ALONG THE NAVAJO TRAIL (director: Frank McDonald; screenwriters: from the novel Sleepy Horse Range by William Colt MacDonald/Gerald Geraghty; cinematographer: William Bradford; editor: Tony Martinelli; music: Mort Glickman; cast: Roy Rogers (Himself), Dale Evans (Lorry Alastair), Gabby Hayes (Gabby), Estelita Rodriguez(Narita), Douglas Fowley (J. Richard Bentley), Sam Flint (Breck Alastair), Nestor Paiva(Janza), Roy Barcroft (Rusty), Emmett Vogan (Roger Jerrold), Davida Cota (Lani), The Sons of the Pioneers (Themselves), Bob Nolan (Leader of The Sons of the Pioneers); Runtime: 65; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Republic; 1945)
“Lively routine Roy Rogers musical Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Frank McDonald (“The Purple Gang”) directs this lively routine Roy Rogers musical Western. It’s based on the novel Sleepy Horse Range by William Colt MacDonald and is written by Gerald Geraghty.
Roy Rogers plays a deputy marshal, sent by the Cattleman’s Association to investigate the feud between J. Richard Bentley (Douglas Fowley) and Breck Alastair’s (Sam Flint) Lazy A Ranch in Padre Wells, New Mexico, and goes undercover to investigate.
While Roy camps out on the Ladder A spread he encounters the gabby ranch foreman (Gabby Hayes), the rancher’s pretty daughter Lorry Alastair (Dale Evans), a band of traveling Mexican gypsies and their feisty singer Narita (Estelita Rodriguez), and the villain J. Richard Bentley (Douglas Fowley). Roy will subsequently learn that Bentley made a secret deal with an insider in the Santa Fe Drilling Company to get for them the Ladder A Ranch so the company could put in an oil pipeline and is covering up his ambitions by attacking other ranchers in the region. The greedy Bentley can’t take no for an answer and murdered the previous deputy sent by the Association.
It’s such an innocuous film, that it’s hard to dislike for being so bland.
REVIEWED ON 7/5/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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