|Quick on the Vigor|
Baby Wants Spinach
Riot in Rhythm
Quick on the Vigor is the 175th Popeye cartoon, released by Famous Studios in 1950. It features Popeye, Olive and Bluto the Strongman as the main players, and the carny barker and carny worker as bit players. It is in some ways reminiscent of the 1935 Fleischer cartoon King of the Mardi Gras.
The title is a play on Quick on the Trigger, the name of a 1948 Columbia Pictures film in the then-popular "Durango Kid" series.
The cartoon opens with an establishing shot of the County Fair. We see Popeye and Olive happily strolling through the grounds on a date, when a Test of Strength device catches Popeye's eye. Using his fist, he succeeds in ringing the bell at the top and wins a box of sweets for Olive. He then repeats the stunt, over and over. We are shown Olive's face, following the staccato rhythm of Popeye's endeavors on her behalf.
Suddenly, a barker's voice can be heard in the distance: "Introducing Bluto, the Strongest Man in the World!" Olive glances to the side to see Bluto the Strongman, looking smug and confident on the stage. Olive is quickly drawn to the bulky blowhard and the Strongman soon notices her with a look of surprise and excitement, his eyes turning to hearts. We return to Popeye (who has successfully won every box of candy and put Test of Strength operator out of business) who realizes that Olive has gone off with the Strongman. As the scene returns to the stage area, we watch Bluto grasp a steel I-beam in his teeth, to bend it into the shape of a heart and present it to Olive. An angry Popeye grabs the steel heart away from Olive and warns the showman to stay clear from his girl, then bends the very same steel beam with great ease into a smaller collection of hearts. There follows a series of strength contests, with Popeye outdoing Bluto at every turn and even lifting a 1000-lb barbell with just his breath. Clearly being outmatched, Bluto resorts to trickery: he locks himself into a trick safe and pretends to break out. He then challenges Popeye to duplicate the feat in a real safe on the other side of the stage. Bluto then locks the sailor within and runs off with Olive, leaving Popeye trapped.
With her boyfriend out of the way, Bluto offers to show Olive the fair. The two parade arm-in-arm and are soon on the Ferris wheel together. Bluto stops the ride at the top with his leg and demands a kiss from Olive. She refuses and jumps to the next car; Bluto perches himself on the support structure and tries to grab her as she comes by. Olive then keeps jumping to the next lower car in a cycle of terror for the helpless young woman.
She then screams for Popeye to come to her aid. Without the need for spinach, the hero turns his trusty pipe into a blowtorch, easily searing through the safe and opening his own way to freedom. He quickly makes his way to their location and dislodges Bluto's perch from the Ferris wheel, but inadvertently sends the wheel itself - with Olive on board - careening off its supports to crash into an unmanned kiosk, which sends Olive airborne into a plane ride which then sends her flying even further onto a roller coaster ride. He sets out to save her, but Bluto quickly slides down from the top, pulls out one of the Ferris wheel's metal supports and clocks the unsuspecting Popeye on the head, molding it to his shape while causing his can of spinach to pop out.
The big man then takes off after Olive, who is now trapped on the moving roller coaster. After a series of near-misses (including a notoriously villainous act by Bluto involving a crosscut saw), Bluto is on the verge of catching up to Olive and having his way with her. Just then, Popeye regains consciousness and uses his trusty pipe once more to consume his spinach. Strengthened, the sailor grabs the roller coaster track and creates a wave that sends the villain's car his way. The angered Bluto cocks his fist and winds his arm to let Popeye have it, but the energized sailor beats him to the punch and sends the big buffoon back up the roller coaster track without the car. Bluto's head smashes every railroad tie to splinters.
In the final scene, we see the relieved Olive lovingly watching Popeye employ his bicep instead of his fist to ring the Test of Strength bell, over and over again. As the view pans upwards, Bluto's battered frame is seen, having crashed atop the pole after the devastating ride up the roller coaster track and is now deservedly being hit by the Test of Strength's iron, sent his way by the true "Strongest Man in the World": Popeye.
- Quick on the Vigor at the Internet Movie Database