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Sunset Serenade (1942)

Passed | | Western | 14 September 1942 (USA)
Bad guys plot to trick a newly arrived Eastern girl out of a ranch which belongs to her infant ward. Roy, of course, saves the ranch for the girl.



(story), (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Sons of the Pioneers ...
Ranch Hands / Musicians
Sylvia Clark
Gregg Jackson
Vera Martin
Clifford Sheldon
Henchman Bart Reynolds
Sheriff Praskins


Vera Martin, a scheming housekeeper in her late twenties, receives orders to vacate the Bagley Ranch, over which she has held sway since the death of the owner. Bagley has left the ranch to his nephew Rodney T. Blackton, instead of to Vera as she had expected. Adjoining ranch owner Gregg Jackson arrives to offer his sympathy... and a possible way out. He plans to dam the river above the Bagley Ranch, diverting the water to his property leaving all the other ranchers dry and, while he is at it, to rustle all the Bagley cattle and fake a $5,000 mortgage on the ranch, licking new-owner Ridney T. before he starts. Roy Rogers, Gabby Whittaker and the Sons of the Pioneers, pass through the country just as Sylvia Clark, guardian of the one-year old Rodney T., arrives with her ward. They all arrive at the ranch just as Vera and Jackson are completing their frame-up. Roy is suspicious, and when Jackson informs Sylvia that the ranch is barren, has no cattle and a mortgage due in two weeks, Roy ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

horse | land swindle | See All (2) »


Writing A New Chapter In Western Screen History!... Roy Rogers' Sensational Rise To Fame!... Here He Is... In Reply To YOUR Demands!




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

14 September 1942 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(original) | (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Note that the Alpha DVD is the cut version, not the complete version. See more »


When Gabby pulls the tablecloth off the table, there is a large bowl with a serving spoon in it that stops near the edge. When the camera angle changes the spoon is gone. See more »


Sylvia Clark: You look like a man.
Gabby: Who? Me?
Sylvia Clark: 'Course, it's kind of dark and I can't be sure.
See more »


Edited into Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (1976) See more »


A Sandman Lullaby
Written by Bob Nolan
Performed by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers
See more »

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User Reviews

"More than meets the eye"
24 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

'Sunset Serenade' is a film of simple and snappy plot, one of Roy's most entertaining films from this period because what there is of it is done so well. Crafty rancher-villain Onslow Stevens, aided by Joan Woodbury, is up to the old land-grab trick, hoping to swindle an infant out of his recently inherited ranch by convincing his innocent guardian Sylvia Clark (Helen Parrish) that it is worthless. Enter a bunch of resourceful (and hungry) wandering cowboys, portrayed by, naturally, Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes and the Sons of the Pioneers. They decide to throw in with Sylvia and spend the rest of the film matching wits with the villains in order to hang onto the ranch. The real treat is the full half-dozen songs they perform along the way as only they could - a highlight is the lyrical 'A Sandman Lullaby,' in a nighttime scene that provides, I suppose, the film's title. And then when the player piano gets banged during the free-for-all saloon brawl...well, you can guess what happens next. Only in a Roy Rogers movie! There's also a very funny subplot involving the Pioneers' efforts to keep greedy Gabby from hogging everybody's dinner, which leads to the best laugh of all in the film's final seconds. 'Sunset Serenade' would be an excellent movie to watch as an introduction to the singing cowboy genre; it shows how this type of film works in great style.

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