King of the Cowboys
directed by Joseph Kane
starring Roy Rogers, Smiley Burnette, Gerald Mohr, Lloyd Corrigan, James Bush, Peggy Moran, Dorothea Kent, Russell Hicks, Bob Nolan & the Sons of the Pioneers, Irving Bacon, Norman Willis
story by Hal Long, screenplay by J.Benton Cheney, Olive Cooper, musical director: Morton Scott
American World War II Propaganda
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Roy Rogers and his pal Frog Millhouse (Smiley Burnette) are stars of
the rodeo, but since it's World War two and a series of Axis terror acts
are shattering the American defense efforts, the Texas Gouvernor (Russell
Hicks) asks them both to investigate ... and before you know it, they hook
up with a travelling show that seem to be in town everytime something by
the saboteurs is blown up. Soon enough, Roy finds out that the saboteurs
are the show's owner Dave (James Bush) and mindreader Maurice the Mental Marvel
(Gerald Mohr), who even use the latter's mindreading routine to exchange
messages with Axis headquarters.
But before Roy can make any use of this knowledge, he is knocked out,
Dave, who wants to leave the saboteurs is killed, the blame is put on Roy,
and the gouvernor's car is blown up and it's not sure if he will pull
through. But of course, Frog and two girls from the show (Peggy Moran,
Dorothea Kent) Roy and Frog have become friendly with break him out, and
ultimately Roy and company uncover a plot to blow up a railroad bridge
while an arms shipment is rolling over it, and in the very last minute,
Roy, at risk of his own life, diffuses the bomb and the baddies are
overcome by Roy's Sons of the Pioneers, who are of course always there to
help. And in the end, the gouvernor's own private assistant (Lloyd
Corrigan) is identified as the head of the saboteurs.
So-so Roy Rogers Western that, being set in the 1940's and intended as
a propaganda effort, features little in terms of Western genre elements
and more elements fitting to an espionage film like mini radios, car
chases, and time bombs. Only at the very end, the film presents us with a
good old-fashioned shoot-out. Of course, this all makes the film sound
more fun than it actually is ...