Family Friendly Movies

Pardners

Pardners (1956) starring Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin

Synopsis of Pardners

In Pardners, Rich momma’s boy Wade Kingsley Jr. an Eastern dude, tries to follow in his murdered father’s footsteps.  He returns to the West to partner up with Slim Moseley Jr.,the son of his father’s former partner. Wade overcomes Slim’s initial reluctance to accept him … By using his fortune to buy a prize cow and new car to help Slim.   Slim works as foreman on the Kingsley family ranch, currently under siege by a gang of outlaws called ‘masked raiders’. Wade generously tries to pay off the ranch’s mortgage with $15,000 of his own money.  But unfortunately neither ‘pardner’ realizes banker Dan Hollis’ secret.  He’s the son of their fathers’ murderer, and is the leader of the gang.

Review of Pardners

The good news is that Pardners is an enjoyable Martin and Lewis comedy.  The bad news is that it’s very formulaic.  There’s a strong sense that we’ve seen this before, sadly.  Having said that, it’s still very enjoyable.  Dean Martin is the handsome, hard-working cowboy, who’s trying to save his fiancée’s ranch.  Jerry Lewis is the zany, who’s trying to get out from under his mother’s thumb.  And not marry his fiancée that his mother’s picked out for him.  He’s genial, bumbling, and succeeding more by sheer luck (and money) than skill. There’s many funny moments, such as the dynamite conclusion, the rodeo, etc.  And Dean Martin ings several love songs, which are enjoyable without becoming distracting from the story.  I’d rate it a solid C, or 2.5 stars.

Cast of characters in Pardners

Songs in Pardners

Editorial review of Pardners courtesy of Amazon.com

Pardners – this Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis romp is liberally based on the 1936 Bing Crosby film Rhythm on the Range. Set around 1910, the film stars Lewis as the pampered son of female tycoon Agnes Moorehead. Yearning to return to the Wild West where his father was a famed peacekeeper, Lewis purchases a prize bull, destined for the ranch inherited by rodeo star Dean Martin. It so happens that Martin and Lewis’ late fathers were “pardners”, so Martin takes it upon himself to protect Lewis from the various and sundry tough hombres in the region. Through a series of bizarre plot convolutions, Lewis gains a reputation as a rootin’ tootin’ gunslinger, and in his hubris he decides to round up a gang of outlaws headed by Jeff Morrow. As a result, he nearly gets himself blown to smitherines, but Martin shows up in the nick of time to rescue Lewis and help him capture the bad guys. Lori Nelson and Jackie Loughery supply the film’s peripheral romantic angle. Pardners ends with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis turning to the camera and promising that they’ll keep on making pictures for their faithful fans; ironically, the team was breaking up even while the cameras were turning.

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