Swing, Cowboy, Swing (1944)

Genres - Western  |   Sub-Genres - Musical Western  |   Countries - USA  |  
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An obscure entry in the musical Western cycle, Swing, Cowboy, Swing was produced by and starred country & western bandleader Cal Shrum. Shrum and his band, the Rhythm Rangers, are warned away from playing a theater in Big Bend by Cal's brother, Walt Shrum and his Colorado Hillbillies. Ignoring the warning, the Rhythm Rangers arrive at the theater only to be shot at by a masked stranger. With the help of stranded vaudeville performer Max "Alibi" Terhune and his dummy Elmer, Cal manages to catch the mystery shooter who turns out to be Frank Lawson (Frank Ellis). Lawson, it is revealed, wanted to ruin the theater so he could buy it on the cheap. Along with brother Walt and the Colorado Hillbillies, Cal Shrum had appeared in Gene Autry's The Old Barn Dance (1938) before forming his own music group, the Rhythm Rangers. A very low-budget effort, Swing, Cowboy, Swing was directed by Elmer Clifton, a veteran from the early silent era, and released on the States' Rights market by Westernair Pictures. The film apparently did not generate enough interest for a series, but was re-released by Astor Pictures in 1949 under the title Bad Man From Big Bend.