(director: John English; screenwriter: from the story by Betty Burbridge/John K. Butler/Jack Townley; cinematographer: William Bradford; editor: Harry Keller; cast: Roy Rogers (Himself), Dale Evans (Dorothy Bryant), George ‘Gabby’ Hayes (Gabby Wittaker), Grant Withers (Ben Bowman), Hal Taliaferro (Steve Lacy), Jack Rutherford (Sheriff McBride), Sons of the Pioneers (Cowhands/Musicians), Peggy Stewart (Jackie), Beverly Lloyd (Wanda), Jill Browning (Babe), Vivien Oakland (Stella Mason); Runtime: 55; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Donald H. Brown; Republic; 1945)
“As far as singing cowboy B Westerns go, this lively one strikes just the right chord.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
John English (“Don’t Fence Me In”/”The Strawberry Roan”/”Mule Train”) saves his last western with Roy Rogers for the best one. As far as singing cowboy B Westerns go, this lively one strikes just the right chord. It’s based on the story by Betty Burbridge and written by John K. Butler and Jack Townley.
Dorothy Bryant (Dale Evans) is a vaudeville singer in Chicago whose show she’s to star in has the backer pull outat the last moment and that causes its cancellation. She’s convinced the musical show will be a hit, so decides to sell the ranch in Utah, the Bar X, she inherited from her grandfather but has never seen to raise the $25,000 needed to back the show. Rogers is the loyal foreman who doesn’t want her to sell, because the only local who could afford it intends to stock it with sheep instead of cattle. When Rogers and chatty anti-female grouchy ranch worker Gabby (Gabby Hayes) meet Dorothy and three other chorus gals from the show (Peggy Stewart, Beverly Lloyd and Jill Browning) at the train station, they scheme to show the tenderfoot the rundown shack where Gabby lives and pass that off as the ranch hoping she’ll take the next train back. But crooked cattle broker Ben Bowman (Grant Withers) and his henchman Steve Lacy (Hal Taliaferro) got wind of the telegram Dorothy wired, and trick her into selling it for $5,000 instead of its real value of $100,000. Rogers, after going through a few complications, goes to Chicago to stop the sale of the valuable herd, return the ranch to Dorothy when he shows that the new owner’s check bounces and then straightens things out with Dorothy on a personal level before things can conclude with a happy musical ending.
REVIEWED ON 3/14/2007 GRADE: B-