|Index||3 reviews in total|
The title "Call of the Rockies" like most Republic oaters has nothing
to do with the story or anything else in the film. That aside, this is
the first matching of Smiley Burnette and Sonny Sunset Carson and it is
a winning combination. Smiley gets top billing over newcomer Sunset and
basically this is a Frog Millhouse flick. Smiley was a gifted
songwriter and singer but his humor was usually on the silly side. But
because of the superior writing by Robert Creighton Williams (who later
had an uncredited hand in the magnificent "Ride the High Country"),
Frog has some truly funny moments in this movie. Though Smiley did well
as Gene Autry's sidekick and provided Gene with many of his tunes, he
did not play well with some of the other cowboys of the era in
particular Charles Starrett. There were rumors that Starrett and
Burnette personally disliked each other. This was not the case with
Frog and Sunset. Sunset, who was not much of an actor but who did have
the good looks, had a flair for the comic, especially when teamed with
Smiley. He has some of the funniest lines in the picture. Smiley after
being saved by Sunset when trapped in the mine tries to make a pun on
the moniker Frog. Sunset has the comeback, "If I knew you were going to
say that I would have left you in there." When Doc Lee calms Murdock,
Sunset quips, "You should've been a lion tamer." And there are many
other hilarious comebacks by Sunset. There is also one humorous scene
that is almost surrealistic.When Frog and Sunset are crossing the
street to report to Murdock that his supplies were stolen, the camera
shoots them from behind. Frog is leaning on Sunset. The contrast of a
short fat funny man leaning on a tall slim person has to be seen to be
appreciated. The movie even begins with a funny scene where Frog thinks
Sunset's horse is talking to him. The final scene is reminiscent of the
Marx Brothers. Frog talks to the audience and gets them to help him
shoot the bad guy.
Added to the funny parts--and there are many--are the action scenes and the story dealing with an attempt by the bad guys to take control of all the mines in the area. The miners are led by future Superman, Kirk Ayrn, and his sister, played by Ellen Hall, a gorgeous redhead. Why would a dude like Sunset leave such a damsel behind at the end of the movie and ride of into the sunset (no pun intended)? The bad guys are marvelous with such character actors as Harry Woods and Tom London around to create havoc. This superior B western is entertaining and worthwhile. It makes one wonder why Sunset had only a brief film career.
Frog and Sunset are delivering supplies to merchant Murdock until they have their wagon stolen by mine engineer Ned Crane and his fiancé Marjorie Malloy since Murdock is holding notes on the miners, who are in desperate need of supplies to keep the mine in operation. The main trouble with the progress on the mine is water seepage which is causing numerous cave-ins. Crane comes with an idea to help drain the water from the mines, which Murdock wants to prevent from happening. Doctor Lee, in cahoots with Murdock, suggests to his partner to finance the project and then damage the mine in order to collect on all the notes and land when the work can't be completed. Sunset and Frog (also disguising himself as French engineer M. Grenouille- french for frog) battle all of Lee & Murdock's henchmen and schemes in order for the mine project be completed. The first of Sunset's Republic westerns is a winner, with much of the credit going to Bob Williams' screenplay with lots of clever dialogue and twists. The film has the usual amount of Republic action and the final scene with Smiley talking to the audience is a hoot. The showdown with Lee & Murdock vs. Sunset is a treat. Rating, based on B westerns, 9.
Sunset Carson joined the Republic stable of cowboy heroes with Call Of
The Rockies and he gained a worthy sidekick in Smiley Burnette using
his Frog Millhouse character.
Call Of The Rockies has Sunset and Frog fighting perennial western villain Harry Woods who is a merchant and who owns mortgages on most of the mines in the area. Including Kirk Alyn's and Ellen Hall's mine. But Alyn has a plan to drain a lot of the underground water away because he feels new deposits of gold will open up and a lot of claims will be rich.
Which is why Woods and a secret partner want control so desperately and they're not squeamish on tactics used.
Not a great actor by any means, Sunset Carson did look well in the saddle and that's usually enough for a cowboy hero.
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