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Song of Texas

 

Republic Pictures Corporation

Release Date: 1943 06 14

Running time: 69 (71) minutes

Key book (production) number: 1223

Location: Lone Pine

Trio: Bob Nolan, Tim Spencer and Lloyd Perryman

 

Credits

Cast

Songs

Plot Summary

Posters

Professional Stills

This movie is available on DVD.

 

        Song of Texas is a story of deception, violence and greed tempered by humour and exciting stunt work. To save the feelings of a down-at-heels ex-rodeo champ who has let his daughter believe that he is a successful rancher, Roy and the Pioneers lend him their ranch. The daughter, far from being the little girl they expected, is a smart New York City accountant for a huge company, fully prepared to put "her father's ranch" on its feet, sell it and then take her father home with her. Because the men have kept her in the dark and lied to her about anything to do with the ranch, she is quite sure that Roy is a dud as a "foreman". Roy and the Pioneers see things spin out of their control and nearly lose their ranch to their chief competitors - brothers, crooks who control the rodeo circuit.

        Bob Nolan and Pat Brady have good roles and the Sons of the Pioneers are in nearly every scene. Thanks to Bob Carman, we have an uncut version of the film with three more songs than we had anticipated. [Note: Most of the film is from the good quality cut version with the heretofore missing scenes patched in from a much worn original film. Although these patched-in scenes are of poor visual quality, they are valuable to the continuity of the film. What I had once considered a rather boring film I now enjoy.]

        And thanks to Roberto Costa for cleaning "Blue Bonnet Girl" by Glenn Spencer, a version with a lovely introductory verse - perhaps never heard anywhere but in this film.

 

 

 

Cast:

 

Left: Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers

Right: Sheila Ryan as Sue Bennett and Harry Shannon as Sam Bennett, her father

 

Left: Arline Judge as Hildegarde Gray

Right: Barton MacLane as Jim Calvert and William Haade as Fred Calvert

 

Left: Hank Bell (behind Bob Nolan) as the replaced driver

Centre: Hal Taliaferro as a Calvert henchman

Right: Yakima Canutt as a rodeo performer

Others in the cast:

Jack O'Shea

Tom London as a race official

Forrest Taylor as a race official

Eve March as Miss Murray

Eddie Juaregui as a heavy

 

Featuring the Alex Nehera Dancers

Alex Nehera as the leader of the dancers

Carmen Lopez & Enrique Valadez as specialty dancers

 

Songs:

01 Opening credits / There's a Rainbow Over the Range (Tim Spencer)

02. Whoopee Ti Yi Yo (Traditional)

03. Mexicali Rose (H. Stone / J. Tenney)

04. Swingin' the Bow (Farr Brothers)

05. On the Rhythm Range (Bob Nolan)

06. I Love the Prairie Country (Glenn Spencer)

07. Moonlight and Roses (Black / Daniels / Lemare / Moret)

08. Blue Bonnet Girl (Glenn Spencer)

09. Cielito Lindo (C. Mendoza /S. Yradnier / Neil Williams)

10. There's a Rainbow over the Range (Tim Spencer)
 

Plot Summary:

 

        The story opens in the Texas Springs Children's Hospital where excited children race to gather in one ward while Roy and the Pioneers lead Trigger down the hall toward them.

 

 

        Roy puts on a little show for the children and Trigger dances to Whoopee Ti Yi Yo played by the Sons of the Pioneers.

 

 

        Roy chats to the children until he comes to a homesick child from Mexico City. He coaxes a smile from her by singing Mexicali Rose.

 

       

        As Roy and the Pioneers prepare to leave, their attention is drawn to a painting of hospital benefactor and rodeo champion, Sam Bennett, hanging on the wall.

 

 

        Meanwhile, at the Calvert Brothers Rodeo grounds, a ragged, older Bennett has been reduced to begging for any kind of job at all to earn five hundred dollars. He is turned down by the Calvert Brothers in a nasty and uncompromising manner until they find out that one of their chuckwagon drivers will be unable to compete in the show. They turn back to Sam and offer him the job. He accepts, never realizing that the Calvert brothers do not intend him to win. They would rather pay his hospital bills if he is hurt than give him the prize money.

