Wed 23 May 2012
TWILIGHT IN THE SIERRAS. Republic Pictures, 1950. Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Pat Brady, Estelita Rodriguez, Russ Vincent, Foy Willing & the Riders of the Purple Sage. Director: William Witney.
I was recently talking to a friend about the Hopalong Cassidy movies, and how he thought they were better than the B movie classification they’re lumped into. I still haven’t seen any of them recently enough to say whether I agree with him or not — and maybe I’m overstating his premise — but I just watched this Roy Rogers movie, and even though Roy was the “King of the Cowboys,” it’s a B movie all the way.
You probably know how it goes without my much telling you. Roy and his gang spend the movie singing around the campfire or up in the bunkhouse, and every once in a while a story breaks out.
In this case it’s a gang of counterfeiters Roy is after, and a parolee in Roy’s custody was once an engraver, if you get my drift.
The parolee has a sister, and if the gang can get their hands on her, well sir, they’re in business. There is also a hunt for a vicious mountain lion, lots of fights, a shooting or two and a couple of runaway buckboards.
What set Roy’s movies off from all the others, I think, is that they took place in the “modern” west, with buses coming into town instead of stagecoaches, and Roy, Pat and Dale communicating with each other by walkie-talkie. This is kids’ fare, all right, but even though I winced every so often at the wooden dialogue, I still thought it was neat.
February 1991 (slightly revised).