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Under Nevada Skies

 

Republic Pictures Corporation

Production Dates: late March until mid-April 1946

Release Date: 1946 08 26

Running time: 68-70 minutes

Key book (production) number: 1429

Location: Corriganville / French Ranch

 

Credits

Cast

Songs

Plot

Production & Publicity Stills

Posters

Theatre Program

This movie is available on DVD.

 

        This musical western action film, produced near the end of World War II, has an "enemy-at-work-in-our-midst" theme. Corrupt, power-seeking men look for a piece of jewellery containing an internationally important secret. An Indian pow-wow is featured and Bob Nolan's "Ne Ha Ne", a song he wrote in the late 1930s. Lloyd Perryman is back from the war and in the cast again. Bob has a decent part in the script.

 

Credits

 

 

Cast:

Roy Rogers as himself and Dale Evans as Helen Williams

 

Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers (Karl, Hugh, Shug, Pat, Bob and Lloyd)

 

George Hayes as Gabby Whittaker and Tristram Coffin as Dan Adams

 

Leyland Hodgson as Tom Craig and George J. Lewis (right) as Chief Flying Eagle

 

LeRoy Mason as Marty, a henchman, Douglass Dumbrille as Courtney and Rudoph Anders as Alberti

 

Others in the cast:

George Lynn as LeBlanc

Tom Quinn as Hoffman, henchman

Iron Eyes Cody as an Indian

Steve Darrell as Larsen

George Magrill as a henchman

Frank Marlowe as Burns

Broderick O'Farrell as Al, the coroner

Eddie Parker as a henchman

 

Songs:

Ne Ha Nee (Bob Nolan)
I Want to Go West (Jack Elliott)
Under Nevada Skies (Jack Elliott)
Any Time That Im With You (Jack Elliott)
Sea Goin Cowboy (Gordon Forster-Tim Spencer)

Finale
 

Plot:

        There is an annual pow-wow on the Bear Valley Indian Reservation and radio personality, Roy Rogers (home on vacation), and the Sons of the Pioneers are guest entertainers singing Bob Nolan's "Ne Ha Ne".

 

 

        Helen Williams roars through the encampment in her convertible, deliberately hitting a stream at full speed, splashing sheets of water on Roy and the Pioneers. A small hat box flies from the car and lands on the ground. Roy asks Chief Flying Eagle if the woman is known to him. He denies it but suggests her name might be Princess Splashing Water. The car splutters to a stop some hundred yards away and Roy volunteers to return the hat box to its owner. Bob opens the box first, soaks the hat thoroughly in the stream, and only then allows Roy to deliver it.

 

 

        Roy lifts Trigger to a canter and returns the sodden hat to its dismayed owner. Her car engine refuses to start and an unsympathetic Roy tells her that her distributor is wet. She'll just have to wait till it dries, he tells her, or she can blow on the distributor wires. He turns Trigger and leaves without helping her further. She blows on the distributor until it occurs to her that Roy has been mocking her.

 

 

        The next scene takes place in a watch and clock repair shop where Gabby Whittaker, the owner, is taking the Sheriff's place while he is out of town. Dan Adams walks into Gabby's shop to ask him to go see Tom Craig on a matter for the Sheriff.

 

 

           Tom shows Gabby that his safe was broken into and asks if he's seen strangers in town lately. Gabby, thinking a fine man like Tom is without enemies, is unable to take him seriously.

 

 

        Helen Williams drives up and Dan shows her into Tom's office. She introduces herself as the daughter of an old friend of his, now dead. Tom asks what he can do for her, she asks for a job as a singer in his night club, The Trading Post, and is hired. Helen secretly hates Craig because she believes he stole something of value from her father and, posing as a singer, she is looking for proof.

 

 

         In the clock shop once more, Roy meets Gabby and they walk over to see Tom who had professed a desire to talk with Roy. Bob Nolan is already in the office telling Tom he has just rehearsed Helen and what a wonderful voice she has plus, chuckling, how surprised Roy will be when he sees her.

        Roy walks in and Bob leaves. Tom gets right down to business and tells Roy about his fear for his life. He makes Roy executor of his estate and asks him to take care of his will for him. Roy reluctantly takes the envelope to humour him but he is skeptical about Tom having any serious enemies.

 

 

 

 

        Out in the night club proper, the Sons of the Pioneers prepare for the show. Roy meets them there and, tongue in cheek, Bob tells him what a wonderful person Helen is and how good she is as a singer. Roy is shocked when he recognizes her but, after they exchange some lightly-veiled sarcastic comments, he listens to her sing, "I Want to Go West" on the stage.

 

 

       Tom finds a table and listens to his new singer with enjoyment. As Helen leaves the stage, Tom notices two of his old enemies, Courtney and Alberti, have been seated at one of the tables. Courtney wants something Tom has and threatens him before they leave.

 

 

        When Helen's number is finished, she returns to the Pioneers' table and Roy compliments her. Peace is restored to Bob's satisfaction. Dan compliments her, too, and her future at The Trading Post is assured.

