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Romance on the Range

(aka "Springtime in the Rockies")

 

Republic Pictures Corporation

Release Date: 1942 05 18

Running time: 63 min

Production Number 1126

Location: Lake Sherwood

 

Credits

Cast

Songs

Plot Summary

Publication and Production Stills

Posters

Press Kit

This movie is available on DVD.

 

Intro

Fur thieves have been looting the traps on the Arrowhead Ranch where Roy is foreman. One of his friends has been murdered and Roy is determined to find out who did it. The ranch owner, a city girl, arrives incognito to see if she can find out the truth. Bob and the Pioneers are usually there siding Roy but they have very little dialogue - in that respect, very different from their important roles in the Starrett Movies. The movie has lots of action and plenty of humour as well as beautiful singing. The songs are still being supplied by the Sons of the Pioneers. Recycled for this film, "Coyote Serenade" was first introduced in the Columbia picture, "Stranger from Texas", 1939.

 

 

 

Cast:

Roy Rogers as himself, Linda Hayes as Joan Stuart, Sally Payne as Sally, the maid and George Hayes as Gabby Whittaker

 

 

Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers

 

Edward Pawley as Jerome Banning, manager of the Arrowhead Ranch, Roy Barcroft as Pete, and Art Mix as henchmen, Glenn Strange as Stokes, a henchman

 

Harry Woods as Steve, a henchman, Jack O'Shea as Ed, the truck driver

 

Henry Wills as Rusty Grant, Hal Taliaferro as Sheriff Wilson, Dick Wessell as a deputy

 

Others in the Cast:

Jack Kirk as the second deputy

Spade Cooley as a townsman

 

Songs:

Introduction

Coyote's Serenade (Bob Nolan)
O-o-oh Wonderful World (Tim Spencer)
Rocky Mountain Lullaby (Tim/Roy)

Sing as You Work (Bob Nolan)
When Romance Rides the Range (Glenn Spencer)
 

Plot:

Fur thieves are quietly unloading their canoes and a waiting crew is loading them onto pack horses.

 

 

Pete, one of the thieves who brought the furs by canoe, is showing Art Mix a puzzle he's been killing time with.

 

 

Roy Rogers and the rest of the Arrowhead Ranch hands are singing "Coyote Serenade" around a campfire.

 

 

Rusty Grant is standing night guard for the ranch and notices a flashing light down by the water.

 

 

He rides closer to see what is going on and is killed by Pete. The thieves check to see that he is dead then speed up their activities because they have heard the cowhands singing and know they'll be attracted by the shot.

 

 

The fur thieves finish loading their pack horses in a hurry and race away from the place. The canoes are quickly paddled out of sight. The shot has alerted the Arrowhead Ranch cowboys and, led by foreman Roy Rogers, they find Rusty's body and head out to follow the horses they hear thundering away. From a vantage point, they see the group of horsemen and follow them.

 

 

 

The horsemen disappear into an old mining shack which has a hidden back entrance into the mountain and the owner quickly brushes away all signs of the horses. Roy and the cowboys ride up and the man misdirects them.

 

 

In town the next day, Rusty's death makes the headlines. The Sheriff Wilson and Jerome Banning, manager of the ranch Roy and the cowboys work for, discuss the tragedy.

 

 

Roy rides up and declares his intention to get to the bottom of the murder. Banning sends him back to the ranch then returns to his office where he awaits the return of ___________ with the $5,000 he earned from the sale of the stolen fur. His foreman, Banning tells __________, is about to play amateur detective. ________ advises him not to underestimate Roy's intelligence.

 

 

They discuss getting rid of him but Roy is also a good foreman and Banning needs him for his cattle raising front. They then discuss the real owner of the ranch, a girl in New York  named Joan Stuart. Banning has never met her but, as her manager, he continues to send her good reports although she is obviously suffering huge losses from the furs stolen from her traps. He still believes her to be a little girl.

