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The Gay Ranchero

 

Republic Pictures Corporation

Production Dates: July 22 - August 20, 1947

Release Date: 1948 01 03

Running time: 72 minutes  (6,435 ft. Color/BW)

Production Number 1528

Location: Janss Conejo Ranch / Walker Ranch

 

• Credits
• Cast
• Songs
• Plot Summary
• Production and Publicity Stills
• Posters

• Behind the Scenes

• Sheet Music

 

"A Gay Ranchero" is directed by William Witney and it only follows that it is full of action, fast and furious. Sheriff Roy Rogers is attempting to solve the mysterious murders and disappearance of planes and cargo. The secondary story is the love affair between a retired bullfighter and his peppery sweetheart. Doye O'Dell replaces Karl Farr in this film. A highlight is the Pioneers' rendition of Tim Spencer's beautiful "Cowboy Country".

 

 This movie is available on DVD.

 

 

Credits

 

 

Cast:

Roy Rogers as himself

Jane Frazee as Betty Richards

Tito Guizar as Nicci Lopez

Andy Devine as Cookie Bullfincher

Estelita Rodriguez as Consuela Belmonte

George Meeker as Vance Brados

LeRoy Mason as Mike Ritter

Dennis Moore as Tex

Keith Richards as Slim

Betty Gagnon as Receptionist

 

Songs:

• The Gay Ranchero (Abe Tuvim-Ew/ Francia Luban-Ew / J. Espinosa)
• The Gay Ranchero – the Pioneers and Estelita in a horse drawn wagon.
• Granada (Augustin Lara)
• Cowboy Country (Tim Spencer)

• Dance
• Wait’ll I Get My Sunshine in the Moonlight (H. Guck / Jack LaMont)
• You Belong to My Heart (Augustin Lara-Sw / Ray Gilbert-Ew)
• Gay Ranchero

 

Plot:

The movie opens on Sheriff Roy Rogers bringing two captive outlaws to justice. At noon, Roy calls a rest and starts unloading the panniers on the packhorse. He has the prisoners start a campfire and get the coffee started.

 

 

 

A small airplane circles above them, the pilot trying to figure out where he is.

 

 

The two outlaws pretend to watch the sky, too, but they keep one eye on the sheriff.

 

 

When they are certain he is distracted, one of them brings his foot down hard on the wood in the campfire, causing the coffee to splash all over Rogers. Both prisoners attack the sheriff.

 

 

He seems to be holding his own until one of the prisoners shoots his companion and then Rogers.

 

 

The pilot has watched the whole thing from the air and decides to come down and give what aid he can. Rogers has been shot through the shoulder and is urgently in need of a doctor.

 

 

One prisoner is dead, the other has taken a horse and vanished.

 

 

The pilot, who introduces himself as Nicci Lopez, bundles Rogers into the plane. Although they cannot go over the trees because of the weight of two men, Nicci flies sideways through them.

 

 

At the airport, Cookie and Breezy, a young mechanic, are servicing a larger plane, chatting as they work.

 

 

In the office, Betty Richards, owner of the airfield, is turning down an offer from Vance Brados who wants to buy the business. Cookie is hostile toward the man but Betty is polite and friendly. They hear a motor and they go outside to watch another plane land. They are hoping for news of Sid, one of their pilots, when Nicci Lopez steps out and asks for a doctor. 

 

Betty sends Breezy to find a doctor and everyone helps Roy into the office. While Betty performs some first aid, Roy tells her that there was no sign of Sid or his plane. No one can understand how a plane could disappear like that. Tex, another mechanic, enters at this point but Betty shoos them all out so Roy can rest.

 

 

Outside, Nicci assures Cookie that the Sheriff will be all right. He has experience with wounds because he used to be a bullfighter. When Cookie hears his name, he is awestruck and immediately wants to have lessons. Good natured Nicci agrees but first he has the find the Spa and his fiancιe. 

 

 

Consuela Belmonte is on her way to the Spa right now in the company of the Sons of the Pioneers and a huge stack of luggage. Bob drives and they all sing "A Gay Ranchero."

 

 

Consuelo's tiny monkey, Nacho, accompanies her to the Spa because, she says, he has nerve problems and needs a rest.

 

 

After Bob lifts her down off the carriage, Consuelo keeps the Pioneers all moving with her constant stream of complaints - mostly in Spanish so they can't be certain what they're doing right or wrong.

 

 

Bob signs her into the Spa and she, because she is supposed to be incognito, says her surname is Flanagan. Then she says it's Mulligan.

 

 

Cookie and Nicci, getting out of their car outside, can hear Consuelo all the way outside - Cookie with awe, Nicci in adoration. He has promised her parents he will bring her home and marry her but she has decided she will not marry a coward. She considers Nicci a coward because he quit bullfighting. He tries to assure her that, no, he wasn't a coward, he just wanted to be alive to live all his life with her.

 

 

Nacho gets angry with him, scrambles up the pile of luggage and knocks it over on Nicci.

 

 

Slim, the outlaw who wounded Roy and killed his own partner, appears in Vance Brados and Mike Ritter's office, startling them both.

