Callaway Went Thataway

Watch Callaway Went Thataway

"M-G-M's new comedy hit!"
  • Approved
  • 1951
  • 1 hr 21 min
  • 6.6  (756)

Callaway Went Thataway is a delightful comedy movie from 1951. It was directed by Norman Panama and Melvin Frank and features Fred MacMurray, Dorothy McGuire, and Howard Keel. The movie tells the story of two Hollywood cowboys who rose to fame in the 1940s in a popular TV show called "The Western Hour." However, their lives have taken different paths since the show ended, and they are both struggling to find their way.

MacMurray plays Mike Frye, aka Smoky Callaway, and McGuire plays Deborah Patterson, a TV researcher who is fascinated with the history of Western films. Deborah has discovered that Smoky Callaway, the cowboy hero she idolized as a child, is not a real person but rather a composite of many different actors. She wants to make a documentary about the real Western heroes of yesteryear, but her bosses at the studio are not interested, believing that the Western genre is dead.

Meanwhile, Keel plays King Fisher, aka the Montana Kid, who has retired from acting and is now a rancher. King is content with his quiet life but is also struggling financially. When Deborah approaches King with the idea of making a documentary about the real Western heroes, he is hesitant at first but is eventually persuaded to participate.

The movie explores the dichotomy between the mythical West of Hollywood and the reality of the West in the 1950s. It examines the nostalgia that people felt for the Old West, which was fuelled by Hollywood's portrayal of the West as a place of adventure and heroism. However, it also acknowledges that the West was changing and that the cowboy lifestyle was becoming a thing of the past.

The first half of the movie is devoted to the behind-the-scenes workings of a TV show, with all its politics and public relations. It shows how Smoky and King were not the cowboys they played on screen but rather actors who were forced to put on a show for their fans. The second half of the movie takes a more serious tone as Deborah, King, and Smoky journey to the real West to discover the true heroes of the time. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles that test their resolve.

Overall, Callaway Went Thataway is a witty and insightful movie that offers a commentary on the Western genre and the end of an era. It is a perfect film for anyone who loves the Wild West and is interested in the history of the movies. The performances by MacMurray, McGuire, and Keel are excellent, and the movie's humor is sharp and clever. If you're looking for a good laugh and a bit of nostalgia, Callaway Went Thataway is the perfect movie for you.

Callaway Went Thataway
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 21 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (756)