Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Universal's The Far Out West is a feature-length pastiche, comprised of four episodes of the 1966 TV series Pistols and Petticoats. In her last acting assignment, Ann Sheridan starred in this ill-fated western parody as Henrietta Hanks, a gun-wielding widow who takes up residence in the aptly named burg of Wretched, Colorado. The Hanks family includes Grandma (Ruth McDevitt), Grandpa (Douglas V. Fowley) and Lucy (Carole Wells), Henrietta's pretty daughter. All the members of the Hanks clan are dexterous with their shootin' irons, which comes in handy against such perennial foes as town boss Buss Courtney (Robert Lowery) and Indian Chief Eagle Shadow (Lon Chaney Jr.) Gary Vinson stumbles and bumbles around as Wretched's inept sheriff, Harold Sikes. Witless enough to begin with, the Pistols and Petticoats episodes represented herein are rendered even more pathetic by the removal of the series' laughtrack. Since the actors have timed their performance to the ubiquitous sound of canned laughter, the dead air that follows their "funny" lines and bits of business is devastating. Suffering in particular is Gary Vinson, whose lame attempts at slapstick must be seen to be disbelieved. The only interesting aspect is the bizarre relationship, bordering on the erotic, between villain Buss Courtney and his hero-worshipping henchman.
against-all-odds, family, frontier, frontiersman, homestead, life, weapons, wilderness, woman