 

 

In New York City, Joan's manager is reading Banning's letter to her and she confesses her inability to believe him. He offers to send out a detective and she agrees to that but, on the spur of the moment, decides she will go out and do the sleuthing herself.

 

 

Her maid, Sally, drops the teapot she is carrying into the room when she hears the name "Arrowhead Ranch". Sally is almost engaged to a cowboy on the Arrowhead Ranch whom she met through a Lonely Hearts column.

 

 

Joan decides to join the Lonely Hearts Club herself and she will join Sally on a trip out west as just another member. Joan has Sally sit down and write to Pat immediately.

 

 

Out on the Arrowhead Ranch, Pat comes in off the range and meets Gabby on the cook shack step.

 

 

Gabby is the garrulous, opinionated ranch cook and hates women so when Pat asks if there is any mail for him from Sally, Gabby snorts in disgust. The rest of the boys file into the cook shack and start eating.

 

 

Pat continues to unsaddle and sings "Oooh, Wonderful World". The men inside pick up the chorus and then each one adds his own verse, teasing Pat and egging Gabby on.

 

 

Tim comes in late and tosses Pat a letter. Pat is  ecstatic when he sees it's from Sally.

 

 

After he reads his letter, Pat is horrified because she's bringing a friend. He begs Roy to look after Sally's friend for him or what would Sally think! Roy allows himself to be persuaded but Gabby loses his temper.

 

 

If some blamed persnickety women were going to be in his kitchen, he is quitting. Bob votes for the women and all the rest follow his lead.

 

 

Gabby, still angry but also a little hurt at their disloyalty, crams his hat over his shaggy locks, buckles on his gun belt and leaves the property.

 

 

Everyone keeps silent until they are sure he can't hear them and then burst into laughter. They are positive that he will be back before too long.

 

 

Gabby is filling his canteen when he sees a van splashing through the stream a little distance from him. He thinks it looks suspicious and may have something to do with the fur theft so he rides pell mell to Roy and the boys who are out herding cattle.

 

 

The van arrives at the old mining shack and the men load the pelts into the back.

 

 

Just before they leave, Pete can't resist showing Steve his South African slobber jack. When Steve needs help to get it off, he is angry enough to hit the grinning Pete.

 

 

At the herd, the men see Gabby coming and think he's after his old job but he disabuses them of the idea fast.

 

 

The van is more important and Roy agrees that it might have something to do with the theft so he leaves Hugh with the herd, takes the rest of the crew and intercepts the vehicle.

 

 

He persuades the driver at gunpoint to get Pete to open the rear doors for him. When all attention is focused on the rear of the van, the driver guns the motor and leaves fast. This time, Roy leaves Gabby to look after Pete while the rest of them chase the van.

 

 

The van narrowly misses a convertible carrying Sally and Joan. The men give up on the chase and are introduced by Sally who is inordinately pleased that Pat looks just like his picture.

 

 

Roy asks the girls to follow him in the car and they head back to get Gabby and their captive. Perhaps the captive can be forced to give them some facts. But Pete has been playing with his slobber jack and Gabby, as curious as a cat, fell into the trap.

 

 

By the time that Roy and the rest arrive, Gabby is firmly cuffed to the tree via the slobber jack.

 

 

Bob nearly removes Gabby's fingers trying to get the thing off his hands.

 

 

Joan volunteers to try and removes it easily.

 

 

Gabby is so relieved to be free of the slobber jack that he lets himself be persuaded to come back as cook and they have a barbecue, finishing up by singing "Rocky Mountain Lullaby".

 

 

Pat and Sally are pleased with each other and Roy goes for a little walk with Joan.

 

 

Now Roy, not knowing he is talking to his boss, says some derogative things about snobbish society girls. Joan is unable to defend herself in her role as a working girl but she takes as much as she can before she leaves Roy. Roy can't figure out he's said to offend her.

 

 

When the girls were getting ready for bed, Sally teases Joan about her interest in Roy.

