RAINBOW OVER TEXAS
(director/writer: Frank McDonald; screenwriter: from a magazine story by Max Brand/Gerald Geraghty; cinematographer: Reggie Lanning; editor: Charles Craft; music: Gordon Forster/Morton Scott; cast: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), George ‘Gabby’ Hayes (Gabby Whittaker), Dale Evans (Jackie Dalrymple), Sheldon Leonard (Kirby Haynes), Robert Emmett Keane (Wooster Dalrymple), Gerald Oliver Smith (Larkin), Minerva Urecal (Mama Lolita), George J. Lewis (Jim Pollard), Kenne Duncan (Henchman Pete McAvoy), Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers; Runtime: 54; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Republic; 1946)
“It’s not good, but it’s also not bad for a B-Western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Roy Rogers was riding high as the top singing cowboy in 1946, but he was also faced with tragedy as his second wife died during childbirth. A year later Roy married co-star Dale Evans, and they remained married until his death in 1998. This was the 12th picture that Dale appeared in with Roy. Frank McDonald (“Sunset in El Dorado”/”Man From Oklahoma”/”Song of Arizona”) directs in the formulaic way Republic wanted these money making cheapie westerns to be made. Writer Gerald Geraghty adapts it from a magazine story by Max Brand. It’s not good, but it’s also not bad for a B-Western.
Singing cowboy Roy Rogers returns to his hometown of Dalrymple, Texas by train after a nation-wide tour. The town used to be called Rainbow before Wooster Dalrymple (Robert Emmett Keane) built a meat packing plant there and became filthy rich and forced the name change. The 23-year-old Jackie Dalrymple (Dale Evans) is on the train disguised as a boy, as she’s going from her residence in Chicago to her birthplace in Dalrymple without her bossy father’s permission to check up on his roots. Dad wants to go eastern and join high society and detests anything western, including singing cowboy Rogers. Jackie flees from a forced cruise and meets Roy on the train, who helps someone he thinks is a runaway boy find sleeping quarters. In Dalrymple, Roy participates in a re-creation of the first Pony Express race, with the locals taking bets on the race. Crooked casino owner Kirby Haynes (Sheldon Leonard) is the committee chairman of the race and fixes it with henchman Pete McAvoy (Kenne Duncan) so Roy can’t win. The Kirby gang rustle Roy’s team of race horses. But Roy is helped by his old pal Sheriff Gabby Whittaker (Gabby Hayes) and also by Jackie; when her true identity becomes known she lets Roy use her thoroughbred palominos in the race. Roy wins the race despite some dirty tactics employed by the heavies. There’s also a trite subplot of a rigged roulette wheel and the guy who rigged it for Kirby, Pollard (George J. Lewis), is framed for robbing the casino when he complains of no longer being paid off.
Justice prevails before the third act closes. The crooked Kirby is killed by Roy in a gun duel. Then the rich man Wooster recants his snobbish ways and goes western, and throws a barbecue for the town at his ranch. There’s some more smooth cowboy singing by Roy, Dale and the Sons of the Pioneers, and this one fades into the sunset as just another one of Roy’s hundred or so films that are becoming difficult to tell apart since they all follow the same arc.
REVIEWED ON 8/29/2007 GRADE: C+