|Index||3 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All of Roy Rogers' films were later edited down to about 55 minutes for
TV, and many of the original full-length prints have never been
recovered. Most of the shorter films still 'work' although much of the
music and comedy (often the best parts) were excised, but "The Man From
Music Mountain" suffered a mangling at the hands of the editors. It's
missing not only songs but sections of plot, leaving holes and odd bits
of dialogue referring to things that don't happen in the film. What's
left are enough scraps of plot to hang together, some very entertaining
comedy scenes, and some of the most gorgeous mountain scenery ever
featured in a Roy Rogers picture.
The plot is slightly similar to the later "Roll On Texas Moon," featuring a sheep/cattle feud instigated by a villain (Paul Kelly) with ulterior motives. This time around Roy and sidekick Pat Brady go undercover to investigate, helped and sometimes hindered by sharp-tongued heroine Ruth Terry, her kid sister with a crush on Roy (Ann Gillis) and their grim and dry-witted housekeeper Renie Riano. As the subordinate villains Hal Taliaferro is dependable as usual, while Jay Novello is average in a slightly less entertaining part than the colorful character villains he played in some of Roy's other films. The Sons of the Pioneers are on hand to help round them up, but it would appear that most of their scenes were cut.
There is some music left and of course it's good; Roy sings a short but sweet serenade and the Sons of the Pioneers render a tantalizingly brief excerpt from "Song of the Bandit," one of Bob Nolan's best songs. Taken all together it's an enjoyable little western that could probably be a whole lot better in its original form.
Like some of Roy Rogers' movies, here in "Man from Music Mountain", Roy
plays a singing radio cowboy--in other words, the studio began blending
the real life Roy with an image of him they created for films. It's
very strange but agreeable enough. However, what's NOT agreeable is
that this version I downloaded from archive.org has 18 minutes hacked
out of it! That's because back when Roy Rogers was a TV star in the
1950s, some idiots tore out large sections of many of his films to make
them fit the time slot. In some cases, a few minutes trimmed here or
there actually improved the film by tightening up the plot or removing
superfluous songs--but 18 minutes is ridiculous!
What's left of the film isn't particularly good. The biggest reason are the two sheepherder women. Both are too unbelievably petulant to be real. One, in particular, totally hates Roy from the get-go---even though they are supposed to be old friends. And, every time he tries to help, she acts angry. Women are NOT idiots--in this film they all are. Even the less dumb of the two is still mighty dumb...and annoying. I am pretty sure women in the audience must have cringed every time these morons talked!! What also is a disappointment is that the 'ol broken firing pin angle is reused from several films--including Gene Autry's "In Old Santa Fe". A few decent songs and Paul Kelly aren't enough to salvage this one. Plus, there is no sidekick...and I wanted to see Gabby or Smiley Burnett! Overall a big, big disappointment. Perhaps the full film is better--this one is pretty shabby.
In the modern west where Roy Rogers westerns were being set in,
presumably the cattle and sheep range wars were a thing of the past.
But in The Man From Music Mountain rancher Paul Kelly is looking to get
it all started again, the object being to have the sheepherders grazing
rights revoked by the government so he can grab it all for himself.
Standing in the way are sisters Ruth Terry and Ann Gillis who own a sheep ranch, but they've got some hands working with Kelly to drive them off their spread.
Roy Rogers plays visiting radio cowboy who has not forget his western roots. He gets himself secretly deputized and with some forensics discovers who's been doing some promiscuous shooting.
The Man From Music Mountain which was the title of a Gene Autry hit a few years back sadly got butchered for television and a lot of the singing was excluded. I agree with the previous reviewer that a director's cut would be a lot better, but we're not likely to see one of those.
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