course, the Hollywood nightclub scene, in which Howard Keel's character, cowboy Stretch Barnes, has absolutely no idea at all who the unbelievably-stunning Elizabeth Taylor and the uber-macho Clark Gable are, is uproariously funny! As previous posters have pointed out, look for such future, noteworthy television comedic actors as Hugh Beaumont (Ward Cleaver of "Leave It to Beaver"), Natalie Schaeffer (Mrs. "Lovey" Howell of "Gilligan's Island") and a remarkably then-ectomorphic John Banner (Sgt. Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes") to appear in the film. "Callaway Went Thataway" is a gem that will not fail to delight and amuse you.


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