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Idaho

Republic Pictures Corporation

Production Dates: December 14, 1942 - early January 1943

Release Date: 1943 03 10 

Running time: 70 min (7 reels or 6,252 ft.)

Key book (production) number: 1222

Location: Kernville

 

Credits

Cast

Songs

Plot

Production and Promotion Stills

Posters

Movie Block

Clippings

 

          Idaho is the first of Republic's larger budget, better advertised films starring Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers and it is loaded with music and action. This movie is the tale of an outlaw who has served his time and become a respectable citizen facing threats of blackmail by his old partners in crime. Roy, Virginia Grey and Onslow Stevens work well together and the acting is above the usual B-Western quality. The title was derived from a popular song of the same name. The story had nothing to do with the state of Idaho.

        Although usually visible in many scenes, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers are very much in the background except for the humorous song sequence for Bob's "Stop". Bob's sole line of dialogue in this film is "Let's try the side door, Roy." This movie is available on DVD.

 

 

 

CAST

 

Roy Rogers as himself, Virginia Grey as Terry Grey, Onslow Stevens as Bob Stevens and (right) the Sons of the Pioneers

 

Smiley Burnette (left) as Frog Millhouse and Harry J. Shannon (right) as Judge John Grey or Tom Allison

 

Left: Ona Munson as Belle Bonner and Dick Purcell as Duke Springer

Right: Ona Munson, Tris Coffin (centre) as Blackie and Hal Taliaferro (right) as Bud

 

 

The Robert Mitchell Boychoir (left), Arthur Hohl (centre) as Spike Madagan and Eddie Kane (right) as Pete

 

Also in the cast:

Roy Barcroft, Al Bridge, Fred Burns, Tommy Coats, Jack Kirk, Rex Lease, Tom London, Art Mix, Jack O'Shea and Forrest Taylor among others.

 

SONGS:

Holy, Holy, Holy (Heber/Dykes)
Idaho (Jesse Stone)

Idaho sung by the Robert Mitchell Boychoir
Don Juan (Glenn/Tim Spencer)
Lone Buckaroo (Nolan)
Stop! (Bob Nolan)
Home on the Range - the Robert Mitchell Boychoir.
Whoopee Ti Yi Yo - the Robert Mitchell Boychoir and Roy.

 

PLOT:

        The story opens in a church where a choir is singing Holy, Holy, Holy  with the congregation joining in. Terry Grey is seated between her two suitors, Bob Stevens and Roy Rogers, who are quietly competing for her attention. Roy cannot seem to find the hymn. Terry helps him find it and then continues to sing from his book to Steven's obvious disgruntlement.

 

 

        After the service, as the congregation files past their minister, Terry's father chats with the owner of the local newspaper. Terry invites him to her party next day and then her father, Judge Grey, states his intention of closing the notorious Belle Bonner's gambling resort. The Judge runs a ranch for underprivileged boys and objects to the casino's influence on the community.

 

 

        In Belle Bonner's casino, her henchmen gather in her dressing room to show her a newspaper article stating the Judge's intention of closing her resort. Belle refuses to take it seriously.

 

 

        Back at Judge Grey's ranch, a party is in progress with Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers singing Idaho. As their song fades out, like an echo they hear the boys outside singing, too.

 

 

        Roy goes looking for Terry and finds Stevens proposing to her. The two men have been keeping track of the number of times they have proposed to her and now the score is 16 to 14 in Stevens' favor. Roy tries once more to make it 16 to 15 and then Terry finds a note from her father. They discuss the Judge's little trick of leaving notes and his coming struggle against Belle Bonner.

 

 

                They are interrupted by Pat Brady and Frog Millhouse with the Sons of the Pioneers singing Don Juan.

 

 

        The Pioneers start playing a waltz and Belle Bonner enters the room. She interrupts the Judge as he is dancing with a neighbour. She wants to talk with him so he invites her into his study while Stevens and Roy watch. He tells her again that he intends to put her out of business. She responds by offering to help him with his boys if he will lay off her "racket". He refuses absolutely.

 

 

        As Belle leaves, she brushes by two men who are about to barge in on the Judge. She invites them to her bistro after they finish their business with Grey. The Judge is astonished to see the two men who were once his pals in crime when long ago he was an outlaw named Tom Allison. They want the Judge to hide them because they botched a robbery and killed a man. He refuses. They threaten to tell Terry about his past and, when he still refuses, Spike pulls a gun. Grey struggles with him and the gun goes off.

