Ride 'Em Cowboy
Universal Pictures

Directed by Arthur Lubin
Written by True Boardman & John Grant
An Alex Gottlieb Production

Released February 11, 1942

    Abbott & Costello are picked up in New York as a couple of peanut and hot dog vendors at a rodeo show and are quickly shunted west to join up as cowhands on a dude ranch.  Every prop and background around the place is utilized for slapstick antics of the pair. 

     Romance is generated between Dick Foran, a noted western author of western tales, and Anne Gwynne, daughter of the ranch owner.  It all culminates in a western rodeo climax in which the writer and cowgirl get together.


Dick Foran romancing Anne Gwynne,
singing "I'll Remember April"


Ella Fitzgerald proffers good entertainment with her presentation; she delivers her "Tisket, Tasket" to good effect.  Dick Foran catches attention with 2 solos.  Anne Gwynne is an eyeful and delightful as the girl.  Abbott & Costello are in prime form giving the entertainment a fine comic lift.


Full Storyline

On "`Bronco' Bob Mitchell Night" at the Greater New York Benefit Rodeo, newspaper columnist Martin Manning tells his friends that Bob will not show up, as he has exposed the singing cowboy and author as a fraud. Bob, whose only experience with the West comes from the books he writes, foils the reporter, however, by successfully mounting a horse for the very first time in his life and singing to the appreciative throng.

Later, peanut and hot dog vendors Duke and Willoughby accidentally set a bull loose backstage, and rodeo rider Anne Shaw, the lovely and athletic Anne Shaw (Anne Gwynne), is forced to save Bob when he falls off his horse directly in front of the wild animal. Anne is injured in the rescue, costing her a chance at the rodeo's $10,000 grand prize and the much needed publicity for her father's dude ranch in Arizona. She returns home to Gower Gulch, only to discover that Bob has been on the train with her, having made reservations at her father's "Lazy S" ranch.

Duke and Willoughby end up in Gower Gulch as well, and when Willoughby mistakenly becomes engaged to Indian girl Moonbeam, the two escape to the "Lazy S," where they are hired on as cowboys by ranch foreman Alabama Brewster. Meanwhile, Manning enters Bob in the local charity rodeo, so the writer convinces Anne to train him to become a real cowboy. Later, the local Indians abduct Duke and Willoughby during a barbecue, and they tell Willoughby to prepare for his wedding to Moonbeam.

Meanwhile, Anne and Bob discover their true feelings for each other when he falls off his horse while learning to trick ride, and confirm their love on a moonlight ride. Afraid of his prospective in-laws, Willoughby, meanwhile, dreams that he is sent to "Dr. Ha-Ha's Sanitarium," which is fully staffed by Indians. Later, Bob is approached by crooked bookmaker Ace Henderson, who tells him that Anne's father has placed a $1,000 bet on the "Lazy S" team in the state rodeo championship.

Bob agrees to take over Mr. Shaw's bet, and he is given ten to one odds. Ace later tells Alabama that the rodeo has been "fixed," but when the ranch foreman refuses to go along with the plot, he is abducted by Ace's henchmen. When the day of Frontier Day Celebration/State Rodeo Championship finally arrives, Duke and Willoughby tell Anne that Bob has bet against the "Lazy S" team.

Thinking the worse, she leaves him behind at the ranch, but Bob manages to get a ride from his two accusers to the rodeo. Along the way, the three are ambushed by Ace's men, and Bob is taken prisoner. Bob and Alabama escape from Ace's hideout, but Alabama is wounded. Meanwhile, Duke and Willoughby are chased through the wilderness by Moonbeam's tribe.

They finally elude the angry Indians, find Bob and Alabama and arrive at the rodeo just in time for Bob to win the bronco riding contest. After the "Lazy S" wins the rodeo competition, Bob and Anne are reunited, and Willoughby escapes his "bow and arrow" wedding by having Duke disguise himself as Moonbeam.


Lou Costello

Bud Abbott

Anne Gwynne ... Anne Shaw

Ella Fitzgerald

Dick Foran

Johnny Mack Brown

Judd McMichael

Morris Ankrum


True Boardman & John Grant- Writers

Edmund L. Hartmann- Original story

Harold Schumate- Adaptation

Arthur Lubin- Director 

Alex Gottlieb- Producer

John W. Boyle- Cinematographer

Philip Cahn- Editor

Charles Previn- Music Director

Nick Castle- Choreography

Don Raye & Gene De Paul- Songs

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