 

 

        Dan heads for Tom's office and, just before he opens the door, he hears something within and stops. Then he pushes the door open and surprises a burglar. They both draw and fire. The unknown burglar is killed. Tom states that he does not recognize him.

 

 

        Back in the clock shop, Gabby is writing up an account of the killing but Roy persuades him to drop it and ride out to Tom's place with him.

 

 

        Just before they arrive, a man named Marty is attempting to persuade Tom to hand over some particular jewel. Tom draws on him and is shot. Marty hears Roy and Gabby arrive and slides out of a window but remains in the shadows.

 

 

        Tom is lying on the floor in his house, dead, when Roy and Tom break in. Roy has Tom's will in his pocket and opens it to see if it will shed any light on what has happened. Tom had written that Roy was to burn all his personal effects. Just about then, Helen sneaks up to see what she can see, not realizing Tom has been murdered or that Roy and Gabby have preceded her.

 

 

        Marty sees Helen, Roy and Gabby but a horse whinnies so he escapes on his horse before they discover him. Helen jumps into her car and drives off in a panic. Roy and Gabby mount their horses and, by going cross country, intercept Helen. Roy shoots a tire and she is forced to stop. Initially, they suspect she is the killer. They question her and find she is looking for something Tom Craig stole from her father; a crest, a family heirloom set with emeralds. She told the two men that there was something inside the crest that would cause a lot of destruction. On his dying bed, her father had instructed her to get the crest from Tom Craig and turn it over to the government.

 

 

        Gabby is left to fix the flat tire while Helen and Roy return to the Craig ranch to stay with the body and try to solve the mystery. Roy and Helen search the place without result until Gabby appears followed closely by the Coroner and his assistants who remove the body.

 

 

        Next day, we see Marty again, this time as one of a group of men playing cards in the livingroom of a ranch house. A man gallops in with the news that Tom Craig is dead. Marty does not reveal that it was he who had killed him. They discuss the event and their boss, Courtney, decides that Roy and Helen must go. Marty is to murder them.

 

 

        Back in Gabby's repair shop, Gabby is hard at work writing up his report on the past night's events. Roy walks in followed by Chief Flying Eagle who persuades him to keep his performance date at the pow-wow. Just as the two men leave, Bob arrives with an idea. Helen does not believe there are any more wild Indians in the west and he would like Roy and the irrepressible Flying Eagle to help persuade her otherwise. Roy agrees, as long as they do not carry the joke too far.

 

 

        Watched by Marty, the Sons of the Pioneers help Helen to the top of the stagecoach where she takes her seat beside the driver, Roy. Marty hears enough to realize that the Indians are going to "attack" the stagecoach on the way to the pow-wow so he decides to add some real lead to the gunfire.

        As the stagecoach sways along the rough road, Helen appreciates the quiet and peace until gunfire erupts and a band of armed Indians attack. Helen looks skeptical but she goes along with the charade while the Sons of the Pioneers "fire" at the attackers from inside the coach.

 

 

        Meanwhile, Marty is approaching from another direction and fires from cover. He misses Roy and Helen but cuts one of the lines and the horses are now out of control. Roy hands the lines to Helen, jumps between the horses to the lead team and stops them.

 

 

        Shocked, the Indian band, the Pioneers and Roy all decide that some outsider was throwing lead and that it was too late to do anything about it.

 

 

        They continue on the the pow-wow. Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers sing "Under Nevada Skies" and Helen joins them.

 

 

        As the song finishes, Gabby drives up with Courtney and introduces him to Roy as having bought the ranch next to Craig's. Courtney came with the story of a couple of riders crossing his ranch in the direction of Craig's the night he was murdered. He has obviously gained Gabby's approval by this action. Then Gabby tells Roy that he has seen the coroner's report. Craig had not died of his bullet wounds. He was strangled after he was shot.

        Gabby and Courtney leave. Courtney drops Gabby off at his shop and picks up Alberti who has been waiting in the shadows. Courtney tells Alberti that someone else had killed Craig; someone besides themselves was after the crest.

 

 

        Next day, at The Trading Post, Roy walks into Dan's office and Dan asks him to look through Tom's mail. After reading one particular letter, Roy asks Dan if Tom had ever mentioned a man named "Herbert" to him. He also asks him if he understands what is meant by "a Cavaco piece". Dan is not able to help and Roy leaves.

 

 

        The scene changes and we find Gabby and Helen reaching the Craig ranch on horseback. They enter the house and start searching for the crest in earnest. As they examine the fireplace, they hear an approaching car. Gabby sends Helen to hide in another room. Courtney and Alberti enter and Gabby holds them up. When he recognizes Courtney, he relaxes. Courtney is introduced to Helen and explains that they were driving by and decided to have a look at the place with respect to buying it. Outside, Courtney tells Alberti that they now know that no one has found the crest yet and, secondly, they have established a reason for returning, should they wish to do so.

