Henry Goes Arizona


1h 6m 1939
Henry Goes Arizona

Brief Synopsis

A Broadway tenderfoot takes over a Western ranch.

Film Details

Also Known As
Spats to Spurs
Genre
Comedy
Mystery
Western
Release Date
Dec 8, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Placerita Canyon, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Film Length
7 reels

Synopsis

Henry Conroy, a performer in a vaudeville sharp shooting act, finds that his aversion to firearms leads him to unemployment. Broke, Henry is about to skip out on his rent when he learns that he has inherited a ranch in Arizona from his half brother. Upon arriving in Tonto City, Arizona, Henry's gun-shy nerves become rattled when he learns that his brother has been murdered, and his alleged killer, Danny Regan, is regarded as a hero by the other ranchers. Henry is ready to pack up and go home after the town banker, Edward Walsh, informs him that his brother's estate owes the bank $21,000, but Judge Van Treece persuades Henry to take a look at the ranch first. At the J Bar C, Henry meets Molly Cullison, a waif who had been befriended by his half brother and who adopts Henry as her uncle. When the judge advises Henry to look through his late brother's papers, Molly remembers that she saw ranch foreman Ricky Dole burning some ledgers. However, Molly had torn a few sheets from the books before Ricky destroyed them, and after an examination of these pages reveals that the ranch is prospering, Molly suspects that Walsh and Ricky are in league to take over the J Bar C. As a result, Molly fires Ricky, who begins to stir up the ranchers against Henry. For reinforcement, Molly engineers a jailbreak to free Danny, who had been foreman of the J Bar C until Walsh framed him for murder. As an angry lynch mob storms the ranch, Henry calms them by serving a feast. His plan seems to be working until a stray bullet almost kills him, and convinces him that it is time to return to the East. To keep Henry in Arizona, Molly and the judge plan a phony kidnapping, which becomes real when Molly overhears Ricky and Walsh plotting to take over the ranch and they take her captive at a deserted cabin. Danny and Henry, drawn by Molly's smoke signals, discover the cabin, but Ricky gets the draw on Danny. With Molly's life in the balance, Henry comes to the rescue, and disguised as a tramp, he slips into the cabin and captures Walsh and Ricky.

Film Details

Also Known As
Spats to Spurs
Genre
Comedy
Mystery
Western
Release Date
Dec 8, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Placerita Canyon, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 6m
Film Length
7 reels

Articles

Henry Goes Arizona -


Hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to work on the adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (1939), novelist and playwright Florence Ryerson helped create the character of sideshow illusionist Professor Marvel, partly to give more onscreen business to actor Frank Morgan. That same year, Ryerson shared screenplay credit for the MGM second feature Henry Goes Arizona (1939), in which Morgan was again cast as a blustery showman, a fainthearted vaudevillian who inherits a ranch in Arizona after his half-brother is gunned down under mysterious circumstances. Directed by Edward L. Marin (who had graduated from Poverty Row programmers to helming installments of MGM's Philo Vance whodunits and Ann Sothern's Maisie comedies), Henry Goes Arizona is classic fish-out-of-water comedy, with the cowardly Morgan being targeted for murder by villains (led by Douglas Fowley and Porter Hall) who want to grab his land at any cost. Amping up the comedy wattage are supporting players Guy Kibbee (as a dipsomaniacal judge), juvenile actor Virginia Weidler (who appeared in The Philadelphia Story the next year), and Slim Summerville (as a pushover of a small town sheriff) with Owen Davis, Jr. (in a role that had been marked first for Dennis O'Keefe) playing the young cowboy who stands accused of murdering Morgan's half-brother but who ultimately proves himself a hero. Popping up in an unbilled, nonspeaking bit is Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, a hero of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, whose life story was told in Jim Thorpe - All American (1951), starring Burt Lancaster.

By Richard Harland Smith
Henry Goes Arizona -

Henry Goes Arizona -

Hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to work on the adaptation of The Wizard of Oz (1939), novelist and playwright Florence Ryerson helped create the character of sideshow illusionist Professor Marvel, partly to give more onscreen business to actor Frank Morgan. That same year, Ryerson shared screenplay credit for the MGM second feature Henry Goes Arizona (1939), in which Morgan was again cast as a blustery showman, a fainthearted vaudevillian who inherits a ranch in Arizona after his half-brother is gunned down under mysterious circumstances. Directed by Edward L. Marin (who had graduated from Poverty Row programmers to helming installments of MGM's Philo Vance whodunits and Ann Sothern's Maisie comedies), Henry Goes Arizona is classic fish-out-of-water comedy, with the cowardly Morgan being targeted for murder by villains (led by Douglas Fowley and Porter Hall) who want to grab his land at any cost. Amping up the comedy wattage are supporting players Guy Kibbee (as a dipsomaniacal judge), juvenile actor Virginia Weidler (who appeared in The Philadelphia Story the next year), and Slim Summerville (as a pushover of a small town sheriff) with Owen Davis, Jr. (in a role that had been marked first for Dennis O'Keefe) playing the young cowboy who stands accused of murdering Morgan's half-brother but who ultimately proves himself a hero. Popping up in an unbilled, nonspeaking bit is Native American athlete Jim Thorpe, a hero of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, whose life story was told in Jim Thorpe - All American (1951), starring Burt Lancaster. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this picture was Spats to Spurs. It was also reviewed as Henry Goes to Arizona. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Dennis O'Keefe was originally slated to play the role of "Danny Regan," which was to be the romantic lead. When O'Keefe was injured in a car wreck, the studio replaced him with George Murphy. In the Call Bureau Cast Service list, Murphy is credited with the role of "Danny Regan," although onscreen credits list Owen Davis Jr. in that role, and Murphy did not appear in the completed film. Another item in Hollywood Reporter notes that Ann Morris replaced Rita Johnson in the role of "Jill Harper." Other items in Hollywood Reporter add that the film was shot on location at Placerita Canyon, CA, near Chatsworth.