EYES OF TEXAS (director: William Witney; screenwriter: Sloan Nibley; cinematographer: Jack Marta; editor: Tony Martinelli; music: Dale Butts; cast: Roy Rogers (Himself), Lynne Roberts (Nurse Penny Thatcher), Andy Devine (Dr. Cookie Bullfincher), Nana Bryant (Hattie Waters), Roy Barcroft (Vic Rabin), Danny Morton (Frank Dennis), Francis Ford (Thad Cameron), Stanley Blystone (Sheriff), Bob Nolan (Bob), Sons of the Pioneers (Themselves); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Mill Creek Entertainment; 1948)
“It’s a decent Roy Rogers B-Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Director William Witney (“40 Guns to Apache Pass”/”Arizona Raiders”/”Trail of Robin Hood”) effectively directs the melodramatic screenplay by Sloan Nibley. It’s a decent Roy Rogers B-Western, one that’s somewhat more violent than the usual Roger’s oater.
Marshall Roy Rogers is summoned to investigate wolves killing off the cattle at Camp Cameron, an orphanage for boys who lost their soldier father’s during WW2. The oily lawyer for the donated estate Hattie Waters (Nana Bryant), who suffers from a bad heart, plans to close the orphanage and flee with the estate funds, as she cooks up a venal takeover scheme. With her evil henchman, Vic (Roy Barcroft), Hattie trains a pack of dogs to act like wolves and kill the cattle, and is further helped by hiring four thugs to be part of a citizen’s group called the Citizen’s Protection Agency, who are helping her to destroy the camp. Hattie also informs the last living Cameron, Thad (Francis Ford), who runs the camp, that Thad’s nephew, Frank Cameron, someone Thad hasn’t seen for twenty years because of a family feud has suffered from amnesia and was not killed during the war as reported and is on his way to the ranch. After Hattie coaxes the overjoyed Thad into changing his will, she has the dogs attack and kill him, and the attack is blamed on wolves. Hattie also hires an ex-convict, Frank Dennis (Danny Morton), with a Brooklyn accent, to pose as the nephew.
Roy is suspicious of Hattie, and with the help of the friendly physician Cookie Bullfincher (Andy Devine) and his attractive nurse Penny Thatcher (Lynne Roberts) and the camp workers Bob Nolan and The Sons of the Pioneers, the singing cowboy discovers the bites on Thad’s body are dog bites and not wolf bites as claimed. Roy must then survive from Hattie’s vicious gang a whipping, being dragged while tied to a galloping horse and attacked by the trained killer dogs, before he can save the camp and bring the culprits to justice and win the love of the nurse.
It’s an enjoyable minor Western, showing the clean-cut good guys beating the bad guys, and is a fun watch despite plot holes as big as the prairie and a story as dry as the desert.
REVIEWED ON 8/20/2013 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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