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Under Western Stars (1938)

Passed | | Western | 20 April 1938 (USA)
Roy is elected to Congress to bring the misery of the "dustbowl" of the 1930s to the attention of Washington politicians.

Director:

(as Joe Kane)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Stuart McGowan) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Eleanor Fairbanks
Maple City Four ...
Singers
Guy Usher ...
John Fairbanks
Tom Chatterton ...
Congressman Edward H. Marlowe
...
Richards
Stephen Chase ...
Tom Andrews (as Alden Chase)
Brandon Beach ...
Senator Wilson
...
Mayor Biggs
Jean Fowler ...
Mrs. Wilson
Dora Clement ...
Mrs. Marlowe (as Dora Clemant)
...
William P. Scully
Burr Caruth ...
Larkin
...
Tremaine (as Charles Whitaker)
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Storyline

In his starring debut Roy gets elected to congress in order to bring water to the ranchers in his district. In Washington he learns he needs the backing of a key congressman and gets that man to go west for an inspection trip. When the Congressman is initally unimpressed, Roy gets the inspection party stranded without water to show the true conditions. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW WESTERN STAR BLAZES HIS WAY ACROSS THE SCREEN! (original poster - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sob as Estrelas do Oeste  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The one song that Gene Autry co-wrote for this film was "Listen to the Thythm of the Range" and it WAS credited to him. The song "Dust" was written solely (music and lyrics) by Johnny Marvin, and was never part of any dispute between Autry and Republic. That dispute was over salary and personal appearances by Autry, and was settled out of court when the studio presented Autry with a new contract. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Back to the Backwoods
Written by Jack Lawrence and Peter Tinturin
Sung by Smiley Burnette and the Maple City Four
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Roy Goes To Congress In His First Starring Feature Film
15 November 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Considering Roy Rogers politics which favored the Christian Right, his debut film as a singing cowboy star is a most unusual one. He's essentially Billy Jack some thirty years ahead of time.

Roy plays the son of a late Congressman who fought on behalf of the small ranchers who are being starved out because of the dam the water power company has built and the exorbitant rates being charged. Definitely a film of the New Deal times.

After some typical direct cowboy action in dealing with the company Roy decides maybe Washington is the proper venue for dealing with the problem. He runs against flannel-mouth Congressman Dick Elliott who, thanks to some action by sidekick Smiley Burnette, gets dumped in a horse trough during his re-election campaign. A place more of our elected officials should visit unannounced.

Roy's made wise to ways of Washington by Carol Hughes who is the daughter of the water power company president, but has a hankering for Roy just the same. Then it's back to the west for some more of the kind of riding and shooting action not usually normal with Congressmen.

Under Western Stars was an interesting film in another way. Very soon such local country&western performers like Jimmie Davis in Louisiana, Wilbert Lee O'Daniel in Texas, and Glen H. Taylor in Idaho would be elected governors and/or senators from their respective states with just the kind of country singing campaign Roy does in this film. Maybe Under Western Stars had more influence than originally thought.

This picture even got an Oscar nomination, for the song Dust for Best Song of 1938. The rather more well known Thanks for the Memory was the winner that year. But Dust is a highly dramatic item, sung by Roy as he's narrating a newsreel he put together about the dust bowl conditions in the west.

Under Western Stars is a decent enough B western and definitely a worthy item for the King of the Cowboys to step up and claim his crown.


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