Inklings August 2020: The Apple Dumpling Gang

I’m linking up with Heidi’s Inkling prompt series here.

The prompt for this one was a bar scene. I haven’t seen too many Westerns, and it would have to take a super fantastic bar scene to wipe out the first one that came to mind which was one from The Apple Dumpling Gang.

Oh, how we love this movie in our family! This movie has adventure, stellar slapstick humor, tons of sarcasm with killer delivery, genius timing, romance. It is just about perfect for a de-stressing fun movie night. Lots of quoting done by the people who can remember the exact quotes, bless Imdb for their quote section.

Here is a taste of a few:

Theodore: “You know something, Amos? The Lord poured your brains in with a teaspoon, and somebody joggled His arm.” 

Frank Stillwell: “If I ever get within shootin’ distance of that doggone Amos Tucker, he’s gonna have winders where his ears was.”

Sheriff McCoy: “You two couldn’t steal candy from a baby without coming out on the short end.”

John Wintle: “I’m leaving for San Francisco tonight.”
Sheriff McCoy: “San Francisco’s loss is Quake City’s gain.”

The bar scene.

So it really starts with the rather slick, sleek Donovan getting married to Dusty (her nickname for a reason), a no-touch, for the children’s sake marriage (see this romantic photo). Then Donovan gets right back to his gambling addiction and saddles Dusty with babysitting the kids. She takes the kids to the general store for candy and discovers (so she thinks) that Donovan bought the bed she was admiring for the two of them.

She marches right to the saloon where Donovan is peaceably playing cards:


He looks shocked, “Who me?”

“Yes you, you snake oil salesman! Are you coming out here or am I coming in there?

“What’s the matter, Dusty? Is there some trouble?”

“Yes, there’s trouble all right! And you’re in it!”

She then proceeds to chase him around the saloon flinging epithets (among other things) at him while he tries to simultaneously get away from her and inquire why she is angry. Everyone else tries to get away from both of them while the poker and billiard area is being destroyed. One flabbergasted townsperson asked, “What happened with them two?” to which the the Sheriff replies in a deadpan manner, “They got married.”

Finally Donovan manages to get an answer as to what the whole fiasco is about: “That’s it? The bed?” and then it’s his turn to get angry. A very quiet anger at first, “The bed happens to be for the kids, Dusty. When the nights are getting colder, they’ll need a warmer place to sleep. So the brass bed is for the boys, and the smaller bed is for CELIA!!!

I cannot explain the hilarious way this line is delivered, but the crescendo is just absolutely killer.

After which Dusty meekly and daintily insinuates it’s all his fault for not explaining and sweeps grandly out of the wrecked bar with Celia in tow leaving everyone in stunned silence.

There are so many details of hilarity, sarcasm, contrast etc. This scene just perfect in conception and delivery and while this movie has tons of excellent scenes, I think this has to be the best.

Go watch this movie.

Also, for extra credit. Apparently a great-great-great uncle went to prison for killing a man in a bar brawl over a woman. In the great Wild West state of . . . Illinois.


    • Livia Rose

      Yes, it is just awesome. Have you seen the second, often sequels of these types of things aren’t as good, but the second one is hysterical as well.

    • Livia Rose

      Definitely! And try the second one if you haven’t seen it, it’s hilarious too. And it has Chris Pine (a loonnng time actor crush of mine)’s dad in it!

  • Heidi P

    Ahhhh, one of The Best Family Films Ever! I must admit I still enjoy it so much I haven’t been brave enough to try the sequel. And fun fact — I’ve been brainstorming Inklings prompts and the other day (via another film) thought how great a safe cracking prompt scene would be, then… realized I have to let some time pass from the western party so we can use Apple Dumpling again — seriously, this film has like Everything. ;D

    (Also, that’s crazy about your great-great-great-uncle!)

    • Livia Rose

      Family history stories are the best.

      I don’t think the sequel spoils anything. It is Theodore and Amos on a new (hysterical) adventure, and then they go back home. The other Quake city people don’t feature.

      A safe cracking scene would be great for Apple Dumpling Gang, because really you could use Theodore and Amos’s first attempt or when they inadvertently break it by exploding the bank.

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