Baxter Leads the Train Line
The trains are coming but not if Dawson (Mauritz Hugo) can help it as if the train arrives in Tomahawk, Colorado on time it will receive a subsidy and therefore be a threat to his stagecoach business. Deputy sheriff Kit Dodge Jr. (Anne Baxter - All About Eve) has been tasked with making sure it arrives safely and as they need a paying passenger she forces Johnny Behind-the-Deuces (Dan Dailey - There's No Business Like Show Business) to travel on it. Along the way they pick up Madame Adelaide's (Connie Gilchrist) and her showgirls whilst dealing with various attempts to stop it reaching Tomahawk in time as well as the small problem there is no track for the final 40 miles.
"A Ticket to Tomahawk" is all about the rootin' tootin' Kit Dodge Jr., a plucky young woman who won't take no bossing from the men. Except when you think of other old westerns involving a rootin' tootin' cowgirl you think big vibrant productions with larger than life characters, big comedy set pieces and big musical numbers. Unfortunately "A Ticket to Tomahawk" doesn't deliver that but at the same time it's not just your usual sort of 1950s western, it is somewhere in between with some humour, some amusing characters, some musical elements but not enough. It makes it light hearted fun but almost at times unsure of what it wants to be.
What it also means is that "A Ticket to Tomahawk" rides rest firmly on Anne Baxter's shoulder even though she is accompanied by Dan Dailey, Rory Calhoun and Walter Brennan. And both Anne Baxter and the character of Kit Dodge Jr. are engaging, fun and genuinely cute but lacks the comical vibrancy of say Doris Day as Calamity Jane which is what is called for. There is also the small matter that "A Ticket to Tomahawk" is one of those movies which features the one and only Marilyn Monroe in a bit part as one of Madame Adelaide's showgirls.
What this all boils down to is that "A Ticket to Tomahawk" is a bit of light hearted 50s fun which is a pleasant enough distraction. But it lacks the energy and over the topness to make it memorable like other musical westerns which feature a central cowgirl.