Musical Monday: Two Guys from Texas (1948)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Two Guys from Texas (1948) – Musical #270

Warner Bros.

David Butler

Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Dorothy Malone, Penny Edwards, Forrest Tucker, Fred Clark, Gerald Mohr, John Alvin, Andrew Tombes, Mel Blanc (voice), Cleatus Caldwell

Performing duo Steve (Morgan) and Danny (Carson) are traveling through Texas to get to California when their car breaks down and then is stolen. They settle on a ranch resort owned by Joan Winston (Malone) and get a job there with the help of Maggie (Edwards), who used to perform in an act with the men. The problem is that Danny is petrified of all animals, which hinders their acts and his work on the farm. Steve tries to have Denny psychoanalyzed to cure him of the issue.

-Remake of Cowboy From Brooklyn (1938), starring Dick Powell, Pat O’Brien and Priscilla Lane
-Penny Edwards’ second credited film
-Though the plots aren’t connected, this is a follow up to Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946)

Penny Edwards, Dorothy Malone, Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan in “Two Guys from Texas”

-Animated dream sequence with Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan, that also features Bugs Bunny.
-Technicolor cinematography
-Split screen scene where the girls and boys rooms are back to back and we hear both conversations.

Notable Songs:
-“There’s Music in the Land” performed by Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson
-“I Don’t Care If It Rains All Night” performed by Dennis Morgan and Penny Edwards
-“I Never Met a Texan” performed by Jack Carson
-“Everyday I Love You Just a Little Bit More” performed by Dennis Morgan
-“Hankerin'” performed by Penny Edwards

My review:
When it comes to screen duos, Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan are one of the most fun. They are also one of the most forgotten and underrated screen team.

“Two Guys from Texas” is a really fun musical-comedy-western. Carson and Morgan are city slicker performers who find themselves stranded in Texas. Dorothy Malone and Penny Edwards run a ranch resort that the men work at while they are trying to find their way out of town.

Of course, Carson and Morgan both find themselves romantically involved with Malone and Edwards. But the problem is, Dennis Mogan’s character is a well-known wolf, and Malone isn’t sure if she should take his advances seriously. Forrest Tucker is also in the film as a dopey proud-Texan sheriff, and he’s in love with Dorothy Malone as well.

There are several fun songs, not just crooned by Dennis Mogan, but also Jack Carson and Penny Edwards. Sadly, we only get to hear Dorothy Malone for a brief moment before she’s cut off.

“Two Guys from Texas” is a visual treat. Shot in Technicolor, this film seems to practically shine, and it sets off the two leading ladies to their best advantage. We first see Dorothy Malone atop a ladder, surrounded by flowers on a trellis, and Malone practically glows in her first close up. This is still when Malone had brown hair (she went blond later on), and Dorothy Malone looks so gorgeous.

From the outside, “Two Guys from Texas” may not be the best or most interesting comedy. However, it has a really interesting animated dream sequence directed by Friz Freleng. Jack Carson and Dennis Morgan are drawn as cartoons and Bugs Bunny, voiced by Mel Blanc, makes an appearance. It’s cute and clever, and notable for any Warner Bros. cartoon lover.

“Two Guys from Texas” is a silly comedy but I really enjoyed watching it. The gorgeous Technicolor and the cast of this film really are a treat.

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