 

 

        The two men run out one door while the rangers, Stevens and Roy, run in another. They find the Judge wounded and unwilling to tell them who the men were. They were strangers, he insists. Roy exchanges a few shots with the escaping outlaws. He and Stevens mount and take shortcuts but the men escape in a car. Then Roy finds evidence that he has shot a hole in their gas tank and the two rangers continue pursuit.

 

 

        Unfortunately, Frog comes along in his jalopy right then and gives the outlaws a ride to Belle Bonner's, leaving Roy and Stevens to discover the abandoned chase car. Roy and Stevens head for Belle's, too, to put out a warning. Belle hears the radio update and leaves her office during a Spanish dance number.  She meets Frog who "introduces" her to his passengers. She sends the two killers to her office and watches the act until she sees Roy and Stevens walk in. Under their questioning, she denies knowing anything about the two men and they ask if they can use her phone.

 

 

        She follows the two rangers, intercepting Frog as he tries to join them. She persuades him to dance with her until she sees the lawmen leave and then she leaves Frog to his own devices. She joins the outlaws in her office and finds out from them that the Judge is actually Tom Allison. She immediately sees how useful they can be to her and gives them a job.

 

 

 

        The Judge, under renewed questioning by Roy, continues to deny knowing the two strangers. Roy and the Judge leave the house, meeting Terry who has been waiting outside for Roy. As the two young people ride along together, Terry tries to make sense of all that has been happening. She asks Roy to stop talking so he gives up and sings Lone Buckaroo. (NB: the tune is slightly different from the way Bob Nolan wrote it.)

 

 

        Terry and Roy reach town and separate. Roy joins Stevens in the office. They kid each other about their score with Terry and then discuss the mystery of the Judge's injury by the unknown men. Belle Bonner walks in on them and tells them she wants to see the Judge before he meets with the Board of Supervisors. Roy takes her to him and she lets the Judge know she has found out about his past. She tries to use that to blackmail him into letting her keep her license. She threatens to tell the Board of Supervisors and he asks her if she'd like to address the group herself but she refuses. Confident that the Judge will now bend to her will, she leaves him to go to the meeting while she waits within earshot. She listens in mounting horror as he encourages the group to draft a law to get rid of her gambling establishment. She leaves, slamming the door behind her.

 

 

        As she leaves the Court House, Duke Springer picks her up in the car. Still angry, she gives him permission to get rid of the Judge and then orders him go to her hiding place and keep out of sight for awhile. In a few minutes, the Judge gets an anonymous phonecall asking him to meet Bob and Roy in order to identify their prisoners for them.

 

 

        In the cafe adjoining the bank, the Sons of the Pioneers and Frog Millhouse are singing "Stop" while the waiters clear up the tables. One of the waiters, unfortunately, doesn't stop when ordered and Bob Nolan lays a broom along his head to remind him of his manners!

        Inside the bank, Spike is typing a note saying, "Sorry but I need the money. T. A." and Duke is preparing to blow the safe. They get away in their vehicle with no trouble. The men find the note leading them to believe it was from Tom Allison who was famous for leaving notes at the scenes of his crimes.

 

 

        The next scene shows Stevens and Roy with a posse galloping through the night after the bank robbers to come upon Judge Grey, alone on his horse in the dark, who greets them with a puzzling, "Well, you sure took your time!" After a little questioning, the Judge tells them that he had been given a message, purportedly from them, to meet them to identify the two holdup men. Then Stevens informs the Judge about the bank robbery and hands him the note. All three of them realize it is a frame-up but they cannot understand the purpose behind it. Stevens is suspicious.

 

 

         Early the next morning, the Judge calls for Roy and shows him a notice in the newspaper intimating that Tom Allison is in the area. The Judge asks Roy for help and tells him that he is Allison, that Belle Bonner has discovered his identity, tried to blackmail him and is now behind this article in the paper. Roy is stunned. The phonecall that took the Judge into the hills last night ruined any alibi he might have had. Roy assures him that, although appearances are against him, he believes him. Then the boys start singing "Home on the Range".

 

 

        As they finish singing, Terry comes to call them into school but they are interrupted by an excited Frog Millhouse waving a newspaper. The boys ask him to read it but Frog has to confess that he cannot read. Terry reads aloud to them of a ten thousand dollars reward for the capture of Tom Allison. Terry gets the idea that she, Frog and the boys can find Allison and pay off the ranch's debt themselves. Terry writes to a friend of hers and asks her to pull a picture of Tom Allison from old newspaper files.

 

 

        The next scene opens with Stevens and Roy discussing the robbery. Roy sees that Stevens already suspects that the Judge is Tom Allison. As they ride along, they come up to Frog, Terry and the boys who are looking for Tom Allison. Stevens orders an angry Terry to take the kids home.

