EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SONG OF THE GRINGO (director/writer: John P. McCarthy; screenwriters: Robert Emmett/Al Jennings/Wellyn Totman; cinematographer: Gus Peterson; editor: Frederick Bain; music: Tex Ritter; cast: Tex Ritter (Tex), Joan Woodbury (Lolita Maria Dolores Del Valle), Fuzzy Knight (Slim Zony), Tex Adams (Evans), Monte Blue (Sheriff), Warning Richmond (Henchman 'Cherokee'), Al Jennings (Judge), William Desmond (Bailiff), Rosa Rey (Rosita, maid), Bob Burns (Norman Conklin, mine owner), Tex Phelps (Bill Henderson, mine owner); Runtime: 62; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward F. Finney; Grand National; 1936)|
|"Singing cowboy radio star
Tex Ritter makes his movie debut."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Interesting only as a curio. Singing cowboy radio star Tex Ritter makes his movie debut. Mediocre director from the silents, John P. McCarthy ("The Fighting Champ"/"Lawless Border"/"The Cisco Kid Returns"), is director and cowriter of this below average B western/musical. Other writers are the uncredited Wellyn Totman, Robert Emmett and Al Jennings (a former real-life outlaw, who plays a judge here).
The New Mexico lawman Tex (Tex
Ritter) is asked by his chief to go undercover to
catch a gang of dangerous outlaws who are killing
independent mine owners and making it look like
accidents. The gang has business deals that give them
control of their mines when the owners die and anyone
who signs such a deal is murdered and their mines are
claimed by the outlaws.
Not much mystery in
locating the gang leader, he's crooked businessman
Evans (Ted Adams). Evans uses the ranch of Don Esteban del Valle
(Martin Garralaga) and his pretty daughter Lolita (Joan Woodbury), as his
headquarters. Tex poses as a bandit escaping from
the sheriff (Monte Blue) after robbing a mine owner.
Tex hides in Valle's ranch, in fact in Lolita's
room, and talks his way into getting hired by Evans
to be a gang member. Tex discovers the rancher is
unaware of the dastardly deeds of his partner,
though he becomes very wealthy as a result. Lolita
takes one look at Tex and goes into a swoon, and Tex
courts her throughout with songs.
Ritter finds time to sing
such songs as "Sam Hall," "Rye Whiskey," "Out on the Lone
Prairie," "My Sweet Chiquita," and "You Are
Reality," as he builds a case to nab the claim
Ritter today is remembered for singing the theme song, "Do Not Forsake Me," for High Noon (1952), and for being the father of 1970s television star John Ritter.
REVIEWED ON 7/16/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