Heldorado (December 15, 1946)
Released on December 15, 1946: (running time 53 minutes) Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are in search of racketeers laundering black market money during the annual Helldorado Celebration and Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Directed by W. Lee Wilder
Written by Gerald Geraghty and Julian Zimet
The Actors: Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), George 'Gabby' Hayes (Gabby), Dale Evans (Carol Randall), Paul Harvey (C.W. Driscoll, gangster), Brad Dexter (Alec Baxter), John Bagni (henchman Johnny), John Phillips (Sheriff), Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart (Dr. Harrison), Rex Lease (Charlie, bartender), Steve Darrell (henchman Mitch), Doye O'Dell (carnival ticket taker), LeRoy Mason (ranger at dam), Charles Williams (carnival judge), Eddie Acuff (carnival shooting gallery attendant), Bob Nolan (leader, Sons of the Pioneers), Pat Brady (Pat Brady, member Sons of the Pioneers), Tim Spencer (member, Sons of the Pioneers), Hugh Farr (Hugh, member Sons of the Pioneers), Karl Farr (member Sons of the Pioneers, man at treasure hung), Lloyd Perryman (guitar player, Sons of the Pioneers), Phil Arnold (vendor), Sam Ash (vendor), Joaquin Bascou (little girl), Virginia Carroll (Ann, hatcheck girl), George Chandler (photographer), Tex Cooper (townsman), Bobbie Dorree (cowgirl), Shug Fisher (stable foreman), Frank Henry (deputy), Eddie Kane (Humphries, State Bank), Walter Lawrence (vendor), Frank McGrath (bearded man next to carnival jail), Clayton Moore (Joe, reporter), Victor Potel (Desert Springs station agent), Keith Richards (croupier), Tom Smith (parade spectator), Jack Sparks (guitar player), Tex Terry (cowhand), Emmett Vogan Jr. (show barker), Bill Yrigoyen (rider), Joe Yrigoyen (rider).
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Helldorado is Here, The Greatest Celebration of the Year
El Dorado is Spanish for Gold, and during the gold rush of the old west many a man left all to wander the wild west in search of gold. In Tombstone, Arizona, in July of 1888, a man in search of gold wrote to the local newspaper that his search for ‘El Dorado’ was in vain, and he now was washing dishes in a local restaurant. His El Dorado had become Helldorado.
That name caught on, and Tombstone, Arizona held the first Helldorado celebration the third week in October, and the town still holds a Helldorado celebration on that weekend. The first celebration began on October 24, 1929, the same day that the New York Stock Market crashed and the world headed into the Great Depression. Despite that, the Tombstone celebration of pioneer days continues today, as well as an annual Helldorado celebration and rodeo in Las Vegas. The first Las Vegas cowboy rodeo celebration was held in the spring of 1934.
In 1946, the Las Vegas Helldorado celebration was held from May 23 through May 26, and this movie was filmed during that celebration and released in December of 1946. Roy Rogers, Gabby Hayes, Dale Evans and the Sons of the Pioneers were part of the big parade through town, and footage from that actual parade closes the adventure.
In this adventure, Roy Rogers is a Nevada Ranger, and Dale Evans is a wealthy girl about town who gets in Roy’s way. Gabby Hayes, in his final appearance with Roy Rogers, is his comic relief side-kick. After this movie, Sons of the Pioneers comic singer Pat Brady would become Roy Rogers’ comic sidekick, and continue that part into the Roy Rogers television series.
Sometimes a dialogue line in a movie becomes iconic. Who could forget Humphrey Bogart telling Claude Rains, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship"? There is one line in this movie that stands out for me, . . . One line that still haunts me to this day. Dale Evans has been locked into a 1946 refrigerator, and Roy Rogers discovers her and opens the door. Roy Rogers looks at the trapped lady and asks her one question. One question that she never answers. I am still seeking the answer to this same question today. Do you know the answer? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Eddie Acuff, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Eddie Kane and John Phillips
Gabby Hayes and Dale Evans
Gabby Hayes and John Phillips
John Bagni and Steve Darrell
Keith Richards and Roy Rogers
Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Paul Harvey
Steve Darrell, Paul Harvey, John Bagni
Pat Brady and The Sons of the Pioneers
Myrna Dell as Norah Taylor in The Bushwhackers
Norman Leavitt and Stuart Randall
Norman Leavitt and Wayne Morris
Norman Leavitt as Deputy Yale
Wayne Morris as Marshal John Harding
William Holmes as 'Ding' Bell
William Holmes in The Bushwhackers