 

 

        After they leave, Gabby and Helen resume their search which is interrupted by a telephone call from Roy. After he talks with Helen, he asks to speak with Gabby. He has devised a plan that should reveal whoever it is who is searching for the crest.

 

 

        Back at The Trading Post, preparing for the evening show, the Pioneers welcome Helen to their table. Gabby enters the swinging doors loudly and tipsily. The Pioneers and Dan watch him in complete astonishment because it is so unlike Gabby.

 

 

 

        Dan tries to shut him up but Gabby buys drinks for the house and lets everyone know that he and Roy found the "do-dad" and that in the morning Roy is going to take it to Silver City. One of Courtney's henchmen is at the bar taking all this in. As Dan removes Gabby to the Pioneers' table, Courtney's henchman finishes his drink and leaves.

 

 

        Back at the table, Gabby compliments Helen, who shushes him and directs his attention to the stage where the Sons of the Pioneers sing and perform Sea Goin' Cowboy. Gabby compliments the singing by going to sleep.

 

 

        After the performance, Dale guides him over to Roy's where, to her surprise and annoyance, she finds he is quite sober. Roy and Gabby let her know that they did not have the crest but were just baiting the trap.

 

 

        Next morning, Roy is riding along alert for danger, ostensibly to Silver City with the crest. At the same time, one of Courtney's henchmen, Le Blanc, has taken cover behind some boulders and another is waiting across the road - Marty. Marty, who has always hated Le Blanc shoots him just as he gets Roy in his rifle sights. The wounded man manages to mount his horse and ride for the Courtney place with Roy and the Pioneers in hot pursuit. He falls from his horse and dies just before he reaches the door. Courtney denies knowing him and then belatedly "recognizes" him as one of the men he saw riding across his property the night Craig was murdered. Roy and the Pioneers ride away, taking the body to town with them.

       

 

        Later, in Gabby's clock shop, Roy and Dale sing "Any Time that I'm With You" while they wait. When Gabby arrives, he and Roy leave for Craig's ranch. A worried Helen remains behind to look after the shop.

 

 

        The group of men at the Courtney place now realize that Roy is onto them. Courtney orders Burns and Larsen to find Roy and bring him to the ranch.

 

 

        Meanwhile, in the Craig house, Roy and Gabby sit and await further events. Gabby notices that the clock is stopped and Roy tells him to go ahead and wind it. Gabby says he is sure it must be in good order because it's a Cavaco. At the word, Roy leaps to his feet and they start looking through the clock. Gabby discovers what made the clock stop - the emerald-studded crest - just as Burns and Larsen burst in with guns drawn. Roy manages to drop the crest without the henchmen noticing.

 

 

        They are divested of their guns and taken to the Courtney place. Courtney questions Burns who tells him he overheard some talk about a clock and Courtney sends him back to get it. Courtney, while they wait, tells Roy that the crest means power. Even though they are outnumbered, Roy and Gabby easily overpower all the subversives and Roy leaves Gabby covering them with his gun.

 

 

        Roy heads for the Craig ranch to see if he can get the crest from Burns but, as he opens the door, he discovers Burns dead on the floor, the crest gone. The phone rings and Helen manages to say a few words before the line goes dead and Roy realizes she is in danger, too. He leaves the place and races toward town on Trigger.

 

 

        The next scene finds Helen gagged and bound to a cow horn-decorated bench in the clock shop. Roy arrives in town, runs into the Trading Post and bursts into Dan's office. He finds him packing to leave. He orders Dan to hand over the crest just as Marty and Hoffman come in behind him, gun whip him and shoot Dan. Marty tries to keep the crest but Hoffman says it goes to Courtney and they leave.

 

 

        Roy regains consciousness, runs out of the door and into the Sons of the Pioneers. "Find Helen," he directs them. "She's in town somewhere and in trouble."

 

 

        Without staying to answer questions, he heads back to the Courtney ranch and the Pioneers are left scratching their heads but they soon find Helen and untie her. Roy pursues Marty and Hoffman who race through the Indian Village. Roy, following within seconds, pauses only long enough to ask Chief White Eagle to come and bring his men. They mount and ride instantly.

 

 

        Burns and Hoffman race up to the ranch with the crest. Roy and the Indians appear, the outlaws hole up in the house and the fight begins. The Indians and Roy circle the house, yelling and shooting.

 

 

        Before too long all the villains but Courtney and Marty are downed. Roy enters the house and gets the drop on them. He shoots the gun from Marty's hand. Courtney sits down wearily on the couch and hands the crest to Roy then tells him the secret of the ornament. In the back is the map of a rich deposit of pitchblende for which "certain foreign countries" would pay high. An angry Gabby is discovered bound hand and foot in a closet.

 

 

        The film concludes with everyone singing "Ne Ha Ne" and "Under Nevada Skies" to the end.

 

 

 

Professional Photos:

 

 

 

 

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Courtesy of Fred Sopher

 

Courtesy of Fred Sopher

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

eBay images

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

eBay images

 

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 

POSTERS

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 Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Bruce Hickey

 

Courtesy of Buddy Bryant

 


 

Theatre Program