"Each man has a song and this is my song." (Leonard Cohen)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Man from Button Willow (United Screen Arts, 1965)

A bit of a yawn

Not, I fear, Dale Robertson’s finest hour, this is an overlong cartoon Western which would have appealed in the mid-1960s to those perhaps between five and ten years of age but no one else, really.

Dale introduces it in the flesh – well, on celluloid in the flesh – and tells us that it is a story about evil men buying up land on the route of the trans-continental railroads and selling it to the government for a profit. This is apparently a heinous crime and very unpatriotic.
Desperately trying to boost sales of a dud
But actually, it only has such a plot peripherally. Mostly it’s set in Dale’s very palatial farm, Eagle’s Nest, where the anthropomorphic cartoon animals have adventures.
About the best of the animals
Only at the end of the 81-minute picture does Dale become a secret agent and foil the wicked scheme by rescuing a senator from a ship in San Francisco Bay. Or something.
Secret agent Dale gets his orders from mysterious man in black
There are childish sub-Disney songs, including one apparently sung by Dale. He is co-credited with the music too.
Dale on Rebel
The whole thing is full of stereotypes.

The only good thing about it is that he has an old-timer sidekick/factotum, Sorry, and Sorry is voiced by Edgar Buchanan.
Old-timer Sorry (Edgar Buchanan)
Skip it, Western fans. You have missed nothing. I think even your five-year-old kids (or grandchildren) will be bored.



  1. Never saw or heard of this movie but the title cought my eye, I live and work and grew up around Buttonwillow California, pass through the town quit often.

  2. Say hello to Sorry for me next time you're passing thru.

  3. My admiration for you is immense -- you manage to find films that have been forever off my radar! Thanks -- sometimes, even the misfires are interesting, historically.

    1. ;-)
      You might want to skip this one, though...