|KING OF THE COWBOYS (director: Joseph Kane; screenwriters: story by Hal Long/Oliver Cooper/J. Benton Cheney; cinematographer: Reggie Lanning; editor: Harry Keller; music: Mort Glickman; cast: Roy Rogers (Roy), Smiley Burnette (Frog Millhouse), Bob Nolan (Bob), Sons of the Pioneer (Themselves), Peggy Moran (Judy Mason), Gerald Mohr (Maurice - the Mental Marvel), Dorothea Kent (Ruby Smith), Lloyd Corrigan (William Kraley - Governor's Secretary), James Bush (Dave Mason), Russell Hicks (Texas Governor Shuville), Irving Bacon (Alf Cluckus - the Jailer), Norman Willis (Henchman Buxton); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Harry Grey; Republic Pictures; 1943)|
|"It follows to a tee the
successful Rogers formula of song, some action
and mild romance."
by Dennis Schwartz
gets a bigger budget, as he just appeared on the cover
of Life magazine as 'King of the Cowboys.' Republic
heavily promotes the singing cowboy with main rival
Gene Autry away from the industry, as he's involved in
the war effort. Director Joseph Kane ("Smoke
in the Wind"/"Laramie"/"Dakota") efficiently directs
this b&w action B western and goes full steam
ahead on pushing Roy as a patriot. The wartime pic is
based on a story by Hal Long and Oliver
Cooper, and the script is by J.
Warning: spoiler in the next
star Rogers is asked by the Texas governor (Russell
Hicks) to work as a secret agent tracking Nazi
saboteurs responsible for a number of supply warehouse
bombings. Roy and his sidekick Frog (Smiley
Burnette) quit the rodeo circuit and infiltrate
the Merry Makers touring carnival act and smoke out
that the fake mind reader, Maurice (Gerald
Mohr), is involved in the sabotage.
Maurice is running things for the unknown big boss.
When Maurice catches Roy stealing his book of codes,
whereby the boss relays the bombing sites, he thereby
kills the tent show owner (James Bush)
who wants to quit the gang and frames Roy. But Roy,
with the help of the dead tent owner's sister Judy (Peggy
Moran), his love interest, out-tricks the boss,
the governor's secretary (Lloyd Corrigan),
and gets to a supply train before the gang can
follows to a tee the successful Rogers formula of
song, some action, and mild romance.
There are seven songs performed by Rogers, Burnette, and the Sons of the Pioneers, including "Ride, Ranger, Ride," "A Gay Ranchero," "Roll Along Prairie Moon," "Biscuit Blues," "They Cut Down the Old Pine Tree," "Red River Valley," and Johnny Mercer's "I'm an Old Cowhand."
REVIEWED ON 6/9/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