powered by AFI
This was originally to be the fourth Bud Abbott and Lou Costello picture to be released by Universal in 1941. Universal executives, however, decided to withhold this film and release Keep 'Em Flying first, in order to capitalize on the military service comedy element of that film, which had proved so successful in the previously released Abbott and Costello films Buck Privates and In the Navy (see entries above). Universal decided in October 1941 to release Ride 'Em, Cowboy in February 1942, just prior to the projected release of Rio Rita (see entry above), a picture Abbott and Costello were making for M-G-M under the freelance provisions of their Universal contracts. During the production of this film, Abbott and Costello signed new, three-year contracts with Universal, which called upon the comedy team to make two films a year for the studio. Associate producer Alex Gottlieb was officially promoted to "A" unit producer during this production. According to Universal press information, the film was shot on location for three weeks in Stone Canyon, CA, fifty miles outside of Hollywood, as well as at the Alameda Street Cattle Shoots in Los Angeles. Hollywood Reporter also reported that Charles Lamont directed a second unit which shot footage in Victorville, CA for the final chase sequence. Universal publicity materials note that actress Anne Gwynne had been selected "The Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty of 1942," in a contest held at the Universal lot to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the comedic icon. Early Hollywood Reporter production charts include Leo Carrillo in the cast, but he does not appear in the released film. A July 16, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item includes Bob Baker in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been determined. Press materials also indicate that Sam Garrett, seven-time world rodeo champion and boyhood friend of Will Rogers, made his feature film debut in the film, but his participation in the released film has not been confirmed. Modern sources include Iron Eyes Cody, The Buckaroo Band and The Ranger Chorus in the cast.