The legendary Roy Rogers sings his way through this action-packed and suspenseful Western from 1942. Directed by Joseph Kane, the movie holds up well, due to the interesting story and songs from the beloved singing cowboy. And character actor Gabby Hayes adds to the fun as Roy’s comedic sidekick.
The Bagley Ranch is a point of contention as someone named Blackton is about to take a ranch away, apparently legally, from Vera Martin (Joan Woodbury). A schemer named Gregg Jackson (Onslow Stevens) tells Vera, “I told you so.” But Jackson has a plot to save the ranch for Vera and himself. Enter a lady from the east named Sylvia Clark (Helen Parrish), whose infant ward is actually the true heir to the ranch. The baby is Robbie Blackson. Jackson and Martin scheme to rustle the cattle from the ranch, leaving Sylvia (and Robbie) financially busted. Coming to the rescue is not only Roy Rogers, but a man named Sheldon, whom Jackson tries to murder.
The movie is enhanced by several songs from Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers, who also act as ranch hands. One of the songs is titled, “I’m a Cowboy Rockefeller” and is about not being rich with money, but with enjoying the beauty of the earth, the sunshine and rainbows. It’s a nice song that puts things in a proper perspective.
Gabby Hayes adds his brand of humor to the film. In one scene there is no food to be found, and he whines, “No vittamins!” (instead of vitamins). He also always gives himself a generous piece of apple pie until the ranch hands find a humorous way to stop him.
Sylvia is handed a note for $5,000 due or she and baby Robbie will lose the ranch. But Roy steps in and helps her. It won’t be easy as Jackson continues his plot as he provokes a fight with Roy in the saloon which turns into a free-for-all frenzied tussle. But an eyewitness tells the sheriff that Roy didn’t start it. Jackson’s rustlers continue to try to herd the ranch’s cattle away, in order to be rid of Sylvia and Robbie.
The movie incorporates vigorous fist fights, the exchange of gunfire, and an exciting scene in which Roy rescues a hurt man by climbing down the side of a mountain with just a rope to fetch the man and return him to safety.
This movie contains some good old-fashioned morals including the need to help others and to make sure justice prevails. There are a few fights and a few scenes of smoking, but nothing gratuitous so the film has earned the right to receive our Dove seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take
The entire family will enjoy this Roy Rogers film as Roy sings, helps a pretty girl, and helps save the day.