(director: R.G. Springsteen; screenwriter: Betty Burbridge/story by Betty Burbridge & Bernard McConville; cinematographer: Marcel LePicard; editor: Charles Craft; music: Dale Butts; cast: Monte Blue (Himself), Adrian Booth(Bonnie Garth), Bob Nolan (Bob), Bobby Blake (Cub Garth), Tom Chatterton (Grizzly Garth), LeRoy Mason (Dan Long), Roy Barcroft (Clint Baker, Henchman), Kenne Duncan (Slim Wallace, Henchman), Budd Buster (Sheriff Cutier), The Sons of the Pioneers (Themselves); Runtime: 55; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Louis Gray; Republic; 1946)
Pretty darn good singing cowboy B-Western.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Pretty darn good singing cowboy B-Western. Director R.G. Springsteen (“Bullet for a Badman”/”He Rides Tall”/”Johnny Reno”)keeps it fast moving and on message. It’s based on a story by Betty Burbridge & Bernard McConville, with Burbridge writing the screenplay.

Cowboy Monte Hale has been hired by rancher“Grizzly” Garth to clear up the mystery of cattle killed by a bear, that the nearby ranchers in Garthville claim is the bear Grizzly keeps protected on his ranch. In reality it’s oily rancher Dan Long (LeRoy Mason) paying henchman Slim and Clint (Kenne Duncan & Roy Barcroft) to carry around in a wagon a chained killer bear called Nero to kill the stray cattle. Dan wants to buy Grizzly’s valuable property and hopes he can drive him out by making him unpopular with his neighbor ranchers so that he’s forced to sell at a cheap price.

Grizzly and his now deceased brother settled in the wilderness, and Grizzly put all his energy into preserving the range for the animals while his brother was a smart businessman and his neighboring ranch became the biggest in the territory. It’s now run by his feisty daughterBonnie Garth (Adrian Booth). She sides with the local ranchers against her uncle, but Monte comes up with a plan whereby Grizzly turns his ranch over to the government and it becomes a wild game preserve. When Dan learns of this, he intercepts Grizzly on the road before he can tell the ranchers his plan and then has Nero maul him to death.

The ranchers mistakenly think Grizzly’s pet bear Blackie did it, and his 13-year-old son Cub (Bobby Blake) runs away with the bear in tow before the ranchers shoot his pet. To the rescue comes Monte, who figured things out and beat a confession out of the henchmen and now confronts Dan. When Dan tries to escape in the wagon holding Nero, he’s mauled to death.

The songs include the following “Over the Rainbow Trail,” “Take Your Time,” “Happy-Go-Lucky Cowboy” and “Down at the Old Hoe Down.”

REVIEWED ON 7/25/2011 GRADE: B  https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/