Roy Rogers has been sent to bring in Jesse James. After Wyatt’s bank is robbed and Jesse is blamed, Roy is able to work himself into Jesse’s gang. Learning that Jesse does not have the banks money, Roy realizes Wyatt robbed his own bank posing as Jesse. Roy now sets a trap for Wyatt that he hopes will recover the money.
Continue reading Joseph Kane – Days of Jesse James (1939)
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 Broadway music’s 1943 Broadway musical was considered revolutionary for a multitude of reasons, not least of which were the play’s intricate integration of song and storyline, and the simplicity and austerity of its production design. The 1955 film version of Oklahoma! retains the songs (except for Lonely Room and It’s a Scandal!, which are usually cut from most stage presentations anyway) and the story, but the simplicity is sacrificed to the spectacle of Technicolor, Todd-AO, and Stereophonic Sound. The story can be boiled down to a single sentence: a girl must decide between the two suitors who want to take her to a social. In her movie debut, 19-year-old Shirley Jones plays Laurie, an Oklahoma farm gal who is courted by boisterous cowboy Curley (Gordon MacRae) and by menacing, obsessive farm hand Jud Frye (Rod Steiger). Fearing that Jud will do something terrible to Curley, Laurie accepts Jud’s invitation to the box social. But it’s Curley who rescues Laurie from Jud’s unwanted advances, and in so doing wins her hand. On the eve of their wedding, Laurie and Curley are menaced by the drunken Jud. Continue reading Fred Zinnemann – Oklahoma! (1955)
When the ancient continent of Mu sank beneath the ocean, some of its inhabitant survived in caverns beneath the sea. Cowboy singer Gene Autry stumbles upon the civilization, now buried beneath his own Radio Ranch. The Muranians have developed technology and weaponry such as television and ray guns. Their rich supply of radium draws unscrupulous speculators from the surface. The peaceful civilization of the Muranians is corrupted by the greed from above, and it becomes Autry’s task to prevent all-out war, ideally without disrupting his regular radio show.
Continue reading Otto Brower – The Phantom Empire (1935)
“Ben and Pardner shared everything…even their wife!”
Marvin and Eastwood star as California prospectors during the Gold Rush of 1849-50. Eastwood is the calm, restrained one; Marvin is noisy and rambunctious. Marvin buys a wife, Seberg, from a local Mormon. Then, to make sure the lonely local miners will leave his new bride alone, he hijacks a wagonload of prostitutes and takes them to the prospectors in the mining town he has founded, No Name City, setting them up for business at a saloon. While Marvin is away, Eastwood and Seberg fall for each other; but when Marvin returns and discovers the affair, Seberg declares that she’d like them both as husbands.
Continue reading Joshua Logan – Paint Your Wagon (1969)
Plot: When Jesse learns that Krager is cheating settlers, he and his gang rob trains to obtain money for them to purchase their land. Krager, finding a Jesse look alike in Burns, hires him to wreck havoc on the ranchers. When Jesse kills Burns he switches clothes and goes after the culprits.
The last of the Frontier-era films starring Roy Rogers. From this point forward through the last of the Roy Rogers’ film at Republic, the time period was always the modern west, or the mythical version of such. The exception to all of his remaining films not being set in a historical period was in Heldorado that contained a flashback segment. Here, Roy plays a dual role of the title character, Jesse James, and an identical look-alike gambler, Clint Burns. In order to blacken the name of Jesse James, who is aiding the homesteaders and farmers in their fight against a land-grabbing scheme by the agents of a railroad, Burns is hired to impersonate Jesse. The scheme is successful at first with all but Jesse’s old friend, Sheriff Gabby Whittaker, and a newspaper reporter, Polly Morgan, who can distinguish the two men intuitively. Jesse ends that problem by taking out Burns, who had been impersonating him, and then he impersonates Burns in order to get to the root of the problem.
Continue reading Joseph Kane – Jesse James at Bay (1941)
Plot: The Governor sends Roy to help bring in a gang of saboteurs. Roy joins a traveling show and soon learns the saboteurs communicate during Maurice’s mind reading act that uses a hidden receiver. But Maurice is on to Roy. Roy narrowly escapes when Maurice leaves him tied up in a warehouse they are blowing up. But Maurice then kills a man and blames Roy who now finds himself in jail.
Sabateurs are blowing up government warehouses (during World War II). Roy and his pals work undercover to put an end to their operations. Songs include A Gay Ranchero, Ride ‘Em Cowboy, Ride, Ranger, Ride, Red River Valley, and I’m an Old Cowhand.
Continue reading Joseph Kane – King of the Cowboys (1943)
Plot: Capt. James Stewart pursues the bandit “The Kinkajou” over the Mexican border and falls in love with Rita. He suspects, that her brother is the bandit. Written by Stephan Eichenberg Continue reading Luther Reed – Rio Rita (1929)