Red Garters (1954)

Paramount

A novelty at the time of release “Red Garters,” a musical-Western spoof in bright colors, was a major critical and commercial disappointment, though not for the lack of trying.

Second banana but handsomer Guy Mitchell plays Rob Randall, a cowboy who rides into the town of Paradise to avenge the death of his brother.  In town, he is distracted by all kinds of intrigues.

Rosemary Clooney and Guy Mitchell, both popular recording performers, are the more prominent names in a cast of secondary players, including Calaveras Kate, Reb Randall, and Jack Carson, as wheeler-dealer frontier lawyer Jason Carberry.

The movie is basically plotless, which is not a problem.  What is problematic, though, is the lackluster cast and the mediocre songs by Jay Livingstone and Ray Evans.

Aiming to be bold, even experimental in its stylized art direction and impressionistic sets (which were nominated for an Oscar), “Red Garter” fails to find the right tone.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Art Direction-Set Decoration (color): Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson; Sam Comer and Ray Moyer

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Art Direction Oscar was the sci-fi “20,000 Leagues Under the Water.”

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