Little Cowboys with Big Guns

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The Terror of Tiny Town is a 1938 American film produced by Jed Buell, directed by Sam Newfield, and starring Billy Curtis. It is the world’s only musical Western with an all-dwarf cast. The film was filmed at a sound studio in Hollywood and partly at Placeritos Ranch in Placerita Canyon, California. The inspiration of the film came when Jed Buell overheard an employee jokingly say “If this economic dive keeps going, we’ll be using midgets as actors”.
Using a conventional Western story with an all dwarf cast, the filmmakers were able to showcase gags such as cowboys entering the local saloon by walking under the swinging doors, climbing into cupboards to retrieve items, and dwarf cowboys galloping around on Shetland ponies while roping calves.

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Jed Buell was able to find about sixty cast members for the film, with an average height of 3’8”. He found most of them through talent agencies, newspaper ads, and radio broadcasts. The film presents Jed Buell’s Midgets. Many of the actors were former members of the performing troupe, Singer’s Midgets., and played Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, released in 1939.

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