Wildcat Kelly has been dead and buried for years. Or has he? Dale is a reporter for an Eastern magazine who comes West to find out the true story of Kelly, of whom Gabby seems to have mysterious knowledge.
Bad guy Craig Allen, gambler and town boss, tries to take a gold mine inherited by innocent Chip Williams on her seventeenth birthday. Roy and his pal 'Teddy' Bear ride to help the girl and her cousin.
Rodeo star Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers), returning with his horse "Trigger" to his home town, finds old Tom Craig (Leyland Hodgson) murdered and offers his aid to "acting sheriff" Gabby ... See full summary »
A western girl moves east and influenced badly by her snobby fiancé. She returns to sell her deceased father's ranch. The father isn't really dead, though; he's hoping that his friend Roy can restore the girl's western values.
Those who might write about this film without seeing it might also question why the government needed horses during WW II (if that is all they knew about it from a short synopsis read ... See full summary »
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
Sue Farnum inherits a circus, but her dead father's partner is trying to take it away from her. Roy and Bob Nolan are filming a movie on location at the circus. They and a number of other ... See full summary »
A ranch owner fires his ranch hands and brings in women to replace them. The owner's daughter wants the male hands back and comes up with a plan to do it. They will rustle the horses and ... See full summary »
Fur theives are looting the traps on the ranch where Roy is foreman and they have murdered one of Roy's friends. To complicate matters, the ranch owner, unknown to Roy, arrives with her ... See full summary »
George 'Gabby' Hayes,
Crooks try to take over an airport by sabotaging the planes. Sheriff Roy catches them. Songs: title song, "Granada," "You Belong to my Heart," and "Wait'll I get my Sunshine in the ... See full summary »
Evil Grant Withers lets a killer horse loose to ruin valuable horses on nearby ranches. He hopes to shake down the ranchers for his "protection". Roy tracks down the bad guys, but is ... See full summary »
Roy, the proprietor of a dude ranch where Gabby is working as a hired hand. Dale is a photojournalist working for "Spread" magazine sent from New York to investigate a long-dead highwayman by the name of "Wildcat" Kelly. After finding out, by snooping around the ranch, that Gabby is in fact "Wildcat" Kelly, she publishes her findings in the magazine and Gabby is shot. Word is put out that Gabby died of the gunshot and a funeral is arranged. During the lying in state, Dale hides near the casket and photographs all the mourners as they pass by the casket. After the ceremony, Gabby reviews all the photos and picks out the man he saw shot him. By means of a description of the kill supplied to the local sheriff the suspected killer is traced to a local nightclub called the Westward Ho. Roy and the Sons of the Pioneers get a job entertaining at the club to try to locate and build a case against the gunman. By having Gabby make an appearance at the club and scaring the gunman into going to ... Written by
"And Listen To The Murmur Of The Cottonwood Trees"
In the George Eells biography of Cole Porter it comes out that Porter while writing the music, did in fact purchase the lyric 'from an antediluvian character' while out west. Probably not unlike Gabby Hayes and the character he plays in the film Don't Fence Me In. The song isn't like any of the sophisticated numbers we normally associate with Porter.
Roy Rogers introduced the film in Warner Brothers Hollywood Canteen where no doubt Jack Warner paid Herbert J. Yates at Republic some real big bucks for his cameo. So it may have evened out that Yates got the rights to Don't Fence Me In for a title song for one of Roy's films at his home studio.
It turned out that this was one of Roy Rogers best westerns with Republic and in it he plays the proprietor of a dude ranch where he keeps the secret of Gabby Hayes, a harmless old codger who spins a lot of tall tales in the Gabby Hayes fashion. But Gabby is really a notorious outlaw from the old west, one Wildcat Kelly who has been presumed dead for almost 40 years. There's a grave for him in the local cemetery.
But the fact that news of his death was greatly exaggerated and that brings Lois Lane type reporter Dale Evans out west for the story. Dale gets that and more including Roy.
Again Roy and Dale really have spark as a screen team, not as sophisticated as Bill Powell and Myrna Loy, but definitely their dialog is pretty good. And the situations are hilarious like Dale hitching a ride in the stagecoach boot with Roy throwing in some Limburger cheese for company and her tossing him in the swimming pool in response.
But besides Roy and Dale's chemistry, Don't Fence Me In has one of the best musical scores of any Rogers film. Besides the title song, Jack Warner apparently threw in My Little Buckaroo which Dick Foran introduced in one of his westerns at Warner Brothers. Roy also sings Along The Navajo Trail which he sang in a previous film of the same title. All three of these songs were big hits by the way for Bing Crosby.
The mystery of Wildcat Kelly is quite an interesting one. I highly recommend Don't Fence Me In as one of the Rogers/Evans best screen team efforts.
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