An amiable little musical that pokes fun at Western singing stars, The Cowboy from Brooklyn is no great shakes as a film but is agreeably fluffy and will please fans looking for something light, nonsensical and totally inconsequential. Cowboy would never have been a great movie; it simply isn't designed for that kind of fate. But it could have benefited from a better score. The songs it has are certainly pleasant and hummable, but they fall short of being really memorable, despite the fact that they were created by the very talented Richard Whiting, Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer. Earl W. Baldwin's screenplay is serviceable; it gets the story from A to B and provides some nice jokes along the way. Lloyd Bacon's direction is to-the-point; he has a job to do and he gets it done with no fuss. And while Dick Powell is really just a little old at 34 to play the title character, who really should be someone in his 20s, he seems youthful enough that one doesn't really question things. Powell is in good voice and gives the role considerable zip. He's well matched by the lovely Priscilla Lane and gets fine support from fast-paced Pat O'Brien.
Dick Powell stars as a Brooklynite who becomes a cowboy in spite of himself. Drifting into a small western town, Powell takes the only job available as a ranch hand. He likes to sing in his spare time, which attracts the attention of talent scout Pat O'Brien. Before you can say Gene Autry, Powell is promoted into America's favorite singing cowboy--though he's hard pressed to prove his western skills when the plot situations demand it. Rather condescending in its attitude towards western stars (as non-western movies tended to be in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s), Cowboy From Brooklyn was another step backward in the (temporarily) fading career of Dick Powell. The only good thing to come out of the film was the song "Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride," which became the leitmotif of many a Warner Bros. cartoon short.