Ginger Calls on Girl Power
Miss Rose Gillray (Ginger Rogers) and her ex-showbiz friend Molly (Carol Channing) hope to make a killing selling corsets to everyone. Unfortunately they fall foul of the purity league and Rose finds herself in debt and needing a way to pay it off. That comes from proving the owner of a steel business wrong and she heads to Texas to sell barb wire, not easy as whilst small ranchers want a way to fence off what is theirs the big ranchers don't want that at all. Whilst Rose finds herself dealing with salesman Charles Masters (Barry Nelson) and his motor vehicle, as well as rancher Joel Kingdom (James Arness), Molly finds herself involved with young Lt. Jack Rice (Clint Eastwood).
I reckon anyone who loves movies have actors and actresses who they favour and I can't deny I have always had a soft spot for Ginger Rogers and yes that means that I don't think I have comes across a Ginger Rogers movie I didn't like. Now I have to be truthful and tell you that if it wasn't for Ginger Rogers I wouldn't have rated "The First Traveling Saleslady" and even the appearance of a fresh faced Clint Eastwood playing it goofily bashful wouldn't have changed my opinion.
So what is wrong with "The First Traveling Saleslady", which I should tell you is regarded as one of the movies which contributed to the end of RKO. Well considering this is a western comedy the actual comedy is horribly weak with so few of the jokes actually being that funny. It actually smells of being one of those movies where those producing it thought they could get away with a popular cast being enough to make this turn a profit. As such no matter how much I love Ginger Rogers, and also Carol Channing, I have to say that at times they look almost embarrassed with the dialogue and gags. Even the male cast look bemused with the movie with James Arness certainly delivering tall and handsome whilst Clint Eastwood delivers, well the goofiest smile you will ever see him deliver.
What this all boils down to is that as entertainment "The First Traveling Saleslady" struggles from start to finish. But for fans of Ginger Rogers and those who would like to see Clint Eastwood before he was famous then this has some curiosity value.