UNDER NEVADA SKIES
(director: Frank McDonald; screenwriters: Paul Gangelin/Benton Cheney/story by M. Coates Webster; cinematographer: William Bradford; editor: Edward Mann; music: Dale Butts; cast: Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes (Gabby Whittaker ), Dale Evans (Helen Williams), Douglass Dumbrille (Arthur Courtney), George Lynn (LeBlanc), Leroy Mason (Marty Fields), Rudolph Anders (Alberti), George J. Lewis (Flying Eagle), Leyland Hodgson (Tom Craig), Tristram Coffin, (Dan Adams), Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers; Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Republic (YouTube); 1946)
“Entertaining fast-paced musical B-western.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Frank McDonald(“My Pal Trigger”/”Isle of Fury”/“Son of Belle Starr“) finely directs this entertaining fast-paced musical B-western. Writers Paul Gangelin and Benton Cheney base it on a story by M. Coates Webster.
Radio singer cowboy Roy Rogers is featured entertainer at the Bear Valley Reservation, for its annual pow-wow. Tom Craig (Leyland Hodgson) is the troubled owner of the town’s Trading Post Hotel. Clock repairer Gabby Whittacker (Gabby Hayes) is also the town’s temporary sheriff. Tom tells him that someone tried to break into his hotel safe, and the sheriff promises to investigate.
Tom also receives a visitor from the east coast, the singer Helen Williams (Dale Evans). Her recently deceased father and Tom were once best friends, but parted company. As a favor, Helen is given a singing job at the hotel’s nightclub. We soon learn that Helen’s father wanted her to retrieve a golden crest that Tom possessed, which he believed to be dangerous if gotten into the wrong hands and not turned over to the government.
That evening sinister rancher Arthur Courtney (Douglass Dumbrille) threatens Tom to turn over the jeweled-crest or else. Later that evening Courtney’s henchman Fields (Leroy Mason) shoots Tom in his house when he fails to turn over the jewel piece.
When Roy helps Gabby with the investigation, Courtney sends henchman LeBlanc (George Lynn) out to kill him on the trail when falling for a trap that Roy spreads about him in possession of the crest. But the ambusher is himself ambushed by Tom’s devious assistant Dan (Tristram Coffin, who is also after the heirloom.
Roy, in time, collars the Courtney gang, with the help of the Indians, and takes care of Dan, after finding the object in the back of Tom’s radio. Roy learns that it contains a map to a rich deposit of pitchblende, which is used to manufacture atomic bombs.
REVIEWED ON 4/1/2016 GRADE: B-