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Film / Go West, Young Lady

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Go West, Young Lady is a 1941 Western comedy film, starring Penny Singleton, Glenn Ford and Ann Miller; it was directed by Frank R. Strayer.

The western town of Headstone is being besieged by the outlaw Killer Pete and his gang. Arriving on the same stagecoach are the new Sheriff and easterner Belinda Pendergast, known as Bill. The new Sheriff is unable to catch Pete and Pete now sends him and the posse out of town where Indians wait in ambush while he and his men ride into town for a big raid. Bill, however, learns who Pete really is and has the townswomen ready to surprise them when they arrive.

Tropes used in Go West, Young Lady include:

  • Bandito: Killer Pete dresses and talks like a bandito, but he is actually an Anglo in disguise.
  • Berserk Button: Bill flies off the handle when Killer Pete's Firing in the Air a Lot destroys her Endangered Soufflé. She storms downstairs to take on The Gunslinger armed only with a pie.
  • Broomstick Quarterstaff: During the final battle against Killer Pete's gang several of the women of Headstone are armed with brooms that they use to whack the outlaws.
  • Cat Fight: There is a surprisingly physical cat fight between Bill and Lola.
  • Clueless Deputy: Hank. At one point, he is sitting in the dance hall when he sees the sheriff go racing out in a tearing hurry. He concludes something important must be afoot and decides he should follow him. Right after the next song. Most of the townsfolk conclude that Killer Pete doesn't consider Hank worth killing.
  • Endangered Soufflé: Bill is cooking a souffle when Tex arrives to propose. She warns him not to make any loud noises. After several near misses, she accepts, which causes Tex to whoop and charge out, slamming the door, which causes the souffle to fall. Bill makes another one, only to have this one fall when Killer Pete enters the dance hall and fires several shots into the ceiling.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Bill uses a frying pan to knock out several bandits during the final battle. She then accidentally knocks Tex out with it while gesturing.
  • Hat Damage: When the stage is attacked by Indians, an arrow knocks the stuffed bird off the top of Bill's hat and pins it to the wall.
  • Injun Country: The tribe outside of Headstone is in cahoots with Killer Pete and his gang.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Killer Pete's gunshots cause Bill's Endangered Soufflé to fall, which in turn makes her go downstairs an confront the murderous outlaw armed only with the fallen soufflé.
  • Mister Muffykins: Bill owns a lapdog named Waffles.
  • Pie in the Face: A Running Gag. Initially Bill throws her ruined pie at Killer Pete in anger at his destroying her Endangered Soufflé, only to miss and hit Tex in the face just as he was about to grab Pete. Later, she takes a second ruined pie and flings it over her shoulder—blaming it for everything that as gone wrong—only to hit Tex in the face as he comes in to propose (again).
  • Posse: Tex's first act on becoming sheriff is to form a posse to hunt for Killer Pete's hideout; without success. After the hideout is uncovered, Tex organizes a larger posse to take on the gang, not realizing he is riding into an ambush.
  • Title Drop: "Go West, Young Lady" is the name of a song Lola sings in the Crystal Palace.
  • Tomboyish Name: Bill's full name is Belinda Pendergast, but her father always called her 'Bill'.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: All of the men in Headstone are formed into a Posse and ride out to raid Killer Pete's hideout. However, Killer Pete knows of this and plans to have the posse wiped out in an ambush by Chief Big Thunder Cloud's tribe, while he and his gang loot the town. Learning of this, Bill sends one of the women to warn the men, and hurriedly organizes the rest of the townswomen into a fighting force that ambushes the gang and does a good job of subduing them by pelting them with pots and pans and whacking them with brooms.
  • Wanted a Son Instead: Belinda's father was a veteran Indian fighter who wanted a son. Although he tried to raise her as a lady, he couldn't resist teaching her how to shoot and ride, and nicknamed her 'Bill'.
  • Wardrobe Wound: When Indians attack the stage, on their arrows knocks the the stuffed bird off the top of Belinda's hat. This so infuriates her that she grabs one of Tex's guns, leans out of the window and picks off several of the braves.