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The Bells of San Angelo (April 15, 1947)

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Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in Bells of San Angelo

Released on April 15, 1947: Roy Rogers uncovers a silver smuggling operation bringing silver from Mexico into the U.S. and pretending to mine it in the U.S.

Directed by William Witney

The Actors: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), Dale Evans (Lee Madison), Andy Devine (Cookie Bullfincher), John McGuire (Rex Gridley), Olaf Hytten (Lionel Bates), David Sharpe (Henchman Ulrich), Fritz Leiber (Padre), Hank Patterson (the deaf bus passenger), Fred 'Snowflake' Toones (the cook), Eddie Acuff (bus driver), Bob Nolan (Bob, member Sons of the Pioneers), Sons of the Pioneers (musicians), Doc Adams (mine henchman), Pat Brady (Pat, member of the Sons of the Pioneers), Keefe Brasselle (Ignacio), Ralph Bucko (mine henchman), Roy Bucko (mine henchman), Ken Carson (Ken Carson, musician), Whitey Christy (mine henchman), Victor Cox (bus passenger), Art Dillard (mine henchman), Hugh Farr (fiddle player, member Sons of the Pioneers), Karl Farr (guitar player, member of Sons of the Pioneers), Fred Graham (mine henchman who guarded Lee), Silver Harr (mine henchman), Jay Kirby (rider), James Linn (mine henchman), Kansas Moehring (mine henchman), Post Park (mine henchman), Eddie Parker (mine henchman), Rex Rossi (Ramon), Tim Spencer (Tim, member Sons of the Pioneers), Charles Sullivan (henchman Roberts), Ray Turner (Buck), Dale Van Sickel (henchman Mike), Luana Walters (the lodge clerk).

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Maybe the Roy Rogers cowboy adventures are growing on me, or maybe this one is a cut above the rest, but I enjoyed this movie immensely. There was a good balance between action/violence, and music, and comic relief, and although the plot was an easy one, it was interesting enough to keep me watching and wondering what would happen next.

This tale takes place in current times, 1947, with cowboys on horses mingling with 1947 autos and pay phones. Roy is a border guard, and in San Angelo, on the border with Mexico, people are getting killed by a mine owner. The bad guy owns a worn out mine, and knows that the price of silver in Mexico is much lower than the price of silver in the States, so he smuggles Mexican silver via a hidden cross-border tunnel into his worn out mine, and then sells it for a profit. Mixed in for plot relief are Dale Evans playing a female western book author, and a British fellow searching for someone that turns out to be sheriff 'Cookie' (Andy Devine).