 

 

Mike starts to upbraid Slim for killing his partner, Roberts, but the gunslinger is mean and threatening so he backs down. It is soon apparent that Brados and Ritter have hired him to do their dirty work. Slim admits killing the missing pilot and burying the airplane under a mountainside of rock. But, he said sarcastically, the gold was saved. Brados pays Slim off and orders him out of town for the time being. Back in the his office, Roy is looking over some papers when Brados drops by to insinuate that the missing pilot had likely absconded with the gold himself. Roy leaves the office to look for Betty and asks Breezy if he's seen her. With a sneer, Breezy suggests where Roy might find her. His manner is insolent in the extreme but Roy ignores him.

 

 

In the airline office, Cookie is reading a letter from Sid, their missing pilot. It is now assumed he is dead and Cookie reads his unofficial will aloud. Sid leaves his jacket to Tex, his sidekick in the War. He leaves Betty the big kiss he was always trying to steal and for Cookie, a little prayer. As he walks in, Roy removes his hat when sees the little group is upset.

 

 

They pull themselves together and worry about the future of the airline and the spa. At mention of the word "spa", Cookie remembers that he has a date - his first bullfighting lesson with Nicci. Roy tells Betty he'd like to see her next flight plan. He advises her to double check everything on the plane and call him before the flight leaves. She agrees and Roy, as he's leaving, finds Breezy listening at the door. Breezy reports to Betty that he has finished checking the wring system. Roy is not suspicious yet.

 

 

Meanwhile, Cookie is getting his first bullfighting lesson from Nicci with Pat Brady driving the bull model. Sometimes, Nicci assures him, you can even sing to the bull and he sings Granada.

 

 

Consuelo arrives on the scene with her little monkey and, listening to Nicci sing, thinks he has changed his mind and is returning to the ring. He tells her he is not. An angry Consuelo grabs the bull model and runs it at Nicco who skillfully avoids it. The "bull" hits Cookie, tumbling him into the flowers and Consuelo flounces out of the room.

 

 

The crooks have their heads together in Brados' office while Breezy reports what he's heard outside the office door. They decide to leave only enough gas in the airplane's tank so the pilot has to put it down in a meadow of Brados' choosing. It's Breezy's job to fix the gauge to look full when it's not. Money changes hands and everyone is happy.

 

 

That night everything goes according to plan. Mike empties just enough fuel from the plane's tanks and Breezy adjusts the gauge to read "Full".

 

 

Bright and early the next morning, Roy enters his office and studies some papers in his hands. He makes a call to Cookie who is practicing his bullfighting technique and orders him not to let the plane leave. Cookie tells him that it has left already with Tex and Betty aboard. Roy warns Cookie to say nothing at all to Breezy then mounts Trigger and sets off to find the plane.

 

 

Tex and Betty are flying with their valuable cargo and enjoying the flight, secure in the knowledge that their best pilot is in control. As they exchange banter, the engine stops. Tex believes it to be something he can fix quickly and looks for a place to land.

 

 

As Roy scans the sky for the plane, the crooks have gathered at the big meadow where Tex will run out of gas.

 

 

The plane glides in for a landing all of them hold up the pilot.

 

 

They knock Tex down and, when Betty shows fight, they knock her down, too. Tex, recovering from his fall and seeing Betty being mistreated, sees red and starts to fight against fearful odds. He is shot and Betty is kidnapped. They tie her feet under the horse's belly and Mike mounts behind the saddle just as Roy nears the plane.

 

 

Roy stops briefly to check on Tex but Tex is dead. Roy leapfrogs into his saddle and follows the crooks. They fire at him and Betty struggles with Mike, doing her best to send his bullets astray so he knocks her out with his gun butt. Mike drops the gold then bails off his horse, leaving Betty on a runaway and Roy, naturally, goes after her.

 

 

Roy stops the runaway and unties Betty. She is in shock and hysterical. The outlaws have vanished so he takes her back to her home.

 

 

The newspaper headlines blaze the news of the latest tragedy.

 

 

The Pioneers work around the air field, cleaning up stumps, etc, and singing Cowboy Country.

 

 

Pat leans against the plane accompanying them on his harmonica.

 

 

The Pioneers have trouble moving one big stump. Hugh gets on his horse and, with Bob's help from the ground, drags the stump off the field.

 

 

Betty teases Pat about playing his mouth organ while everyone else works.

 

 

Roy and Nicci ride out to the airfield to see how repairs on the plane are progressing. Nicci is wearing a loud cowboy shirt.

 

 

The mechanics work on Tex's plane at the same time wondering why the instrument panel had been shot out and why it didn't catch fire. Were the fuel tanks empty? Nicci is going to use his plane for the next trip. Just as Roy asks Breezy what he thinks about it, Breezy is dragged into the plane and it takes off.

 

 

Someone brings the mail to Betty and she opens it and lets her crew know that they are all out of a job. The bank will not renew their loan.

 

 

To be continued....

 


 

Production and Publicity Stills

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

eBay image

 

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Posters

 

Courtesy of Les Adams

 

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Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

eBay image

 

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Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

eBay image

 

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Courtesy of Jan Scott

 

Courtesy of Jan Scott

 


 

Behind the Scenes

 

Courtesy of Karl E. Farr

Sharing a package of potato chips

 

Courtesy of Karl E. Farr

See below for the explanation.

 

Courtesy of Theresa Scott

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Roy with Cheryl (left) and Linda Lou

eBay image

 

 

Sheet Music