Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Movie: Granny Get Your Gun

Granny Get Your Gun
based on a story by Erle Stanley Gardner

The obvious attraction with Granny Get Your Gun is the fact the story is based on one by Erle Stanley Gardner. Apparently it's somewhat loosely based on his Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Dangerous Dowager, though Perry Mason is nowhere in sight in the movie. I haven't read the book but it appears the adaptation here is a rather loose one and the Wild West theme was added by the filmmakers.

May Robson is the star of the show and the Granny of the title. Her name is actually Minerva Hatton and she's a wealthy old bird who made her fortune supplying miners in Nevada. She plays amateur detective here, but with her bold, no-nonsense approach and her skill with a gun she's a far cry from the dotty old Miss Marple type.

The whole affair is pretty lighthearted, as so many mysteries of the Thirties and Forties seem to be. The plot, such as it is, finds Hatton trying to find out who bumped off her former son-in-law, who's resorting to some nasty tactics to help win custody of his daughter. Hatton takes the rap for the killing at first to protect her daughter, who would otherwise be a prime suspect, and that's about all I'll say about the plot.

Not a bad effort and, at a little less than an hour, it can hardly be accused of overstaying its welcome.


  1. Strangely enough, the Gardner novel, TCOT Dangerous Dowager, takes place for the most part on an offshore gambling ship -- where the finale of the last film you reviewed takes place. I don't think there is anything in the novel that made it to the film except for about half the character of Minerva Hatton (including her name) and a few shreds of the plot; in the novel, she tries to help a relative by redeeming some gambling IOUs from the ship's proprietors and gets mixed up in a murder from which she's extricated by Perry Mason. I didn't find Granny Get Your Gun to be of more than mild interest but, as you say, it's connected with Erle Stanley Gardner and isn't about Perry Mason, and that is rare stuff indeed.

  2. You may find this of interest, taken from the ASI website:

    "An LAEx pre-production news item noted that Humphrey Bogart was originally set to play the role of "Riff Daggett," and that Jane Bryan was originally slated for the role of "Julie Westcott.""

    Although she was a rising star at the time, Jane Bryan might not ring any bells, but that Bogart fellow should.

    What I really don't understand is why the producers of this film would buy a Perry Mason story from Gardner and then not film it as a Perry Mason story. Makes no sense, none at all.