 

 

        Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers also work for the Calvert Brothers Rodeo and, as Roy stands talking to another competitor, the Pioneers play an instrumental, Swingin' the Bow.

 

 

        Roy's attention is directed to Sam Bennett and he walks over to wish him luck but is turned away by the bitter man.

 

 

        During the race, one of Sam's wheels falls off and Roy wins the race.

 

 

        Roy vaults onto Trigger and races back to find Sam unconscious on the ground by his wrecked wagon. Roy asks the men to take Sam to Roy's tent and then send for the doctor. 

 

 

        He examines the wreckage and finds Sam's wallet which opens to a picture of a little girl. There is also a folded telegram from her saying that she will be arriving soon to spend the vacation with him on his ranch. Roy understands now why Sam took such a chance driving the racing team at his age.

 

 

        Roy meets Bob and Pat on the way to his tent and, disgusted with how Bennett has been treated, he asks them if they still want to be their own bosses. They assure him that that was the reason they bought the ranch and why they were now saving to buy stock. "Well," said Roy, "We are all quitting right now" and then he described the decrepit old chuckwagon and harness Sam had been given. It was obvious to them all that it was never intended that Sam should get the prize. Roy asks the Pioneers to tidy up the ranch a bit.

 

 

        When Roy returns the wallet to Sam, he hears the whole story. Sam has let his daughter think he owns a big ranch. Now she is coming to see him and she will realize that her father is no more than a bum. The thought is killing Sam and he sees no way out of the mess. Because the daughter is only going to be here for a few days, Roy decides to let her think that his (and the Pioneers') ranch is Sam's and that they are all working for Sam. Sam reluctantly goes along with it because he has no choice.

 

 

        Roy enters the Calvert Brothers office caravan and, while he passes him his pay, Jim congratulates him on his day's success. To his astonishment, as Roy accepts the money, he announces that he and the boys have just quit. Calvert asks why and Roy answers that there are two reasons: one, he doesn't like the way they operate and two, they have purchased a ranch and are going to set up their own rodeo. Calvert tells him there's no way he can succeed because the Calvert Brothers control the circuit. Fred threatens him and Roy punches him in the face "for Sam Bennett", then leaves.

 

 

        While Roy, Sam and Pat are riding back to the ranch, the Pioneers are cleaning it up to the tune of "On the Rhythm Range". They supply their own rhythm with hammers, hedge clippers and brooms. Hugh sweeps the dust under the carpet when he is sure no one is looking and Bob nails up the sign reading "1 4 ALL RANCH".

 

 

 

        Roy and Sam join the group and the Pioneers are dismayed to hear Roy's plans but they go along with him.

 

 

        

        As Sam puts the horses away, the Pioneers wonder aloud to Roy what they are going to do with him to make him presentable. Bob suggests giving him a crook and telling Sue he is a big sheep herder. Roy leaves it all in their hands while he and Pat go meet the train. "Hey, wait!" calls Bob as Roy turns away. "I'm no beauty-matician!" Roy suggests they try a little soap and water and give him some decent clothes but the Pioneers are still skeptical.

 

 

        Pat buys a huge lollipop and a baby doll for the little girl only to find that the little girl has grown into a beautiful, confident young woman. Pat tries unsuccessfully to hide the doll and it is already obvious that between Pat and Sue's  companion, Hildegarde, there is an immediate attraction.

 

 

        They drive the girls in the buckboard to meet Sue's father at the ranch.

 

 

        Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Pioneers are agonizing over Bennett's appearance. They've cut his hair and sent him into a bedroom to change into one of Bob's best suits. When Bennett emerges, they can hardly believe their eyes. Pat walks right by him without recognizing him.

 

 

        Later that evening, Roy and the Pioneers spruce up a bit while they sing "I Love the Prairie Country" but they begin to get a little restless in the bunkhouse.

 

 

        Beginning with Roy, all but the Farr brothers find excuses to leave and search for the girls. One at a time, they all meet Hildegarde who knows who they want to see and directs them to the verandah where Sue had been visiting with her father.

