Rock-a-Bye Cowboy (1933)

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To look at his later dramatic work, one would never guess that award-winning director George Stevens got his start working on two-reel comedies. But that's exactly where he cut his teeth, first as cinematographer, then director for Hal Roach and then as director of two-reelers for Universal and RKO. For this Universal short, Stevens teams up with Roach alumni James W. Horne and Len Powers. James Gleason stars as a cowboy who, along with his two pals Vince Barnett and Raymond Hatton, winds up with an orphaned baby. Being typical bachelor cowpokes, none of them know what to do with the infant. After their unsuccessful attempts at caring for it, they decide that one of them will just have to go and get married, and Gleason draws the unlucky card. The trio head for town, and Gleason quits his griping when he meets the plump, but still pretty Marie Prevost. It's Prevost who discovers that the baby is not actually a fledgling cowboy, but a girl, and Gleason's pals find mates of their own, eventually creating a baby boom back at the ranch.