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Light-hearted, old-style romance about a farm-hand who arranges to buy a pair of mules from his employer. No one is able to handle the mules and he must train them. Adding to his dilemma, he pursues his boss's daughter who gets her kicks out of keeping him guessing about her true feelings. Of course, at the end he tames both the mules and the girl.Written by
Kieran Lee <email@example.com>
First, the good news; this isn't a Red Skelton comedy, as one might fairly presume on the basis of its dismally uningratiating title.
Second, the bad news (which turns out not really so bad after all), it's actually just another 40s Fox B-movie horsey drama.
Thirdly, the factual news. Yes, this IS Marilyn Monroe's first screen performance with dialogue, albeit in this print consisting of a salute of "Hi!" to June Haver over and done with before the retina has any chance to pass muster over the event. Speculation and debate still seems to rage over whether or not alternate versions of this film, featuring alternate MM footage, exist (chiefly some business in a canoe, which certainly I did not see in this particular print).
Lastly, the reality of the film itself and revelation of the title mystery. Homesteader half-brothers bicker tiresomely over mule raising and racing - yes, MULES. The title refers to the human call used to rouse them into action; but against the odds this is far from as asininely scripted as that synopsis would lead you to expect.
Not that that is to concede much, but it must be remarked upon that the Technicolor production is endearingly mounted by Ernest Palmer (slumming inbetween 'big' projects), with verdance particularly resplendent in the farming sequences. On the thespian front, Revere does her Fox-standby bit as a resilient matriarch (despite being only in her mid 40s), in addition to 9-year-old Natalie Wood; churning out sarcastic aphorisms almost worthy of WC Fields, but totally unsmackable due to the precocious sagacity of her delivery.
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