Roy Rogers in South of Santa Fe (February 17, 1942)
Released February 17, 1942: Roy Rogers, the singing cowboy, helps Carol get her mine started by inviting the wealthy city men that can finance her operation to a special event, but the men wind up getting kidnapped, and Roy is blamed.
Directed by Joseph Kane
Written by James R. Webb.
The Actors: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Gabby Whittaker), Linda Hayes (Carol Stevens), Paul Fix (Joe Keenan, aka Joseph Harmon), Arthur Loft (Peter Moreland), Charles Miller (John McMahon), Sam Flint (Harold Prentiss), Jack Kirk (Sheriff Benton), Sons of the Pioneers (cowhands, musicians), George Anderson (Reed, lawyer), Bobby Beers (Bobby), Hank Bell (bartender), Pat Brady (member, Sons of the Pioneers), Lynton Brent (henchmen Muggsy), Frank Brownlee (watches movie), Bob Burns (man at dance), Fred Burns (man at dance), Judy Clark (Judy), Spade Cooley (Jim Clancy), Ken Cooper (posse rider), Rube Dalroy (townsman), Bert Dillard (deputy), Mark Dwyer (Moreland's aide), Hugh Farr (fiddle player, Sons of the Pioneers), Karl Farr (guitar player, Sons of the Pioneers), Chick Hannan (cowhand), Jack Ingram (Chief Henchman Louis aka Louie), Jane Keckley (townswoman), Merrill McCormick (a Vaquero), Jack Montgomery (posse rider), Milburn Morante (Ace Brody), Bob Nolan (Bob), Jack O'Shea (townsman), Lloyd Perryman (member, Sons of the Pioneers), Marin Sais (townswoman), Tim Spencer (member, Sons of the Pioneers), Robert Strange (Conway the lawyer), Henry Wills (henchman Felton), Carlton Young (henchman Steve).
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What do you get when you blend gangsters from New York in 1942 with cowboys in 1942 New Mexico? A helluva good tale about cowboys and gangsters. Can 1942 tough city gangsters with a private plane get the goods on good 'ole boys on horses south of Santa Fe in the desert bad lands?
Carol owns an old gold mine, and would like to find the financing to get it going again. She writes letters to three wealthy industrialists that she knows could help her, but her requests are denied. The annual 'Vaquero' will begin in a couple of weeks, and Roy decides to invite the three businessmen to be the 'Guests of Honor' at this year's Vaquero. 'Vaquero' is a Spanish word used to describe men who work on horseback, and it became a term that was used to describe the first cowboys in the American southwest and Mexico. In our movie, the Vaquero is a ten day event - ten days on horseback riding through the wilderness so that present day 1942 men didn't forget the traditions of the 1890's old west cowboys. Just by chance, a trio of gangsters is hiding out in Santa Fe, and the leader learns of the three wealthy men that will be joining the Vaquero, and he decides to join the group and to kidnap the wealthy men and hold them for ransom.
During the trip, the gangster arranges for the group to stage a fake hold-up, like on the 'old west,' and while the group is pretending to get held up, the gangster has one of his henchmen secretly film the holdup with a small movie camera. Meanwhile, Roy takes the three businessmen on a little side trip to the mine and shows them a chunk of the gold ore from the mine. When one of the businessmen examines the chunk of ore from the mine, he gets excited, not because of the gold content, but because there is a goodly amount of tungsten in the ore sample. America is at war, and tungsten is badly needed for the war effort. As a result, the mine will be a valuable asset to the WWII efforts. Before they can re-join the group, the gangsters kidnap the three businssmen, and tie up Roy and his friends. One of the henchmen takes the fake movie film back to town and convinces everyone that it was Roy and his men that kidnapped the three businessmen. While the whole town is after Roy and his men, the real gangsters hole up in an old rustler hideout with the three captives.
It looks pretty bad for the cowboys, and it looks like Gabby, Roy's side-kick in most of his movies, gets shot and killed by one of the henchmen. Things are looking pretty grim for the cowboys, and pretty good for the gangsters, until Roy and Carol go into action.
There is plenty of singing in this one, and it is pretty good singing, at that. If you remember the Roy Rogers television show from the 1950's, his side-kick in those shows was Pat Brady, in his old jeep 'Nellie-Belle,' and we see Pat in this movie tagging along with Roy after Gabby is shot and left for dead. One of the better singing-cowboy adventures, this one will keep you smiling and wishing for the good old days all the way through!