Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again

We sat down tonight to watch the 2nd movie of 20 on our Family Movie Classics DVD. Tonight's feature is The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again.

Plot Synopsis: This movie opens with Sargent Nash Crawford visiting one of his former Texas Ranger friends, George. George is sitting in a saloon, has just won 10 hands in a row and is being accused of being a card cheat. As Captain Hayes still has a quick mind, he quickly realizes that George has been cheating and needs to be rescued from a possible gunfight. He quickly refers to his friend as Wyatt (pretending he is the infamous Wyatt Earp) and the situation is diffused. Once they leave the saloon Crawford explains that a mutual friend, The Baltimore Kid (played by Fred Astaire), has been accused of murder down in Waco, TX and they need to gather up their gang and go down to rescue him. Captain Hayes is not in this movie.

Next, we flash over to their near-blind friend who is celebrating his upcoming nuptials to a sweet gal (who must be 70+ years old) with a bachelor party, complete with 3-month old corn whiskey. The night before his life of wedded bliss is to begin, he gets the wire from Crawford that he is needed and he can't turn him down. In a moment that may or may not have intended to be funny, he asks his bride-to-be to assure him that she will indeed wait for him. She insists that she will and off he stumbles.

When the Gang arrives in Waco, they are told that the Baltimore Kid has already been hung for his crimes - held up the cargo station, stole $10,000, and killed the Marshall and his deputy. Then, they run into Amos Polk (the crooked judge from the first movie), who is now running the newspaper in town and was the one who called for this gang of retired Rangers.

The Gang decides to commiserate in the local saloon that evening (which looks just like every OTHER saloon in these movies). While there, they find the Baltimore Kid. Apparently, his wallet had been stolen by the leader of the gang and this was a case of mistaken identity. They take him back to their hotel and clean him up so they can salvage his reputation in town.

The next morning they go off to clear up the Baltimore Kid's reputation with the Mayor. At this point, it is unclear how this movie could still be so much longer since everything goes so well. Amos plans to print a story to clear the air for the town. Then, before anyone really figures out what is going on, the Mayor offers the job of Town Marshall to the Baltimore Kid.

Because Nash and the other Gang members know Kid isn't really prepared for this job, having just been rescued drunk from the saloon, they offer to serve as his 3 Deputies. Shortly thereafter, their first outlaws arrive in town. The Gang helps the Kid handle the problems without the Kid ever realizing that he is doing okay because of the Gang's help.

With the help of a local waitress, the Gang starts to put together the story of the man who impersonated Kid (and was killed). They realize that the rest of his vicious gang is headed towards town to settle up the score and collect the $10k stolen from Wells-Fargo.

To keep this long story from getting too much longer, when the vicious gang arrives, the Over-the-Hill Gang solves that problem for the town with the same wit that helped them in the first movie. This time they dropped hay bales on the bad guys heads and shooed cows out of the saloon onto Main St. The twist in this movie is that the Baltimore Kid pretends to get shot and die. This helps the Kid escape the embarrassment of having been a poor Marshall and to get a fresh start up north.

Review: This movie definitely moved more slowly than the first one. I found myself doing a LOT of multi-tasking while I watched it. I checked out blogs, ate some ice cream, packed Charlotte's bag for the weekend, and caught up on some news reading. I am glad I watched the other movie first. I really only sat through this entire movie so I could finish my plot synopsis above. Were it not for my dedication to the 2 people who might read this blog, I would NOT have finished this movie! So, 70 minutes later, all I can say is that I have now watched a Fred Astaire movie. Maybe if he had danced a little for us it would have been worth it!

Bruce asked me if I'd pay $0.25 to watch the movie, and immediate response was, "I'd pay $0.25 to NOT watch the movie!"


  1. From one of your 2 deadicated readers...I would pay you the .25 cents to not make me read another blog obout these movies :)

    Love ya!

  2. Ouch! That's harsh. Don't worry, there are only 2 Over-the-Hill Gang movies that I know of... or at least I only own 2 of them. It looks like Captain Kidd and Africa Screams are up next.


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