 

 

        But Hildegarde is on her own mission - to find Pat who is already on the way to find her. Bob finds it hard to believe that it is Pat she is looking for. Tim arrives to provide a little competition.

 

 

        Roy, arriving at the verandah just before Bob, finds Sue Bennett alone. She invites him to join her to talk about the ranch. Before he gets a chance to begin, Roy spots Bob coming with the same idea in mind so he moves into the shadows and tilts his head down so only his hat can be seen.

 

 

        Bob says good evening to Sue and tells her that he was just passing by and saw her sitting there. Roy clears his throat noisily from further down the porch. Bob sees only the top of his hat and jumps to the conclusion that Roy is her father. Bob apologizes and, when he is asked if he wanted to speak with Sam, replies that he was just passing by. "Well, don't let us keep you," came the response. Bob leaves and a grinning Roy reappears. Sue does not know whether she agrees with this pretense or not but Roy sings "Moonlight and Roses" to her.

 

 

        Bob, on his way to the bunkhouse, hears him and puts two and two together. He returns to the verandah and says, "Veddy, veddy nice, Mr. Bennett!" Roy grabs him by the head and pulls him onto the verandah but the rough housing stops before it really gets started when they hear Trigger calling. Under the cover of the singing, two of Calvert's henchmen arrive with a flame thrower with plans to burn down the barn with the new horses.

 

 

        A moment later, Bob and Roy see that the barn is on fire and all hilarity stops. They do manage to extinguish the fire and get the horses out.

 

 

        The next morning, they carry the bags of feed out to dry off and Jim Calvert rides up, ostensibly to commiserate with them over the damage. In fact, the Calvert Brothers Rodeo Company has suffered from the loss of Roy and the Pioneers and he wants to make a deal with them. He is prepared to make Roy and the boys full partners but Roy makes it quite clear that he does not think that would work. Jim leaves with a veiled threat to the property.

 

 

        Sue asks who he was and was not satisfied that they had sent the man away without seeing her father. She knows something is being withheld from her and she suspects it is simply a macho thing, that she is being kept out of "man business". She is more determined than ever to protect her father's rights.

 

 

        Sue asks Roy if he will come to the house because she has some things to discuss with him and her Dad. Sue, an accountant, has been attempting to dig into the affairs of the ranch and has found out that they do not carry insurance. That sent the red flags up and now she wants to see the accounts. She is shocked to learn that there are no books and her opinion of Roy as a foreman drops even farther. She is suspicious and convinced that she will have to take things into her own hands but Roy manages to put her off and she lets him persuade her to go for a ride.

 

 

        Calvert meets his brother, Fred, in the bar and they decide to use more drastic measures to stop Roy and the Pioneers and their rodeo plans. This time they decide to steal the stock.

 

 

        Sue tries to put the ranch on a more businesslike basis and asks her father if he would sell his share if he could. Weakly, Sam said he probably would, knowing that ranches were hard to sell and thinking that answer would satisfy her. But he doesn't know his daughter and seriously underestimates her desire to help him. His attempt at telling her the truth is foiled by Roy who has come to take her riding.

 

 

        Roy sings "Blue Bonnet Girl" while they ride in the valley.

 

 

        While Roy and Sue are out on their ride, Calvert's riders stampede all Roy's rodeo horses. The Sons of the Pioneers are playing poker and Pat is asleep when they hear the thunder of the herd going by. They mount and ride after them but they are far too late.

 

 

        Fortunately, Roy is nearer to the herd, realizes what is happening, pries loose a boulder and starts a slide to stop them. Sue, ignoring Roy's warning to stay put, has galloped right into the outlaw band who are running from the Pioneers. Her horse is swept along with the outlaws and Roy has to rescue her. Justifiably angry, Roy is curt with Sue and she fires him, then relents as he threatens to  ride away in the dark without her, leaving her afoot.

        The next day, Pat and Roy inspect the horses' hooves for damage after their wild run over the rocky ground. Sue walks in to join them and informs Roy that her dad has told her that he and Roy are partners. (Sam did this in self defense as Sue was ready to  make changes and he is always helpless and unable to say "No" to her.)

