EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SUSANNA PASS (director: William Witney; screenwriters: Sloan Nibley/John K. Butler; cinematographer: Reggie Lanning; editor: Tony Martinelli; music: Stanley Wilson; cast: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), Dale Evans (Kay 'Doc' Parker), Estelita Rodriguez (Rita), Martin Garralaga (Carlos), Lucien Littlefield (Russell Masters), Douglas Fowley (Roberts aka Walter P. Johnson), Robert Emmett Keane (Martin Masters), Robert Bice (Bob Oliver), David Sharpe (Henchman Vince), Riders of the Purple Sage (Themselves); Runtime: 67; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Edward J. White; Republic; 1949)|
|"Better than usual
contemporary Roy Rogers musical Western."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Veteran filmmaker of B films
William Witney ("Apache
Rose"/"Bells of San Angelo"/"Down
Dakota Way") directs this
better than usual contemporary Roy Rogers musical Western. It's set in
a fish hatchery in Susanna Pass, California, and aims to promote
fishing as a healthy outlet for the country's youth. Writers Sloan
Nibley and John K. Butler did some honest research about hatcheries and
pass this information on in a seamless way.
Bob Oliver (Robert Bice) and
Roberts (Douglas Fowley) are dangerous escaped convicts. Oliver seeks
revenge on his respectable but crooked uncle, a newspaper publisher
named Martin Masters (Robert
Emmett Keane) who framed him. But when he dissolves his partnership
with Roberts, he gets knifed by the vicious greedy former mining
engineer and Roberts flees by wagon. We soon learn that Martin
discovered there's oil in the soil of the streams where his
conservationist brother Russell runs a trout fish hatchery sponsored by
the state, and he schemes to get his brother's property for the oil.
Brother Russell doesn't know
about the oil. Dr. Kay Parker
(Dale Evans), an ichthyologist, is Russell's new loyal assistant. Roy
Rogers is the game warden, acting as sheriff while the real sheriff
recovers from a horse spill. With Oliver out of the way, Roberts forces
the slimy Martin to make him his partner in the plot to steal his
brother's property. They dynamite the streams and kill off many of the
fish, and thereby hope to drive Russell out of business so they can
take over the property. When Rogers thwarts that effort by finding a
way that the lucrative state contract won't be lost, the venal Martin
kills his brother and makes it look like an accidental drowning.
the Purple Sage play forest rangers and perform a few musical numbers. Estelita Rodriguez and Martin Garralaga are around for lame comic
relief as Mexicans, with him the jail cook and she as his feisty
The photography and
Republic's Trucolor is visually pleasing, the predictable simplistic
western is watchable and, supposedly cinema's smartest horse, Trigger
gets some face time. What more
can you expect or want from a Rogers' film?
REVIEWED ON 3/2/2010 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