The Yellow Rose of Texas (June 24, 1944)
Released on June 24, 1944: Roy Rogers is an insurance investigator searching for money from a robbery.
Directed by Joseph Kane
Written by Jack Townley.
The Actors: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), Dale Evans (Betty Weston), Grant Withers (express agent Lucas), Harry Shannon (Sam Weston), George Cleveland (Captain 'Cap' Joe), William Haade (Buster, Roy's side-kick), Weldon Heyburn (Charley Goss), Hal Taliaferro (Ferguson), Tom London (Sheriff Allen), Dick Botiller (Indian Pete), Janet Martin (showboat singer), Bob Nolan (singer, head of Sons of the Pioneers), Sons of the Pioneers (musicians).
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This is classic Roy Rogers, classic 1940's country music, and a great story wrapped around Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Roy Rogers was a singer with The Son's of the Pioneers, a country singing group, when he was offered his first cowboy movie. Gene Autry was the 'singing cowboy,' but he was having contract trouble with the studio, and they grabbed Roy in order to create an alternative singing cowboy, and to most observers, Roy became a bigger star than Gene Autry ever was. I'm not sure which star sold more popcorn for the theaters in 1944, but I know that yours will disappear quickly as you enjoy this fast-paced western thriller. There is an almost perfect blend of gun fight, fist fight, music and comedy relief that will make the minutes pass very quickly. In this one, like most of Roy's movies, there are parts for The Sons of the Pioneers, but because of the plot used, we enjoy a more realistic performance of the group, and enjoy the best of 1944 country music.
As this story opens, we are on a paddlewheel showboat named, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" that is heading for a town along the river. Showboat star Betty Weston (Dale Evans) is talking with the captain of the boat. Betty's father broke out of jail, and is probably headed for the same town that the showboat is headed for. Roy Rogers is also performing on the boat, and we discover that he is an agent for the insurance company that insured a payroll that was stolen by Betty's father. Roy is sticking close to Betty, thinking that she will lead him to Sam, Betty's father. Sure enough, Betty gets a note from her father and Roy follows her to the cabin that her father is hiding in. Roy is about to turn Sam over to the authorities, but Betty and Sam convince Roy that Sam had nothing to do with the payroll robbery, but instead was framed by the guilty party. They figure that Goss was the fellow that set it up, and convince Roy to give Sam 48 hours so that they can search for the payroll and clear Sam's name.
The plot twists and turns quite a bit in the next 48 hours, but it pulls together when Roy accidentally finds the payroll box, still sealed among the wreckage of a wagon at the bottom of a canyon, having never been opened. Roy takes the strong box into his possession and arranges for a grand 'opening' on the showboat that night. With all present, things happen fast at the opening, and surprise after surprise bring us to the real culprit as roy once again saves the day.