 

 

        So now Sue thinks she should have a copy of the partnership papers to protect Roy in case something happens to her dad. Roy responds with, "We haven't any partnership papers. It's just a gentlemen's agreement." This, naturally, is not good enough for Sue and the two men sign partnership papers to shut her up. They are nonplussed for a moment to find that now they have to go to town to have the paper notarized. Then Roy remembers the fiesta. Sam stays at the fiesta for awhile and then returns to the ranch.

 

 

        Roy and the two girls watch the Alex Nehera Dancers for awhile and then the Pioneers walk up singing Cielito Lindo. Bob beckons to Roy who sings the English version.

 

 

        When she hears Jim Calvert tell Roy that he wants to buy the ranch, Sue follows him. She explains to Jim that her dad owns half of the ranch and she has power of attorney to sell his share. She shows him the newly-notarized agreement and he makes a deal with her. He pays her by cheque.

 

 

        Pleased with herself, she shows her father the cheque, thinking he will be happy now. He's not but he does not explain. He straps on his revolver and heads to town to get the bill of sale back from Calvert. When Hildegard tells this to Roy, he leaps on Trigger and races to town to try to avoid a tragedy. He jumps Trigger through one of the paper hoops Pat has struggled for a long time to make.

 

 

        Sam faces Calvert in his office and, when Calvert refuses to return the cheque, Sam takes out his gun. Fred sneaks up behind him and grabs him then throws him out. Roy arrives in time to prevent Sam from being hurt and takes a round out of Fred again.

 

 

        Calvert, of course, is not about to give up the ranch and, after a bit of rough play, Jim invites Roy and Sam inside and returns his cheque. Calvert offers to buy Roy's half of the ranch if Roy decides to return to the Calvert Brothers payroll. Roy refuses and is about to leave when Jim has another idea. He bets his half of the ranch that Roy will not win the chuckwagon race this afternoon. Roy takes him on.

 

 

        Bob and Roy will each drive a team against two of Calvert's drivers. At the last minute, Fred Calvert takes Hank Bell's place and we know it will be a dirty race. 

 

 

        They start their skullduggery by laying a trap for Bob's wagon but Sam, up in the hills watching, tries to warn him. Sam is shot off his horse and Bob is forced off the road in spite of Sam's warning.

 

 

        Bob assures Roy that he is all right and waves him on. Staggering up behind him, Sam calls to Bob who rushes over to help the wounded man.

 

 

         Roy has a couple of tricks up his own sleeve and upsets Calvert's second wagon. By the time the two remaining wagons are in the home stretch, everyone is aware that Roy could win so Jim sends another of his henchmen, Hal Taliaferro, out to do what he can to stop him.

 

 

        Fortunately, Pat Brady sees him leave and follows him.

 

 

        Hal catches up with Roy's wagon and swings up on the tailgate, unaware that Pat is close behind him. Roy struggles with him and, at the same time, keeps his team going. Pat swings up into the wagon and pulls Hal off Roy and then two fighting men  plus the whole top of the wagon are swept to the ground by a low bridge.

 

 

        Pat overcomes Hal and Roy wins the race. Jim Calvert tears up the bill of sale.

 

 

        Later that day, Roy and Sue ride up to the house in time to read a letter telling Roy that their rodeo company is booked solidly for the coming season. Sue weeps for happiness. Roy hands Sam a piece of paper for him to sign - a contract for Sam's services as a foreman. Sue weeps again and then Pat sees that Hildegard is weeping, too. Against her warnings, Pat kisses her until she faints. He walks a few steps and keels over, too.

 

 

        The film ends with "There's a Rainbow Over the Range".

 

 


 

Professional Stills

 

Courtesy of Fred Sopher

 

 

Courtesy of John Fullerton

 

Courtesy of John Fullerton

 

 

Courtesy of John Fullerton

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of John Fullerton

Notice Bob's "signature" on Pat Brady's shoulder?

 

 


 

 

Posters

 

Courtesy of Les Adams

 

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Clippings: