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SUNSET IN THE WEST (director: William Witney; screenwriter: Gerald Geraghty; cinematographer: Jack A. Marta; editor: Tony Martinelli; music: R. Dale Butts; cast: Roy Rogers (Himself), Estelita Rodriguez (Carmelita), Penny Edwards (Dixie Osborne), Gordon Jones (Splinters), Will Wright (Sheriff Tad Osborne), Pierre Watkin (Gordon MacKnight), Charles La Torre (Nick Corella), William J. Tannen (John Kimball), Gaylord Pendleton (Walter Kimball), Paul E. Burns (Blinky Adams), Foy Willing (Foy), Riders of the Purple Sage (Musicians, Cowhands); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Republic; 1950)
“A rousing action-packed Roy Rogers Western.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A rousing action-packed Roy Rogers Western directed with plenty of snap by William Witney; it’s penned by Gerald Geraghty. The singing cowboy sings a number of tunes, including the theme song that has the same name as the film, “When a Pretty Girl Passes By,” and “Rollin’ Wheels.” The Riders of the Purple Sage and Foy Willing sing along with Roy for a few numbers.

Cattleman Roy Rogers discovers that gun-runners are killing the freight train operators, dumping out the cargo and stealing the train. Roy returns to Bordertown and takes his old job back as deputy with the beleaguered old-timer sheriff Tad Osborne (Will Wright), who is up for re-election in four days and will lose unless the dangerous outlaws get caught. Hiccupping barber Splinters (Gordon Jones) teams up with Roy as deputies (he also supplies the comic relief), while Tad’s sweet niece Dixie (Penny Edwards) is around to comfort the sheriff and offer encouragement that he’s not too old for the job. Tad’s bloodhound Sherlock will also play an important part in capturing the gun-runner ring.

The first break in the case Roy gets is when the peppery South American cantina singer Carmelita (Estelita Rodriguez) gives out a tip that two suspicious strangers are in the bar. After a barroom brawl and chase, Roy captures one of them and learns he’s Waler Kimball and along with his brother is wanted for gunrunning.

Everything goes according to formula and Roy will in the climax jump on a speeding train from his horse Trigger to wrestle with the town’s leading citizen, retired lawyer Gordon MacKnight (Pierre Watkin), who just happens to be the leader of the gun-runners. Strictly B Western fare, but enjoyable for those who care for such old-fashioned simplistic movies.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”