The movie was not well received by the critics or the public. During its original release in June, 1949 it brought in about $1,489,000 against estimated production costs of $2,260,000. However, more recently, its crazy, non-stop humor has won over many moviegoers and the film has had something of a resurgence. Nevertheless it cannot be considered as one of Betty Grable's or Preston Sturges's finest films.
PlotBetty Grable plays Winifred "Freddie" Jones, a saloon singer in a small town in the Old West, who is a top shot with a revolver. After she mistakenly shoots the local judge in the backside, she flees town with her friend Conchita. At the next town she is confused with a schoolteacher and starts work teaching the local kids. She meets wealthy Charles Hingleman (Rudy Vallee) and romance as well as many complications ensue.
ProductionThe film was Preston Sturges's first Technicolor production and he in fact only directed one more film in his life, the French comedy 'Les carnets du Major Thompson' in 1955.
The original title of the story as envisioned by screenwriter, Earl Felton, was 'The Lady from Laredo'. Other titles considered were 'Teacher's Pet' and 'The Blonde from Bashful Bend'. The finished screenplay was written by Sturges himself.
Sturges originally envisioned June Haver in the Grable role of "Freddie." Betty Grable herself campaigned unsuccessfully for Gregory Peck in the Rudy Vallee role.
In an uncredited role, Margaret Hamilton, of 'Wizard of Oz' fame, plays Judge O'Toole's uncompromising wife.
Shooting began in late September, 1948 and continued to January, 1949.
Main CastBetty Grable ... Winifred "Freddie" Jones
Cesar Romero ... Blackie Jobero
Rudy Vallee ... Charles Hingleman
Olga San Juan ... Conchita
Porter Hall ... Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole
Hugh Herbert ... Doctor
Al Bridge ... Sheriff Ambrose
El Brendel ... Mr. Jorgensen
Sterling Holloway ... Basserman Boy
Dan Jackson ... Basserman Boy
Emory Parnell ... Mr. Julius Hingleman
Pati Behrs ... Roulette
Richard Hale ... Gus Basserman
Chris-Pin Martin ... Joe the Bartender
CreditsDirector ... Preston Sturges
Producer ... Preston Sturges
Screenplay ... Earl Felton (story), Preston Sturges
Music ... Cyril J. Mockridge
Cinematography ... Harry Jackson
Format ... Color (Technicolor)
Distribution Company ... Twentieth-Century Fox
Release date ... May 27, 1949
Running time ... 77 minutes