The Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend

1949, Movie, NR, 76 mins


Even a fair-to-middling Preston Sturges production is better than most comedies by other writer/directors, and in THE BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND, Sturges attempts to meld a western to a Feydeau farce. He misfires a bit, but when he hits, cheeks hurt from laughing. Grable (in a take-off on Annie Oakley) is a markswoman whose boy friend, Romero, has been catting around. She takes a shot at him and hits a judge (Hall) by accident. A warrant goes out for her arrest and she flees to another town, where she takes a job as a schoolmarm and convinces everyone that she is the sweet, virginal type (quite a bit different from the hell-raiser in the first reel). Vallee is the town's richest citizen, mostly because he owns a gold mine, so Grable goes after him and he falls in love with her. Just when all seems to be going swell for Grable there's a gun battle, a kidnaping, and a host of other complications that lead to a trial. In court, Grable winds up grabbing a gun, and sending another bullet in the direction of the judge's rear end. The movie actually plays better than it sounds. It's burlesque, with none of the subtleties of UNFAITHFULLY YOURS or the Capra-like hopefulness of SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS, but it does get funny in places and Grable's charms are shown to their full advantage. This was Sturges' last movie in the US. Some years later he wrote and directed a dreadful potboiler in France, THE DIARY OF MAJOR THOMPSON. leave a comment

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