Rustlers' Rhapsody

Synopsis: While the audience watches a black and white horse opera, a narrator's voice wonders what such a movie would be like today. Rex O'Herlihan, The Singing Cowboy, finds himself in color and enters a cliché-ridden town, in which the evil cattle baron (Andy Griffith) and the new Italian cowboys (who always wear raincoats no matter how hot it gets) join forces to get him and the sheep ranchers to leave the valley.
Genre: Comedy, Western
Director(s): Hugh Wilson
Production: Paramount Pictures
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

This is how evey Rex O'Herlihan

movie ever made always start.

lt was the same evey time.

And they made

52 of them in all

bemeen the years

1938 and 1947.

Sounds like trouble.

On, Wildfire, on!

1947 was the year the lights

sort ofwent out for Rex.

Yeah, he never did

much aner that.

Always made me wonder what one

ofthese B Westerns would look like.

You know, if they still

made them today.

On, Wildfire, on!

ln the first place,

the bad guys probably

wouldn't all be such cowards.

Rex probably wouldn't

be so damn pemect all the time.

Root's beginning to work.

The prairie sun has

Kissed the day gbye

Yeah, it's definitely kicking in now.

The wind behind me

Sounds like it may cy

Here we go.

Now l hear the lonesome

Whistle of a quail

As l ride alone

Along the tumbleweed trail

The road ahead is as endless

As the one l le behind

But there are no ties

To hold me down

Because l was born

The drining kind

With just a faithful horse

for company

And a saddle for my home

l ride alone

l ride alone

- Morning, ma'am.

- Morning.

Glass of warm milk, please.

Make it a sarsaparilla.

ls this one of those

really tough bars?

Well, let me have a large glass of warm

gin served with a human hair in it.

Coming up.

This here stoy

is about the time

the most wondeul and interesting

thing happened to Rex.

He met me.

Let me guess.

You're new here at Oaood

Estates, aren't you, mister?

You buy me a drink,

l'll tell you what's going on.

Bartender, make that two.


Here's what's happening.

Most of these people are nobodies.

Forget about them.

That group,

those are the sheepherders.

They're the good guys.

Work hard, don't bother nobody.

But they smell God-amul.

Must be the sheep.

Makes you wanna kill them

sometimes. Oh, yeah.

Now, over here is the sheriff.

Obviously a corrupt coward

who takes his orders from the colonel.

- The colonel?

- Yeah, the colonel.

The power-mad cattle baron

who really runs the town.

Oh, yeah.

Can l have another drink?

l'm the town drunk, you know.

- Sure.

- Warm gin!

Hold the hair.

Who's that, over there?

That's Miss Tracy.

She solicits drinks,

hooks on the side.

But you know, she doesn't actually

go to bed with her customers.

She iust talks dirty to them.

And underneath that eerior

is a heart of gold.


How did you know that?

l know.

Of course, l don't have

to pay for sex myself.

You'll excuse me, won't you?

Hi, wanna know what's going on?

l smell sheep.

Bad guys, work for the colonel.

Now, there wouldn't happen to be any

sheepherders in here, would there?

l'm not wearing a gun.

And l'm not going to do anything

that might in any way cause you...

lt's a tough town.

Sory about the table,

saloon owner.

That's OK, Blackie.

No problem.

Since it's Tuesday,

have a free drink.

- It's on the house.

- Blackie.

You can kill me too,

if you want.

But l think it's exactly

this type of thing

that drives down property values

here in Oaood Estates...

That was the town doctor.

l'm kidding.

Just some real-estate guy.

Sory about that, sheriff.

Well, you certainly don't

have to apologize to me.

These fellows were

driving you crazy.

l swear, sometimes

l don't know how you put up with it.

Anybody else got

anything to say?

l do.

l think you're out of order, Blackie.

What do you know?

You're just a prostitute!

Who sells her body to anyone

with the financial wherewithal...

All right!

That'll be enough

of that kind of talk.

What in the hell are you?

Just a stranger passing through.

Where in the hell

did you get that shirt?

How a person dresses is nobody's

business but his or her own.

- What?

- You heard me.

You know what

you look like to me?

You look like one of those fellas

who's attracted to other men.

This is iust a warning.

lf you or your men draw on me,

l'll shoot each man in the hand.

ln the hand?

That's right.

Not in the face or the chest?


l don't like the idea

of getting shot in the hand.

Then go home, Blackie.

- Go home?

- That's right.

Go home?

Yeah, and see someone

about your hearing.

Draw your gun, prairie faiy.

l never draw first.

Well, hell. That's no problem.

Well, don't iust stand there, boys.

Get him.


Now we've done it.

All right, you two.

Get your friend

and get out of here.

But he's dead.

So what?

Get him out of here.

You ain't heard

the last of this, mister.

l know.

Believe me, l know.

Mister, l never saw shooting

like that in my life.

You're good.

Thanks, partner.

Was that as good for you

as it was for me?


Excuse me.

Excuse me there, stranger.

You got a place to stay?

l got a campsite

outside of town.

Why don't you stay

in the hotel?

l never stay in town.

What's your name anyhow?

l'm Rex O'Herlihan,

The Singing Cowboy.

- The what?

- The Singing Cowboy!

Oh, well, listen, Mr. O'Herlihan.

You got to be careful

here in Oaood Estates.

This is a plenty dangerous town.

High-stakes power plays, murder,

robbey, intrigue, the works.

You think that's funny?

This is the West.

People are arbitrarily shot to pieces

Ieft and right. l mean, it is all so violent!

Where was l?

Oh. ''lt's all so violent.''

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, see, this is the West.

- Out in the West...

- l know all about the West.

l travel all over it, from town to town.

That's what l do.

Yeah, but see, in this town...

This town's no different

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Hugh Wilson

Hugh Hamilton Wilson (born August 21, 1943) is an American movie director, writer and TV showrunner. He is best known as the creator of the TV series WKRP in Cincinnati and Frank's Place, and as the director of the popular movie comedies Police Academy and The First Wives Club. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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