 

 

Gabby knocks on the door. He gives them a couple of warm blankets for the cool nights but he also warns them about the wild beasts. Catamounts, he says, were the worst. Last week they killed a couple of punchers, he lies. Joan closes the door on him and tells Sally he was just trying to scare them but her voice is noticeably shaky.

 

 

Satisfied that he's frightened the girls and spoiled their sleep, Gabby leaves and throws an old cougar skin over his back. He crawls into the bush and waits for their lights to go out then he screams like a catamount.

 

 

The girls sit up in bed then dive back under the covers.

 

 

Gabby continues to screech and Joan, unable to stand it any longer, screams for Roy and races out of her door and into Roy's arms, knocking them both down.

 

 

Unaware that he is attracting a real cougar, Gabby screeches some more until he sees the real thing heading for him.

 

 

He crouches and runs for his shack. Sally has conquered her fear, grabbed the shotgun from the wall in her room and lets Gabby have both barrels with remarkable accuracy.

 

 

Roy removes the shot from Gabby's nether parts to the amusement of the rest of the crew who are holding him down.

 

 

Next morning, while the girls are preparing to go for a ride with Pat, a station wagon drives into the yard. Bob and Roy walk up to meet it.

 

 

The manager, Jerome Banning, gets out of the car and asks about the presence of the girls, making snide remarks about them.

 

 

Roy knocks him down, giving him excuse to fire him.

 

 

Bob tells Banning that if Roy goes, they all go, and Banning tells them they have ten minutes to get out of there.

 

 

Gabby is furious and blames it all on the girls. In Banning's hearing, Roy says they will simply move to the Crystal Canyon line camp and continue to look for Rusty's murderer from there.

 

 

As the girls pack up, Sally starts teasing Joan again because Joan could have identified herself to Banning and none of this would have happened. She hesitated to do it because she knew she would never find out anything more, if she did.

 

 

 

In the line shack the girls are setting the table while Gabby and Pat peel potatoes.

 

 

Gabby and Pat start tapping their feet and next thing you know, Bob feels a song coming on. He reaches for his bull fiddle and starts playing "Sing as You Work". Before long they are all singing or tapping their feet as they work.

 

 

 

As the song ends, a trapper rides up and tells them he's on his way to get the sheriff because he's seen the fur thieves.

 

 

 

The trapper leaves and the boys mount up. They find the thieves who abandon their load and run.

 

 

As Roy and the boys head out after them, the Sheriff arrives with a posse, thinking he has caught Roy red-handed with the fur. Roy sees he has been framed. Everyone says they've been framed, responded the sheriff.

 

 

Although the girls had been ordered to stay in camp, they've followed the men and now they're hidden in the trees listening. Also hidden in the trees are Stokes and Banning.

 

 

When the sheriff rides off with the men, Joan decides to tell him who she is and calls out. Banning and Stokes block her way and take both girls captive.

 

 

Back in town, with Roy and the boys behind bars, Banning's henchmen start to incite the townsfolk and soon they are in a lynching mood. Banning is purring.

 

 

But Roy has not given up. He borrows the slobber jack from Gabby and shows it to the deputy. He calls it a Chinese Mugwump and, just as Gabby had before him, he fell for the gag. With his fingers stuck in the tube, Roy was able to hang onto him while Gabby got his keys and freed the men.

 

 

They dashed out the back door and hurriedly saddled their horses while the crowd started to break down the front door to the jail. Banning is extremely satisfied with everything.

 

 

The sheriff tried to stop the lynching mob but was unsuccessful until someone saw the men gallop away. The sheriff hurriedly deputized four men and they started the chase. 

 

 

So now there are three groups of horsemen racing across the landscape - the fur thieves who have retrieved the packhorses, the sheriff's men and Roy with his crew. Hidden in the old mine, Joan and Sally are tied securely and Steve has been cooking some stew. He brings them their supper with a big pot of coffee. Joan eyes the coffee pot and asks him nicely to until her feet.