 

 

        Stevens and Roy find out from Frog that Terry is expecting a photograph of Tom Allison from a friend of hers.   When Stevens leaves them, Roy tells Frog how he can keep the ranger from getting that letter from the stage driver. Frog ties a rope across the trail and unseats Stevens while Roy stops the stage and collects the letter himself.

 

 

        Roy takes the unopened letter to the Grey Ranch and gives it to the Judge who now confesses to his daughter that he is Tom Allison. Unfortunately, Stevens chooses that moment to walk into the room. Stevens orders Roy to take the Judge in and Roy refuses, removes his badge and quits the rangers. They are interrupted by Frog who barges in, gleefully bragging how he had unhorsed Stevens. Finally, Stevens takes the Judge to jail.

 

 

        The newspapers shout the news of the Judge's arrest the next morning. Belle and her gangsters listen to the news on the radio. Because there is so much sympathy for him from the public, Belle is afraid he might beat the rap. Blackie volunteers to "make sure he don't." Roy has come to the same conclusion and guesses that Belle might try to keep the Judge from coming to trial.

 

 

         Roy rides toward the jail with Frog, sees an angry mob and decides they must try to overtake Stevens with the Judge before the mob does. But Stevens refuses to give up his prisoner so Roy knocks him off his horse and escapes the posse with Grey and Frog. To keep the posse busy while they escape, they open a gate and let out a herd of cattle. They manage to evade the posse and ride to a little cabin. While they sit and discuss their options, they realize that Frog was the one who had given the robbers the ride the day they had held up the Judge.

 

 

        Back at Belle Bonner's, Duke Springer has reappeared, believing he is safe now that suspicion rests on Judge Grey. Frog joins them, orders them all a sarsaparilla and garrulously gives them his ideas of what Allison would do - he would hold up the payroll to the tungsten mine. This red herring appeals to the avaricious mind of Duke but Belle persuades him to return to the hideout. They go into Belle's quarters to discover that Spike has disappeared. So has Frog. They are both outside and Spike is watching Frog while Frog watches Belle. Duke decides to take a crack at the payroll truck and discusses it with Belle while Frog listens with delight from the bushes.

 

 

        When Duke returns to his horse, Spike lets him know that Frog has been listening. Duke turns this knowledge to his advantage and they make new plans. They leave, hoping Frog will follow them. Frog whistles to Roy and they both follow the two outlaws who manage to capture Frog. Roy and the Judge see what has happened and follow at a distance to the hideout. Roy leaves the Judge and sneaks down to the cabin in time to hear them questioning Frog. Frog pretends that Roy and the Judge were ignorant of his plans and he ends up locked in a back room. Roy talks to Frog through the window but Frog insists on remaining a captive. Duke sees Roy prowling around outside and manages to capture the Judge when Roy goes for help.

 

 

 

        Roy persuades Stevens to go back with him but orders the eager-to-help boys to bed. After Roy and Stevens leave, the boys wake Terry and saddle their horses. They are not going to be left out of the climax!

 

 

        Next day at the hideout, the outlaws prepare to hold up the payroll truck and frame the Judge at the same time. One of them will be wearing Judge Grey's clothes, wearing a mask. Stevens, Roy and the posse take after part of the gang but are held up by Blackie and someone who appears to be Judge Grey. Roy gets away.

 

 

        The truck is sighted and Spike, dressed as the Judge, prepares to hold up the payroll. The truck is stopped by the gang and then Roy rides up. He points to the cliff above them where many, many rifles are pointed at the outlaws. They raise their hands. Frog and the real Judge lose their outlaw escort when he sees what's happening.

        Roy points out that the Judge is not the one who held up the truck. The guns are collected and then Roy asks the rifle holders to show themselves. They are the boys from the ranch with Terry!

 

 

        Spike and Duke jump into the truck and Roy gives chase on Trigger. He catches up with them by taking shortcuts. He jumps onto the roof of the truck and spreads a blanket over the windshield. The truck goes off the road and crashes.

 

 

        The last scene takes place at the ranch. The boys are singing "Whoopee Ti Yi Yo" with Roy and the Pioneers. The newspaper headline reports that the boys will get the reward.  Stevens shakes Roy's hand and leaves Roy's ranger badge in his hand. Stevens congratulates the Judge and then tries his luck once more with Terry. He is refused, Roy is accepted and the film ends in tune.

 

                

 

 

PROFESSIONAL STILLS

 

Calin Coburn Collections 2004

 

Singing Don Juan

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Fred Sopher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

 

Virginia Grey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

POSTERS

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Fred Sopher

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

Clippings

Courtesy of Larry Hopper

 


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