One of only two westerns made by Bing Crosby (the other was the 1966 remake of STAGECOACH), RHYTHM ON THE RANGE marked the film debut of Martha Raye, already a nightclub and vaudeville star at 27, and she steals every scene she's in. While returning to California via freight train with the
prize bull he's won at a Madison Square Garden rodeo, singing cowboy Jeff Larrabee (Crosby) meets bejeweled stowaway Doris Halliday (Frances Farmer), who is fleeing an arranged marriage. Jeff invites her to stay at the dude ranch he manages with the slow-witted Buck (Bob Burns), who has fallen for
a high-society miss (Raye) on his passenger train return from New York. Back on the ranch, complications arise as baddies try to kidnap Doris, but after a little excitement, wonderful comedy by Raye and Burns, and some fine musical numbers, the cowboys and ersatz cowgirls end up in happy clinches.
The film also boasts an appearance by the Sons of the Pioneers, and careful viewers will recognize Leonard Slye, the Cincinnati cowboy, better known as Roy Rogers, among them. Tunes include: "I'm An Old Cowhand" (Johnny Mercer, sung by Crosby and Raye), "Empty Saddles" (Billy Hill, J. Keirn
Brennan, sung by Crosby), "I Can't Escape From You" (Leo Robin, Richard Whiting, sung by Crosby), "The House that Jack Built for Jill" (Frederick Hollander, Robin, sung by Crosby), "If You Can't Sing It You'll Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini)," (Sam Coslow, sung by Raye and Crosby), "Roundup
Lullaby" (Bager Clark, Gertrude Ross), "Drink It Down" (Ralph Rainger, Robin), "Memories" (Whiting, Hollander), "Hang Up My Saddle," and "Rhythm On The Range" (Walter Bullock, Whiting).
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- Rating: NR
- Review: One of only two westerns made by Bing Crosby (the other was the 1966 remake of STAGECOACH), RHYTHM ON THE RANGE marked the film debut of Martha Raye, already a nightclub and vaudeville star at 27, and she steals every scene she's in. While returning to Cal… (more)