 

 

As he starts toward her, she dashes the scalding coffee in his face. He falls backward and stuns himself on a rock. 

 

 

The girls run for the horses, not knowing quite how to saddle them. Steve comes to slowly.

 

 

After a couple of false starts, they manage to scramble onto their backs and race out of the mine and the shack, looking for Roy.

 

 

Roy and the Pioneers are doing their best to avoid the sheriff and, at the same time, try to locate the fur thieves. As they reach the summit of a hill to get a better view, they see Steve chasing the two girls.

 

 

When Steve levels his rifle at the girls, Roy shoots him from his horse. (Quite a distance for a Winchester, but Roy is a famed sharpshooter, even out of the movies.)

 

 

When the Arrowhead Ranch bunch join the girls, Joan has them follow her to the cabin so they can hide from the sheriff.

 

 

The sheriff knocks politely at the door, opens it on an empty room and the posse leaves.

 

 

Bob and Roy peek through the dirty window and heave a sigh of relief. After the sheriff and his posse have vanished, the crew sees the fur thieves are headed their way and this is their hideout. They are going to be trapped unless they're careful.

 

 

Stokes checks out the cabin and the tunnel opening, expecting to find Steve and the girls there. He thinks it odd that they aren't where they are supposed to be but Banning decides they must all get out of sight quickly before they lose the pelts again.

 

 

They spot Rogers, shoot out the lantern, and a gunfight ensues in the dark with bullets ricocheting off the walls every which way.

 

 

The fur thieves quickly leave the mine another way with the Rogers crew shortly behind them.

 

 

The sound of gunfire has alerted the sheriff and his posse and they head that way, too. This leaves the Rogers crew sandwiched between the thieves and a sheriff who is looking for them.

 

 

Roy tells his bunch to stay under cover while he climbs around the rocks and finds the sheriff.

 

 

Banning and Steve chuckle at their good fortune. The sheriff will take care of the Rogers gang and the fur thieves will be able to leave without further trouble.

 

 

Roy gets the drop on Sheriff Wilson, hands his revolver back to him.

 

 

Roy shows him the packhorses still loaded with fur. Now that the sheriff finally believes him, the two of them climb to a vantage point and the sheriff tells the fur thieves to drop their weapons.

 

 

Banning takes one last chance and fires from the pocket of his jacket but Roy's shot is just a little faster and knocks him down.

 

 

The next day, back at the home ranch, Joan still hasn't revealed her true identity to Roy and when Roy rides up to the house, he finds the crew in a huddle.

 

 

With serious voices they tell him that the boss, Miss Stuart, has arrived and is in Sally's room and wants to talk to him. Roy passes Trigger's reins to Pat and knocks on the door while the crew manages to smother their laughter.

 

 

On being bidden to enter, his boss's face is hidden by the newspaper she's reading but her culture voice starts questioning him.

 

 

Puzzled by the questions, he happens to glance at the mirror and sees Joan's face.

 

 

They laugh together and join the others on the porch while they sing "When Romance Rides the Range".

 

 

Hugh puts on a sanctimonious face and pretends to marry Sally and Pat, Pat drops a dollar into his hand and they all laugh.

 

 

Gabby is thoroughly disgusted with the proceedings and is now serious about quitting.

 

 

 

Production and Publicity Stills

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Gabby and the Slobber Jack

Linda Hayes, Tim Spencer, George Hayes, Lloyd Perryman, Roy Rogers and Karl Farr

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Hugh Farr, Tim Spencer, Linda Hayes, Sally Payne, Karl Farr, Roy Rogers, George Hayes and Pat Brady

 

Tim Spencer, George Hayes, Bob Nolan, Hugh Farr, Sally Payne, Karl Farr, Roy Rogers and Pat Brady behind Trigger

Calin Coburn Collections 2004

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Edward Phillips

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 


 

Posters

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Les Adams

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Les Adams

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Les Adams

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Photo courtesy of Jan Scott.

 


 

Press Kit (Courtesy of Les Adams)