The Shooting of Dan McGoo
|The Shooting of Dan McGoo|
Original Theatrical Release poster
|Directed by||Tex Avery|
|Produced by||Fred Quimby (unc. on original issue)|
|Written by||Robert W. Service (poem)
|Music by||Scott Bradley|
The Shooting of Dan McGoo is a cartoon directed by Tex Avery. It starred Frank Graham as the Wolf. Both Avery and Bill Thompson voiced the lead character Droopy. Sara Berner did the speaking voice of Lou, while her singing was provided by Imogene Lynn. The cartoon was edited for a 1951 re-release, removing two cigarette-related gags from the film (as well as the original opening titles).
This starts off as an adaptation of Robert W. Service's poem in spoof of The Shooting of Dan McGrew, complete with a literal depiction of a man with one foot in the grave, but when Dan McGoo turns out to be Droopy, it turns into another Droopy-versus-the Wolf/Wolf-goes-ape-for-the-girl gagfest.
The story begins in Coldernell, Alaska—Population 324 and getting smaller—a wild, rough town where gold is king and gambling, drinking and shooting each other are the major activities. Droopy is Dangerous Dan McGoo, a lone gambler, whose only love is the girl they call "Lou", played by Red (from Red Hot Riding Hood). The wolf drags himself into the Malamute Saloon from the 50-below cold and immediately pays for "drinks on the house".
In a gag, the wolf wants a drink of whiskey (Old Block Buster 4000 lb proof). After he chugs it down, the film shows his stomach being blasted from the drink. His eyes go red, and smoke comes out of his ears. He flies around the room and comes back to the bar. Leaning over to the bartender, he complains, "This stuff's been cut!" Droopy makes a little remark to the wolf about the price of the whiskey as if it were the price of gasoline. The wolf resented the joke (T'ain't funny, McGoo.) and draws out a giant switchblade knife, about to end Droopy's life, until he stops and hears the fanfare for the lady known as Lou making her appearance.
As always, the wolf falls for Lou and tries to drag her off, but not before he goes on a shooting spree against anyone who objects to it. He shoots at a man who hides behind the table, but the table, somehow, hides behind the would-be victim. Then he shoots at the drinkers at the bar, one at a time, dropped dead from their wounds; their ghosts, however, resumed their drinking. The mortician, named Rig R. Mortis, is present at the bar, tallying the victims; his business is thriving. The wolf shoots at a different table where the card players are sitting at, the group ran away with the whole table and made their exit. Then, he shoots at the bartender covering the painting. The latter gasps and hides under the bar, revealing the woman in the half-finished painting, it says, "I ain't got no body" in the middle.
The wolf, carrying Lou, tries to make good his escape, but Droopy was waiting for him. That was when the lights went out! A woman screamed and two guns blazed in the dark!" And when the lights go back up, Droopy is victorious (with the same antics his foe did, earlier), which makes one wonder why the picture is called The Shooting of Dan McGoo since he isn't the one getting shot!
- Daily Variety, March 10, 1945, pg. 10
- http://www.cartoonresearch.com/mgm.html - Jerry Beck's Cartoon Research